Among the thousands of scarabs, scaraboids and other stamp-seal amulets unearthed in Iron Age contexts in Cis- and Transjordan, many are engraved with royal Egyptian imagery. Focusing mainly on pharaonic motifs, this paper aims to catalogue the principal motifs and production groups, to trace their development throughout the earlier parts of the Iron Age and to extrapolate their significance vis-à-vis the other contemporary glyptic assemblages. As will be shown, the royal imagery of the Egyptian king underwent considerable changes during pre-monarchic and monarchic times in Israel, Judah and neighboring regions. Local seal production not only vividly copied earlier and contemporary Egyptian prototypes, it also developed idiosyncratic “pharaonic” motifs that were produced for the local market. Imported Egyptian glyptic goods—such as scarabs and other amulet types—reveal further facets of the seal consumption. They, too, shed light upon the ideological and religious preferences of the local population and illuminate the development of vernacular attitudes towards pharaonic symbols of power—including their obvious political and sacred connotations.
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