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On observing Scarab beetles rolling their balls of dung in which they lay their eggs, and burying them underground ancient Egyptians believed the sun moved around the sky in the same way, and like the ball of dung, descended into the under world at night. As the ball of dung gave birth to another generation of beetles so was the sun reborn every morning bringing warmth and life to the earth.

The Egyptians called Scarab beetles Khepera, who was the god representing regeneration, new life, virility and resurrection. He was sometimes shown with outstretched wings but the most common forms were the little amulets worn as ornaments or buried with the dead. The reverse of the Scarab is often inscribed with name of kings, and these were made and worn as much as a thousand years after the death of the kings whose names they bear.

Many of the kings themselves took the name of Kheper as part of their own name. For example Tutankhamun's throne-name was Neb Kheperu Ra. This means 'The Lord of forms is Ra' this is the name the people of his time would have known him by. The name Tutankhamun is more personal and less important.




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