8 Replies to “Scarab”

  1. No, Beth and I don’t publish our own stuff. Almost every theme inspires me to write stuff in response to it, though, and why not? It’s a fun way to plug qarrtsiluni here.

  2. Thanks for the memories. Those little shit-rollers used to scuttle all over the sandy ground of the village where I lived in Senegal. I think we called them dung beetles (can’t remember what the Wolof word was for them). Sounds like they are the same thing as scarabs. I also remember seeing these in iconography all over Egypt. Why the hell did they worship those things?

    Chris

  3. “In the minds of the Egyptians the efficacy of the amulet was based on the habits of the actual beetle. The Greek writer, Plutarch (ca. AD 40-120), described their asexual perception of the beetle:

    One accepts (with the ancient Egyptians), that these varieties are only male beetles, that they put down their seed substance (semen) which forms a ball and the beetle rolls it forward with its widely spaced hind legs so that the beetle imitates the path of the sun as it went down in the west and rose in the east in the mornings.

    “However, in reality the male and female often work together and it is the female which, after dropping her eggs in the ground, covers them in excrement on which the larvae feed. As the soft dung ball is rolled across the ground, dust and sand attached to it so that it became hardened and was sometimes equal in size to the beetle. Without a doubt in the mind of the unknowing Egyptian this was a thought provoking and impressive achievement that imitated the daily appearance of the sun. This observation prompted the Egyptians to associate the beetle with one of the many aspects of the great sun-god, that of the rising sun, Khepri.”
    http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/permex/egypt/egs-text.htm

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