The Scarab and Scaraboid Seals in the Egyptian Collection of the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo


The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo is home to a small but fine ancient Egyptian collection. For my Magister thesis at the University of Heidelberg, I had the pleasure of conducting research on the 98 scarabs and scaraboid seals in the collection. The study focused on the bottom motifs and the multifunctional purposes for their owners as well as the important insights they provide into common religious beliefs in ancient Egyptian society. This short overview of the research conducted in Oslo presents all twelve attested bottom motifs and introduces the most remarkable objects in the collection. Covering a time span from the Twelfth Dynasty until the Late Period and most probably the Roman Period, the scarabs and scaraboid seals in the museum bear testimony to 2000 years of cultural history, providing fascinating details about the religious beliefs of the common people as well as demonstrating the importance of these objects in everyday life.