Werner Forman/Art Resource, NY

Divine beetle. Revered throughout Egyptian history, scarabs decorated amulets, jewelry and seals since the Old Kingdom (2686–2181 B.C.E.). Examples include this gold anklet from the XXIst dynasty (1069–945 B.C.E.). Scarabs were associated in Egypt with the sun god and with creation because they were believed to push their balls of dung—from which young were thought to emerge without need of a mother—from east to west, as the sun moves.