Ancient Egyptian Carnelian Scarab with Gold and Ancient Lapis and Carnelian
Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, 20k gold
The necklace is 25 inches (63.5 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 26 gm.
A necklace of ninety lapis lazuli beads, thirty-two carnelian beads and sixty granulated gold ring beads with a carnelian scarab pendant on a gold mount. The lapis lazuli beads are strung in groups of three with the center barrel bead flanked on either side with a round bead. The carnelian beads which are short bi cones are also flanked with a gold ring bead to either side. The carnelian scarab beetle is mounted through its longitudinal perforation on a pair of gold wires which terminate in a gold spherical shot. There is a gold band which encircles the outer edge of the scarab and sits in a wide shallow groove. There is a gold ring at the top and bottom of the gold band through which the mounting wires extend. After passing through a collar at the top, the wires coil in opposite directions to make a suspension loop. The scarab is 1.6 cm in height, 1.25 cm in width ad 8.5 mm in thickness. The diameter of the perforation is 2 mm. The carnelian bi cone beads all match very closely in size: 5 mm in length, 4.5 mm in width and having drill hole diameters of 2 mm. The longer lapis beads are 7 mm in length and 4.5 mm in width. The shorter lapis beads are 3 mm in length and 4.6 mm in width at the center of the necklace. They graduate very slightly towards the back of the necklace to around 3.5mm in width. The perforations are 1mm in diameter. The carnelian scarab is said to be from the New Kingdom Period of about 3,500 years ago. The lapis lazuli and carnelian beads are also over two thousand years old, but they come from what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan and were not made in ancient Egypt. In ancient times, lapis was a scarce commodity that had to be imported from Afghanistan, so the ancient Egyptians would have been very happy to have access to these very desirable beads. We have designed a necklace for the scarab and made the 20k gold beads, clasp and mount in the ancient manner. The symbolism of the scarab is complex. The scarab is the form of the god Khepri, the god of creation, the movement of the sun, and rebirth. The scarab beetle lays its eggs in a ball of dung which it fashions and pushes before it. It rolls the ball along the ground until the young beetles are ready to hatch. The Egyptians believed that the young scarab emerged spontaneously from the burrow as if created from nothing. This magical power was like the god Atum who was also a self-created god. Khepri pushed the sun disk across the sky every day and at night pushed it down into the underworld. Every morning, the sun would reemerge and travel across the sky, pushed by Khepri. The Egyptian word “kheper” means “to emerge” or “to come into being.” The scarab beetle also lays its eggs in carrion, (which fits in with the idea of dead matter being reanimated), leading the ancient Egyptians to speculate that those beetles were created from dead matter that had been given new life. As a result of this association, Khepri was strongly linked to renewal, rebirth, and resurrection. Therefore, to wear an amulet in the form of a scarab was to insure that one would enjoy an existence after death and that one would be given resurrection. Ones life would be strengthened by the power of the newly emergent sun and after death one would enjoy the afterlife.