According to Ancient Egyptian myth, the scarab was a manifestation of the Sun god Ra, one of the chief creator gods.
Egyptologist Dr Daphna Ben-Tor explained: “This link between the creator god and the beetle stemmed from a misinterpretation by the Egyptians.
“Having observed the beetle emerging from a ball of sheep’s dung where the female had laid its egg, they interpreted it as an act of spontaneous self-creation.
“Rolling the ball of dung on which it feeds, the Egyptians regarded the scarab beetle as the embodiment of the Sun god, who rolls the Sun across the sky.
“The dung beetle, therefore, symbolized the daily rebirth of the morning Sun.