The present study deals with relations between Egypt and the Levant during the Second Intermediate Period, based primarily on contemporary scarabs from both regions. The potential contribution of scarabs for the historical reconstruction of the Second Intermediate Period, especially with regard to Egyptian/Levantine relations, has long been recognized. Yet the controversy over scarab typologies ruled out scarabs as a reliable historical source. This study proposes a new typology of scarabs of the first half of the second millennium BCE, which is now feasible owing to recent studies of ceramic assemblages from Egypt and the Levant. Based on these studies one can determine the relative and absolute dates of deposits in which scarabs and scarab impressions have been found in both regions, and substantiate the corrrespondence of the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt with the Middle Bronze Age IIB in the Levant.
The principal methodological difference between the present study and previous scarab studies is its treatment of the Egyptian and Palestinian series as two separate groups. The geographical classification of the large corpus of scarabs, which previously had been dealt with as one entity, allowed for a systematic differentiation between Egyptian and Canaanite scarabs of this period and the establishment of separate stylistic and chronological typologies for each group. The historical conclusions presented in this study confirm the significance of scarabs as a primary source of information for reconstructing the history of the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt and the Levant.