The Scarab amulet was one of several amulets dedicated to the Sun God Ra , and was one of the most important of over thirty funerary amulets . The Scarab was a stylized depiction of the dung beetle , which Ancient Egyptians identified with the life-giving powers . The dung beetle was chosen for this honor because after it laid its egg in animal dung and rolled it into a ball , it then pushed the ball into the sun so that the sun’s heat hatched the egg . Thus , the important connection with the life-giving powers of the sun was recognized . In addition , the Scarab was known as the "Protector of the Heart" , so this amulet was placed in the bandages of mummies or in the mummy’s heart cavity while a priest read an appropriate dedication from the Book of the Dead . They were symbolically identified with the heart of the deceased . A winged scarab might also be placed on the breast of the mummy . During life , Egyptians carried the Scarab amulet to protect their hearts and give them long lives .