Amulet pendant in glazed composition, representing the dwarf leonine god Bes. Description from Boston records: 'Same style as the preceding [P.5239 = RES.86.301]. Very much defaced & lines dull. Dull greenish gray. Tips of headdress briken off. Column behind and thin plinth. Two holes on the back'.
- Production date
- 6thC BC (?)
Height: 2.90 centimetres
Thickness: 0.70 centimetres
Width: 0.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Object owned and held by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This record is included in the British Museum database as part of the Museum’s Naukratis Project, a research collaboration that aims to virtually re-unite finds from the ancient port city of Naukratis, now distributed over 80 museums worldwide.
The amulet to which the Boston records refers to represents the god Bes naked, in a squatting position on small rectangular base, wearing his characteristic feathered crown, and, it is relatively simply modelled.
As other deities involved in the protection of childhood and pregnancy, such as Taweret and Pataikos, Bes is very popular among Naukratis amulets (Masson forthcoming). His amulets were similarly widespread across Egypt in the later Dynastic period (Andrews 1994, 40) and in the Mediterranean world, (especially in the Late-early Ptolemaic periods: Herrmann et al., 69).
On amulets of Bes in general see: Andrews 1994, 38-40; Herrmann et al. 2010, 69-73 (type 34).
Considering its context of discovery, it should be dated to the 26th dynasty. However, the registers of the Museum of Fine Arts tend to allocate the Scarab Factory as a findspot for not only scarabs, scaraboids and their moulds, but also all types of amulets from Naukratis. Caution is therefore required for the dating and the findspot. Let's note that the records written (or at least supervised) by Amelia Edwards mention the Scarab Factory as the findspot too.
Andrews, C. 1994, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London.
Herrmann, C., Staubli, T., Berger-Lober, S., Keel, O., Schönbächler, G. 2010, 1001 Amulett : altägyptischer Zauber, monotheisierte Talismane, säkulare Magie, Bibel+Orient-Museum, Liebefeld, Stuttgart.
Masson, A. forthcoming, ‘Naukratis: Egyptian offerings in context’, in M. Bergeron and A. Masson (eds.), Naukratis in Context II: Cults, Sanctuaries and Offerings. Proceedings of the Second Naukratis Project Workshop held at The British Museum, 22nd-23rd June 2013.
Petrie, W.M.F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I., 1884–5 (third memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London.
- Not on display
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: P.5240 (Pottery & Porcelain Ledger No.)
Miscellaneous number: RES.86.302 (Accession Number)