7 Reasons Why Egyptians Worshipped Beetles

Heart scarabs are generally large and are oftentimes made up of dark green or black stones.

Dung beetles were extensively regarded and loved in Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians used to incorporate beetle scarabs in almost every single thing. The experts discovered King Tut’s belongings which contained a jeweled chest piece; it had a massive stone scarab in the middle.

Moreover, Ancient Egyptians had a beetle-faced god called ‘khepri’. It is believed that he had the body of a normal human being and the face of a beetle.

Large blue-glazed steatite scarab
The famous lion hunt of Amenophis III. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Large blue-glazed steatite scarab
Large blue-glazed steatite scarab showing the famous lion hunt of Amenophis III. Source: Wikimedia Commons
King Tut's ornaments.
King Tut’s ornaments. Source: Pinterest
Khepri
Khepri, the beetle god. Source: Pinterest

1) Khepri, the god of the sun, was associated with beetles mainly because he had the face of a massive beetle. Moreover, beetles were widely respected in ancient Egypt because of their diligent nature. Beetles, in general, roll balls of dung on the ground; they also deposit their eggs in those balls. Hence, Ancient Egyptians associated the entire act with the forces that move the sun across the sky. Dung beetles were of utmost importance to them.

2) God Khepri was known as the solar deity of Egypt. Young beetles generally rise from the dung balls in a perfect condition. Hence, God Khepri also represented creation and rebirth, and he was associated with the sun and the mythical creation of the world.

3) Beetle scarabs were considered powerful amulets and seals back in the olden days. Egyptologists and archaeologists have stumbled upon quite a lot of them ever since they started excavating multiple ancient sites in Egypt. They are a significant source of information.

4) The scarab amulets became extremely popular in approximately 2000 BCE. During that long period, the purpose of scarabs repeatedly changed. They were originally amulets but were also used for administrative seals. Moreover, they were incorporated into various ornaments as well. Certain scarabs were created for political or strategic purposes to celebrate or promote royal events or accomplishments.

5) Scarab amulets were also placed in burial chambers and temples as part of the deceased’s personal belongings. However, they have no association with ancient Egyptian funerary customs. There are three types of funerary scarabs; heart scarabs, pectoral scarabs, and naturalistic scarabs.

6) Heart scarabs became extremely popular in the early new kingdom and remained in use until the Third Egyptian Dynasty. Heart scarabs are generally large and are oftentimes made up of dark green or black stones. They were placed in the burial chambers along with the Book of the Dead

7) Scarabs are generally found engraved with the names of pharaohs or monarchs and rarely with the names of their queens or other significant royal members. The majority of the scarabs carrying a royal name can be dated to the period in which the person existed. The experts and archaeologists have discovered scarabs with the names of Khufu, Khafra, and Unas. Some claim that they were designed in the Twenty-fifth or Twenty-sixth Dynasty. 

All in all, beetle scarabs held significance in ancient Egypt. They were used for various purposes.

 

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