Ancient Egyptian scarab and five clay tablets with carvings of naked women

0

An Egyptian scarab and five clay tablets with carvings of naked women depicting ancient fertility goddesses have been found in Rehob, a 3,500-year-old Israeli city.

The artefacts are thought to have been used at home, as part of popular domestic domestic religious practice, mainly related to fertility of women.

The ancient scarab, made of a mineral called steatite, contains a hieroglyphic inscription saying that it was created for a deceased man named ‘Amenemhat’.

According to the translation, the mystery man Amenemhat was the ‘scribe of the house of the overseer of ‘sealed items’.  

These materials referred to in the title represent various products and raw materials dealt with by the administration, they wrote.

The scarab and two of the carvings were found within a large structure, the purpose of which is unknown. 

It hasn’t been fully excavated yet, but it ‘appears to have been a large and elaborate public structure’.

Its wide walls, arrangement of buttresses, spacious courtyard with a large hall to its south, deep foundations, and massive constructional fills all attest to its non-domestic nature,’ the study said. 

It could be part of a palace, administrative building or an elite person’s residence, but more research needs to be carried out to determine exactly what was.

It’s a mystery who exactly this individual was and what the scarab was doing in the building where it was found. 

‘Since there is no other attestation of an Amenemhat ‘scribe of the house of the overseer of sealed items,’ we don’t know anything else about him, including where he was buried,’ Amihai Mazar, an archaeology professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told Live Science. 

The carvings likely depict fertility goddesses, such as Asherah or Ashtarte.

‘They were used at home, as part of popular domestic religious practice in the domestic sphere, mainly related to fertility of women,’ he said, noting that similar carvings have been found at other archaeological sites in the region.   

The excavation showed that Rehob, meaning ‘broad’, ‘wide place’, today known as Tel Rehov, was founded about 3,500 years ago.

Tel Reḥov (Reḥob) was among the largest of the ancient Canaanite cities in the southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age and flourished when Egypt controlled much of the region. 

The city, which was founded 3,500 years ago, flourished at a time when Egypt controlled much of the region. 

Rehob was constructed near Beth Shean, a town protected by an Egyptian garrison, Mazar wrote in the study. 

It’s a mystery who exactly this individual was and what the scarab was doing in the building where it was found. 

‘Since there is no other attestation of an Amenemhat ‘scribe of the house of the overseer of sealed items,’ we don’t know anything else about him, including where he was buried,’ said Uri Davidovich, a lecturer at the same institution.

Professor Mazar noted that it’s possible that Amenemhat never lived in or visited Rehob and the scarab may have been used in Rehob as a reminder of Egypt’s control over the area.

The findings were published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 

 

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply