An Egyptian Steatite Scarab Seal for Sesostris I, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1971 - 1926 BCE
An Egyptian Steatite Scarab Seal for Sesostris I, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1971 - 1926 BCE

An Egyptian Steatite Scarab Seal for Sesostris I, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1971 - 1926 BCE

EA2203

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The underside of this well-carved steatite scarab is inscribed for the important Middle Kingdom king, Senusret I (aka Sesostris I and Senwosret I), held to be one of the most powerful kings of the 12th dynasty. He succeeded his father, Amenemhet I, founder of the 12th dynasty, after a 10-year coregency bringing Egypt to a peak of prosperity.

In year 30 of his father’s reign, Senusret led an expedition against the Libyans in the Western Desert, where he learned of his father's assassination. Securing the throne, he then undertook the conquest of Nubia and, in year 18 of his reign, conquered Nubia and began exploiting Nubia’s resources. Gold, copper, amethyst, and diorite were extracted at several sites, attesting to such stones' popularity during this time.

Within Egypt, Sesostris worked the granite quarries at Aswān and gold mines and quarries in the Wadi Hammāmāt, while pursuing an active building program. He rebuilt a major sanctuary at Heliopolis and built in the temple complex of Karnak, where the cult and temple of Amon began to flourish. Sesostris maintained peaceful relations with Palestine and Syria, his emissaries traversing its lands exerting diplomatic pressures, although it is possible he also conducted campaigns there.

Sesostris built his pyramid and funerary temple near his father’s, at Al-Lisht, north of the Fayyūm. In its architecture, the king fostered a revival of Old Kingdom traditions, imitating the pyramid complex of the 6th-dynasty king, Pepi II. In the 42nd year of his reign, Sesostris associated his son Amenemhet as coregent, and two years later, the king died after a long and prosperous reign.

Condition: Small loss to the base that does not detract, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.

Dimensions: Length: 3/4 inch (2 cm)

Provenance:  Private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Feuer, New York, acquired in the 1970s - 1980s.

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