Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III
steatite, Overall: w. 6.56 cm (2 9/16 inches). Gift of Betty and Max Ratner 1984.36
Large commemorative scarabs are characteristic of Amenhotep III’s reign. About 200 are known, and all are inscribed with texts on their undersides, recording significant events in the life of the king and queen. This particular scarab is one of only 5 known examples that describe a royal bull hunt undertaken in his second year of rule, in which the king killed 96 bulls. More than just a pastime, the king’s success as a hunter symbolized the triumph of royal order over the forces of nature and chaos.
CMA, 3 April-5 May 1985, The Year in Review for 1984, cat.: CMA Bulletin 72 (April 1985), no. 2, illus. p. 166; CMA/Fort Worth/Paris 1992-93, no. 1 (entry by Lawrence M. Berman)