Bes Amulet


Bes Amulet, 664–30 BC, Faience, Met Museum, New York.

Bes was not a god in the same sense that Isis and Osiris were with large temples and state worship. From the time of the Old Kingdom, Egyptian people kept images of Bes in their homes and on themselves and their children. Images of Bes were kept in niches in their homes and on their bodies as amulets or tattoos and on their furniture and dishes. Bes served primarily as a protector of pregnant women and children and the household. Like the Mesopotamian god Pazuzu, Bes’ fearsome appearance was essential to scare away danger of all kinds but he also had a fondness for humor, dancing, and song.