Scarab commemorating the marriage of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy, 18th dynasty; in the Oriental —Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, the University of Chicago
In Egyptian religion, a symbol of immortality much used in funerary art. It was inspired by the scarab beetle, which lays its eggs in dung balls fashioned through rolling. This beetle was associated with the divine manifestation of the early morning sun, Khepri, whose name was written with the scarab hieroglyph, and who was believed to roll the disk of the morning sun over the eastern horizon at daybreak. Many scarabs were made of precious metals and were worn as amulets or used as seals. First appearing c. 2575–c. 2130 BCE, they were fashioned in great numbers during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom.