Heart Scarab of Hatnefer, serpentine and gold, Egypt, New Kingdom, ca. 1492–1473 B.C. Found in Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Tomb of Hatnefer and Ramose (TT 71), Mummy of Hatnefer, MMA 1935–1936
Hatnefer’s heart scarab is an exceptionally fine example of this type of funerary equipment and is comparable to those made for contemporary royalty. It was certainly a royal gift. Every feature of the scarab beetle is carefully rendered. The exquisite chain is made of gold wire, plaited in a quadruple-link pattern. The scarab’s base is engraved with a version of Book of the Dead (chapter 30A), in which the deceased addresses her own heart, exhorting it not to bear witness against Hatnefer’s spirit (ka) in the final judgment in the afterlife. Hatnofer’s name was inserted over an erased text, indicating that the scarab was not made for her.