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Egypt - New Kingdom

Description: Thutmose III (circa 1479-1425 BC). Green chlorite scarab with simple details and piercing for suspension. On face, two uraei (royal cobras) and two suns (ra) flank the cartouche of Thutmose III.
Period: New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550-1077 BC.
Size: 15 x 12 x7 mm


Thutmose III (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis III, Thothmes in older history works, and meaning "Thoth is born") was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first 22 years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. He served as the head of her armies.

After the death of Hatshepsut, and Thutmosis III's later rise to pharaoh of the kingdom, he created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen; no fewer than seventeen campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niya in North Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubia.

Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years, and his reign is usually dated from April 24, 1479 BC to March 11, 1425 BC; however, this includes the 22 years he was co-regent to Hatshepsut. During the final 2 years of his reign, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as his junior co-regent. His firstborn son and heir to the throne, Amenemhat, predeceased Thutmose III. When Thutmose III died, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt.

Note that scarabs with the cartouche of Thutmose III were very common and may have been produced for many decades or centuries after his death.


Among the many amulets and ornaments worn by the ancient Egyptians during the historic period, the most important are the scarabs. These littlc objects are made of stone or glazed ware and are in the form of the scarabaeus-beetle (hence the modern name of scarab). The actual beetles appear to have been sacred in the prehistoric times, for they have been found, carefully preserved, in many of the early graves. The scarabaeus is a dung beetle ; it lays its egg in the droppings of animals, then rolls the dung into a ball and pushes the ball with its hind-legs into a hole in the ground. These beetles can be seen in full activity in any part of Upper Egypt in a sunny place over which animals have passed. But the beetles will also lay their eggs in the dead body of one of their companions, and this is perhaps the reason why the scarab was taken by the ancient Egyptians as the emblem of the resurrection, for they saw life coming out of death as the young beetles emerged. Scarabs were at first made of stone-steatite or schist-glazed blue or green. In the Middle Kingdom carnelian and amethyst scarabs were made; as these stones were very hard and difficult to engrave, the base was covered with a gold plate on which the appropriate signs were cut. Cheap scarabs were made in glazed ware, not in stone.

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