Mould-made amuletic figure in glazed composition; double-sided represention of the dwarf leonine god Bes; degenerate form of amulet with highly crude and schematic representation; body of Bes and his characteristic feathered crown crossed by more or less deep horizontal grooves, on both sides; light turquoise glaze quite well preserved, though encrusted with earth; complete.
- Production date
- 6thC BC (?)
Height: 2.20 centimetres
Width: 1.20 centimetres
Depth: 0.50 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).
For a similar amulet from Naukratis: Liverpool, World Museum 9,9,86,88.
On amulets of Bes in general see: Andrews 1994, 38-40; Herrmann et al. 2010, 69-73 (type 34).
Boston records identified this piece as a djed pillar, not a stylised Bes amulet.
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.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Eg.Inv.3903 (Egyptian inventory number)
Miscellaneous number: P.5272 (Pottery & Porcelain Ledger No.)
Miscellaneous number: RES.86.327 (Accession Number)