Commonly a subject employed in jewellery, insects of many forms and types find expression in many cultures throughout ancient art. A cross cultural motif common in jewellery throughout Europe and the Near East is the “Bee Goddess”, as bees were particularly associated with prophesy, the oracle of Delphi sometimes being referred to as a bee. In Ancient Egypt, the scarab is one of the most significant and extensively used artistic forms. The scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground and the Ancient Egyptians related this movement symbolically to the forces that move the sun across the sky; as such the scarab, personified by the god Khepri, embodied the morning sun and by extension creation, rebirth and life force. Accordingly, the scarab was an extremely popular form for amulets and seals since the Middle Kingdom. These amulets could either be carved from a number of different stones or modelled in faience and were also used in funerary and commemorative contexts.

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