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Faience scarab with ibex pair, width // cm, found on the Timpone della Motta, 7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.
Faience scarab with ibex pair, width // cm, found on the Timpone della Motta, 7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.

II.A.1.1 Faience scarab with ibex pair

Faience scarabs are found fairly often on the Acropolis of the Timpone della Motta, as well as in several of the tombs at Macchiabate.

The tomb finds show that the Oinotrians actually wore these objects. The motifs on many scarabs indicate that they were used as amulets against evil forces. However, other scarabs - including this one – were probably used instead to evoke benign ones.

In Egypt, the ibex was a symbol of life and rebirth, and this scene of a pair of them suggests that the scarab was perhaps expected to stimulate the forces of life and fertility, especially in connection with child birth.

An extensive volume of literature has been dedicated to attempts to explain the production of Egyptian faience and frit, materials both related to glass. However, in spite of the discovery in Naukratis of the remains of a scarab ‘factory’, the procedure has not yet been adequately explained.

The object is associated with Temple V.d on the Timpone della Motta, Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, no. AC27.08.sc11a, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.