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.

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Ancient Egypt.


About 1540-1190 B.C.


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