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Quiz about A Pharold Insect Quiz
Quiz about A Pharold Insect Quiz

A Phar-old Insect Quiz


The stories and customs of ancient and mythological Egypt feature many insects. As part of "Mike and Rowena's Invertebrate Inquizitions", this quiz looks at just some of them. Enjoy!

A multiple-choice quiz by doublemm. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
doublemm
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
322,843
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
5232
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: jxhsutt (2/10), callie_ross (2/10), PurpleComet (7/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Perhaps the insect most associated with ancient Egypt is the scarab beetle. What were these beetles strongly associated with, as a result of their habit of rolling large balls of dung using their hind legs? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Another significant insect in ancient Egypt was the buprestid beetle, which features in many tomb engravings and jewellery designs. What was the alternate, rather fitting, name given to this beetle? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Whilst locusts perhaps carry more negative connotations in ancient Egypt, which related insect is seen as a delicate and beautiful symbol and was found on the toilet box of King Tutankhamen? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. After death, the heart of an Egyptian was wrapped in cloth with a large scarab beetle amulet (called a "heart scarab"). What traditionally happened to the other vital organs? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Many in ancient Egypt believed the god, Sepa, to be capable of healing stings and bites. What creepy-crawly was Sepa commonly depicted as? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Widespread and recognised universally as one of the most fearsome insects, which invertebrate was found during a dig in Deir el-Medina in 1929, mummified and within a tiny casket? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Thoth freed this goddess who had been taken prisoner by Seth, and provided seven scorpions for her protection. What was her name? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Because bees and scorpions are "stinging animals", how were they often depicted in ancient Egyptian amulets/engravings? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. "Heart scarabs" were said to prevent the deceased from confessing their sins in a trial which was to be held in front of the gods. What was this trial known as? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Another insect which featured in burial rituals of ancient Egypt was the common fly. What did the ancient Egyptians think that flies represented? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Perhaps the insect most associated with ancient Egypt is the scarab beetle. What were these beetles strongly associated with, as a result of their habit of rolling large balls of dung using their hind legs?

Answer: The sun

The movement of the large dung ball pushed by the beetle was said to be similar to the movement of the sun across the sky. As Khepri was the god responsible for the sun's movement, so the scarab beetle came to be linked with him. The link was so strong that the god began to be depicted as half human half beetle in some works of art.

The Egyptians, believing the sun to die each night and be reborn each morning, therefore also began to see the scarab beetle as a sign of resurrection.

Finally, scarab beetles were thought to be capable of spontaneous creation - emerging from the dung which originally contained the beetle's eggs.
2. Another significant insect in ancient Egypt was the buprestid beetle, which features in many tomb engravings and jewellery designs. What was the alternate, rather fitting, name given to this beetle?

Answer: Jewel beetle

The jewel beetle was given its name because of the colourful shells of different members of its species.

The beetle's life cycle is said to link it to the myth of Osiris and his spiteful brother, Seth. In this myth, Seth tricked Osiris into getting into a wooden box, which was then sealed and thrown into water. The box was carried by the water until it was stopped by a tree and incorporated into it. The tree was later split by the goddess, Isis, who found Osiris within. This is similar to the buprestid beetle in the respect that in its larval stage it burrows under wood and later emerges from the bark once grown.
3. Whilst locusts perhaps carry more negative connotations in ancient Egypt, which related insect is seen as a delicate and beautiful symbol and was found on the toilet box of King Tutankhamen?

Answer: Grasshopper

Whilst some in ancient Egypt may have held disdain for the locust due to their tendency to form "swarms" and devour fields of grain, some still looked upon them with respect. The insect can be found in many ancient Egyptian works of art and are represented as beautiful creatures in seals and amulets.

Grasshoppers do not breed as rapidly as locusts and live solitary lives. Whilst these characteristics appeared to make them more intriguing and charming than locusts, it did cause some to look down on them as insignificant.
4. After death, the heart of an Egyptian was wrapped in cloth with a large scarab beetle amulet (called a "heart scarab"). What traditionally happened to the other vital organs?

Answer: They were placed in canopic jars

These were not live scarabs, but large amulets which were carved out of green, black or white stone in the shape of the sacred beetle. This use of these large amulets led to them being known as "heart scarabs".

Some accounts say that the "heart scarab" replaced the actual heart, whereas others claim the two were wrapped together in cloth and placed back in the body.

Traditionally, the other vital organs were removed and placed in canopic jars. The jackal jar would hold the stomach, the human jar would hold the liver, the baboon jar would hold the lungs and the falcon jar was to hold the intestines.
5. Many in ancient Egypt believed the god, Sepa, to be capable of healing stings and bites. What creepy-crawly was Sepa commonly depicted as?

Answer: A centipede

Not much is documented about Sepa and some sources even claim that there was no known god who was depicted as a centipede. Those who do recognise Sepa as an Egyptian deity claim that he was worshipped at Heliopolis. Sepa is also known by the name, "the centipede of Horus" and is spoken of in the Pyramid Texts of Unas - 'The uraeus-serpent is for the sky, the centipede of Horus is for the earth.' (taken from the Egyptian religion page on Sepa at Reshafim.org)
6. Widespread and recognised universally as one of the most fearsome insects, which invertebrate was found during a dig in Deir el-Medina in 1929, mummified and within a tiny casket?

Answer: A praying mantis

The discoverer was Bernard Bruyere.

Being found along the Nile, mantids were commonly depicted in tomb engraving and other ancient Egyptian artworks. It was long thought that they had little significance in ancient Egypt or its mythology, but they have been found to be closely linked to the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony often performed upon one's death in ancient Egypt. The evidence of this is found on the wall of Seti I's tomb. The "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony was said to have been performed in order for the deceased to be able to eat, drink and breathe in the afterlife. The significance of the mantis is said to be its characteristic ability of being able to bring food to its mouth using its specially adapted front legs.
7. Thoth freed this goddess who had been taken prisoner by Seth, and provided seven scorpions for her protection. What was her name?

Answer: Isis

In mythology, this tale is known as "Isis and the Seven Scorpions". Isis had been taken prisoner by Seth after the murder of Osiris and, with her son, Horus, escaped with the help of Thoth. The scorpions given to her were named Petet, Tjetet, Matet, Mesetet, Mesetetef, Tefen and Befen.

The scorpions accompanied Isis to the Town of Two Sisters, where they looked for shelter. A wealthy woman was scared by the scorpions and so turned the goddess away. In anger, the scorpions loaded up their poison into the sting of Tefen, who stung the child of the wealthy woman. Distraught, the woman looked for help for her dying son. Isis had pity and ordered the poison to leave the boy's body.
8. Because bees and scorpions are "stinging animals", how were they often depicted in ancient Egyptian amulets/engravings?

Answer: They had no head

As they were also stinging insects, bees were often depicted as headless. Bees were symbols of social harmony and the sun in Egyptian mythology. For more information about the role of bees in mythology, please play my quiz, "Stinging Tales From Around the Globe".

Scorpions were regularly depicted on tomb engravings in Egypt and are synonymous with the curses of ancient Egypt (mainly through their many film appearances in that genre). Serket was an Egyptian goddess who was strongly associated with scorpions and was often depicted as one herself. She was also said to be capable of healing scorpion stings as well as other poisons, and so was vitally important in the protection of the gods from the evil snake-god, Apep.
9. "Heart scarabs" were said to prevent the deceased from confessing their sins in a trial which was to be held in front of the gods. What was this trial known as?

Answer: The Weighing of the Heart

Although "the weighing of the heart" is the common name of this trial, it was only one of several parts which were said to take place. It was said the deceased person would face a host of gods, led by Osiris, and would have to name each and every god present before confessing any wrong doings during their life. If the gods judged the person to be innocent, the heart would then be weighed against a feather on a set of ancient scales. If the heart was found to be light, the person could proceed to the afterlife, but if the heart was heavy, it would be devoured by a beast known as the "gobbler".
10. Another insect which featured in burial rituals of ancient Egypt was the common fly. What did the ancient Egyptians think that flies represented?

Answer: Spirits of the dead

This belief is thought to have come from the observations of flies emerging from dead bodies. The most likely explanation for this is that flies laid their eggs in the corpse.

The Egyptians referred to this spirit as a "ba" and would place amulets of small flies on the corpse so as to return the "ba" of that person.
Source: Author doublemm

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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