By Robert Partridge
Last updated 2011-02-17
The small scarab or dung-beetle collects animal dung, rolls it into a ball, then lays its eggs in this ball. The Egyptians imagined a huge scarab beetle rolling the ball of the sun across the sky, which led to an association of the beetle with the sun god Ra. A representation of a scarab beetle can often be seen on amulets made to protect the wearer against evil.
The Egyptian name for the scarab was Kheper, and it appears in many royal names, as in this example, the Cartouche of King Kheperkare, Senuseret I.
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