Detail View: The AMICA Library: Heart Scarab of Hatnofer

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Costume and Jewelry
Creator Nationality: 
African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: 
Heart Scarab of Hatnofer
Title Type: 
Object name
Full View
Creation Date: 
ca. 1466 B.C.E.
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Gold, green stone
Classification Term: 
2 5/8 x 2 1/4 in. (6.7 x 5.3 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Rogers Fund, 1936

Hatnofer was the mother of Senenmut, architect of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri. Hatnofer was buried early in the queen's reign. Many of the goods in her tomb came from the royal storerooms, and it is possible that this heart scarab, with its gold setting and finely woven gold chain, was also provided by the queen. Heart scarabs, usually made of green-colored stone, were placed over the heart of the mummy. The heart was considered the home of the spirit and was left in the mummified body. Heart scarabs were inscribed with a spell from the 'Book of the Dead' that exhorted the heart not to bear witness against the spirit during the judgment in the afterlife. The tomb of Hatnofer was excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1935. It is located on the hillside below her son's offering chapel. The small rock-cut chamber contained chests of linen cloth, baskets of food offerings, and personal belongings. Several family members, including Hatnofer's husband, Ramose, seem to have been brought from elsewhere and reburied in this tomb.

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