The dung-beetle which the Egyptians called 'Kheper'; they also used this symbol to represent the verb 'kheper', meaning 'to come into existence' or 'to become'. It came to symbolise spontaneous creation and rebirth, and to be regarded as the manifestation of Khepri, the creator-god who personified the rising sun.
    Scarabs were produced as amulets (to give magical protection to the owner) and, in rings and pendants, to act as seals: the flat underside usually bears an inscription or design and many carry the names and titles of officials.
    The kings also issued historical scarabs (rather like medals) to commemorate events of the reign. Large heart scarabs were often placed between the layers of bandages around the mummy; these were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead to prevent the heart testifying against its owner at the Day of Judgement.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
   Modern name for the dung beetle that was regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians as, according to one perception, the sun was pushed through the sky by a celestial beetle. The ancient Egyptian name for the beetle was kheper. The scarab was a popular form of amulet usually made of steatite and then glazed and pierced vertically to fit on necklaces or rings. The underside could carry a prayer or name when used as a seal. The larger heart scarab was unpierced and made of hard stone, like schist. It was placed over the heart of the mummy, as the underside carried a spell to enable the heart to act favorably toward the deceased during the weighing of the heart ceremony. Winged and smaller scarabs all made of faience were also placed amid the wrappings of the mummy.
   See also Kherpi.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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