Inv. SDD/se-07496

Scarab donated to the Surnateum by Professor Harmakhis in April 1980
Origin: Egypt, 26th dynasty and dried scarab
Experiment attempted by Dr Faustus Lennigan of the Museum's Irish Section

Heart scarab dating from the 26th dynasty and a symbol of immortality copied from a document predating that time.

Lecture by Dr Faustus Lennigan:

"Death is a threshold that no man has managed  to cross in the reverse direction, but not for want of trying. Even back in ancient Egypt, the pharaohs and high priests had themselves embalmed in the hope of one day being brought back to life. In our era, cryogenics is a modern reflection of the very same themes and hopes."

I was well aware that the man speaking these words, Dr Faustus Lennigan, a forensic scientist associated with the Department of Witchcraft and Invocations, was interested in all Egyptian, Sumerian and Babylonian ancestral traditions, and that he knew what he was talking about. However, some of his theories were visibly upsetting to the tight-knit world of archaeologists and investigators to whom he was giving his lecture.

"I have discovered - in a document older than the Egyptian Book of the Dead - a formula which, when re-transcribed into hieroglyphics, allows life to return to a dead body, even after a very long time. This formula was meant to bring a mummified scarab back to life, the scarab being the sacred sun animal in ancient Egypt.
"The problem is that if life were to return to this scarab, it would only remain alive for a fraction of a second, and then the scarab - which is so thoroughly dried out - would return to its former state. As such, it would be impossible for us to tell whether or not the incantation had worked."
"Be aware, however, that the scarab is a symbol of the sun. since it pushes before it a small ball of earth and dung representing the sun. Therefore, if it were to come back to life for a fraction of a second, it would move forward perhaps one or two millimetres before returning to the eternal shades." "So, if we were to place in front of the scarab an object on the verge of disequilibrium, then if and when it came back to life it would move that object, if only for a fraction of a second."

Faustus placed the scarab on a box and balanced a small piece of wood in front of it. Two candles were lit around it. Faustus then started murmuring a strange litany which included the Hebrew word emeth as well as the names of Anubis and Thot.
It seemed to me that the scarab was slowly starting to move, but perhaps it was just an illusion caused by the candle flames... Suddenly, the piece of wood fell over with sharp snap. The silence that followed lasted a good three minutes.