Kheperi, the Rising Sun, (New Kingdom, 19th dynasty). 1314 BCE - 1197 BCE. Limestone column fragment in low relief. Museum Purchase through the Art Acquisition Fund. 1968-7-1
Create your own scarab! Here are the materials you will need.
Step #1: Legs
Step #2: Decorate your scarab!
Finished! What other kinds of scarabs can you make?

Take a Look

  • Look at the picture of this object. What do you see?
  • You may notice that the object has broken edges. It is very old. When it was made 3,000 years ago, it was most likely part of a column on an ancient Egyptian temple!
  • The column was made out of limestone, and the symbols we see were all carved by hand into the stone.



  • We can see different pictures and symbols on the object that help us understand what life might have been like in Egypt thousands of years ago.
  • Look at the pictures carved on the right side. These symbols are called hieroglyphs!
  • Hieroglyphics are the ancient Egyptian form of writing that was used thousands of years ago. Each hieroglyph can represent a letter or word.
  • Because the object is broken, we only have a little information about what some of the hieroglyphs might mean.
  • Do you see the circle on the right side of the object? If you look under the circle, you can see a vertical bar. To the right of these hieroglyphs is a hieroglyph of a kneeling man.
    • When these three hieroglyphs are combined together, they represent the words "sun god."
  • The large man on the left side of the object is the god of the rising sun. His name is Kheperi.



  • What do you see above Kheperi’s head?
  • Although the object is broken, we can see part of a beetle above Kheperi's head. This beetle is known as a scarab, or dung beetle.
    • Want to learn more about dung beetles? Click here to watch a video from National Geographic.
  • The dung beetle was called "kheperer" in ancient Egyptian. By watching the dung beetles roll balls of dung, the ancient Egyptians made a connection to what looked like the sun moving across the sky during the day.
  • Kheperi, the god of the rising sun, was thought to be rolling the sun across the sky like a dung beetle rolling a ball of dung!



Click through the images in the slideshow above or download the instructions to create your own scarab at home!

  • If you were an ancient Egyptian god connected to nature, what would your power be?
  • What creature would represent you?


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