A medium-size Amenhotep III scarab recently discovered in the excavations at Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel, together with two decorated Late Minoan IIIA1 cups enables a fresh look at the synchronism between Late Minoan IIIA1 and Amenhotep III. The scarab is identified as commemorative, produced on the occasion of Amenhotep III's first Jubilee or Sed festival. In light of this interpretation a new examination of the renowned and debated Amenhotep III scarab from Sellopoulo Tomb 4 is presented. It is proposed here to identify this scarab also as commemorative as it includes, in addition to the pharaoh's prenomen, an epithet which relates it too to Amenhotep III's first Sed festival.
Both scarabs, from Beth-Shemesh and Sellopoulo, are shown to have been produced between Amenhotep III's Regnal Years 28/25 and 34 respectively – most probably around Regnal Year 28 – and presumably reached their destination about that time. Further analysis led to the conclusion that the envisioned Egyptian embassy to the Aegean, which may have been the source for the ‘Aegean List’ of Kom el-Hetan, took place also during Amenhotep III's Regnal Year 28.
The two culturally different and geographically remote contexts in which the Beth-Shemesh and Sellopoulo scarabs were found – a destruction layer in Canaan and a tomb in Crete – tell the same story: Late Minoan IIIA1 was in vogue at least until the last decade of Amenhotep III's reign in the mid-fourteenth century bc. This conclusion has important implications for the political and cultural history of Knossos and may anchor the sequence of events of the Final Palatial period in a more solid chronological framework.