Mould-made large amuletic figure in glazed composition, representing the dwarf leonine god Bes; naked, standing, in striding pose, leaning against inscribed back pillar, with arms on his sides; on pillar incised hieroglyphic signs, but very eroded and almost illegible; pierced widthwise through head for suspension; broken off below knees; relatively flat rendering; glaze lost; pale yellow fine core; very eroded.
- Production date
- 6thC BC (possibly)
Height: 3.80 centimetres
Thickness: 0.90 centimetres
Width: 1.45 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- 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).
This is a relatively unusual amulet for a Bes and actually unique in Naukratis corpus. According to its context of discovery, it should be dated to the 26th dynasty. It might have been a product of the workshop. The fine paste, pale yellow in colour, recall the paste used for numerous scarabs produced at the Scarab Factory.
On amulets of Bes in general see: Andrews 1994, 38-40; Herrmann et al. 2010, 69-73 (type 34).
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.
- Not on display
- Quite poor, very eroded
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: AN1888.211 (Accession Number)