Ancient Egyptian Names of Private Individuals, Taken from Seal Scarabs

Christie Ward (Gunnvǫr silfrahárr), © 2011

Scarab Amulets

Scarabs are small amulets of beetle form, which are a common product of Egyptian art, the scarab beetle being sacred in its role as the Creator, Khepera, who rolls the ball of the sun across the heavens. Small carvings of scarabs came into use as magical personal amulets, and eventually were engraved much like seals or signets, often containing names of their owners.

A great many of surviving scarabs belong to royalty, containing the names of pharaohs or their viceroys. A subset, however, have the names of private individuals, and it is this group that is presented here, based on the work in:

W.M. Flinders Petrie. Scarabs and Cylinders with Names: Illustrated by the Egyptian Collection in University College. London: School of Archaeology in Egypt. 1917.