Heart Scarab

Contributed by Freud Museum London

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was an enthusiastic collector of antiquities from different cultures and times. One of the figures from Ancient Egypt placed in his study is this Heart Scarab.
The scarab, or dung beetle, was a sacred symbol of resurrection and crucial in the imagery relating to the passage to the afterlife. It was a common article of funeral equipment. The scarab beetle lays its eggs in a dung ball and so it appeared that new life sprang from this dead matter.
Ancient Egyptians also believed that a god in the form of a giant scarab rolled the sun like a huge ball through the sky each day, giving life to the world.
The underside of Freud's heart scarab has seven lines of hieroglyphic text, taken from chapter 30B of the "Book of the Dead". It is made of serpentine and can be dated back to the New Kingdom (18th - 19th Dynasty), between 1540 - 1190 B.C.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Ancient Egypt.

Culture
Period

About 1540-1190 B.C.

Theme
Size
H:
2.4cm
W:
4cm
D:
5.6cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in London.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.