Saturday, November 07, 2015

Gemstone scarabs from the Israel Museum

Ramat Gan, Israel, November 2, 2015: The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in Ramat Gan will open a new exhibition of rare Egyptian scarabs made from gemstones on November 23, 2015. The exhibition, entitled Protective Force: Egyptian Scarabs from Gemstones, will explore the significant role of gemstones in ancient Egyptian culture as well as the fascination with scarabs throughout history.

The scarabs featured in the exhibition are from the collections of the Israel Museum, but have not been displayed. They include scarabs made from various gemstones, some bearing special inscriptions, as well as other amulets. In addition, the exhibition features Victorian jewelry set with ancient scarabs, which shows the fascination in these amulets even in modern cultures.

Scarabs were the most popular amulets in ancient Egypt, from the time of the Middle Kingdom until the Ptolemaic Period. Based on the image of the dung beetle, they were seen to represent the heavenly cycle of rebirth and therefore signified renewed growth. Primarily used as amulets for protection or good luck, scarabs were often used in ceremonies and were buried with the dead. In addition scarabs were used as personal or administrative seals or were incorporated into jewelry.