The History of the Scarab
The scarab was modeled after the Egyptian dung-beetle – a large insect that after laying its eggs in a ball of dung, rolls the ball before it wherever it goes. When the young beetles hatch they appear, seemingly miraculously, from the dung. For the ancient Egyptians, this behavior came to represent the actions of the sun god Khepri who was thought to push the sun through the sky. The beetle’s life cycle came to symbolize spontaneous creation, rebirth, and resurrection- like the soul rising from the dead. Scarab amulets were thus commonly used to protect the deceased in the afterlife. “Heart Scarabs”, with inscriptions from the Book of the Dead, were placed on the chest of the mummy and were supposed to prevent the heart from revealing any offenses against the gods during the final judgement. For the living, a scarab amulet provided the wearer with protection and confidence in the certain knowledge of reincarnation.