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Bes-Image Amulet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Ancient Egyptian women wore amulets of birth gods to protect them during and immediately after childbirth. One of these birth gods, a female deity often known as Taweret, was shown with the head and body of a hippopotamus, lion's paws, and a stylized crocodile hanging down her back. Her male counterpart, commonly called Bes, usually appeared frontally. In early Dynasty 18, artists depicted Bes with a human face and a lion's body and mane.

MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1478 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 1 3/16 × 5/8 × 3/16 in. (3 × 1.6 × 0.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Bes-Image Amulet, ca. 1539-1478 B.C.E. Faience, 1 3/16 × 5/8 × 3/16 in. (3 × 1.6 × 0.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.914E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.914E_erg2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.914E_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 10/16/2007
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Dark blue-green glazed faience amulet representing, in relief (rear surface flat), the god Bes standing, with hands at hips, on a low plinth. Arms, legs, and tail are disengaged from the body. Details of beard and body fur given by incised lines. Figure pierced from side to side for suspension. Pendant breasts are indicated. Condition: Small cracks.
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