Collection: Macquarie University History Museum

Bes Amulet

Accession # MU520
Culture Egyptian
Period Late or Graeco-Roman Period
Date 500-100 BCE
Provenance Egypt
Material/s Dark green faience
Dimensions 4.1cm (h) x 3.6cm (w) x 0.6cm (d)
Collection Macquarie University History Museum
Source Macquarie University, MAC
Click here to inspect 3d item.
MU520 is a green faience amulet. It is a small object (see dimensions) depicting the face and head of the god Bes. The amulet shows Bes in his typical form as a dwarf with wide flaring nostrils, a furrowed brow, lion's ears and mane and wearing a feathered headdress. A hole runs through the bottom of the headdress to allow the amulet to be strung and worn close to the body. Bes was a popular household deity associated with the protection of women and children. It was believed that he would ward off evil such as injury, illness and misadventure through his intimidating appearance and by making loud noises and throwing knives when danger was near.
  • Syllabus Links
    • Stage 6 Preliminary
      • Investigating Ancient History, The investigation of Ancient sites and sources
      • Features of Ancient Societies, Women in Ancient Egypt
    • Stage 6 HSC Ancient Societies. Option A New Kingdom Egypt society to the death of Amenhotep III
      • The economy, including; Occupations, crafts and industry (ACHAH112), Technology; techniques and construction
      • Religion, death and burial, including; Gods (ACHAH141)
      • Cultural and everyday life, including; Art; sculpture and jewellery (ACHAH120, ACHAH121, ACHAH123)
    • Stage 6 HSC Ancient Societies. Option B New Kingdom Egypt society during the Ramesside Period
      • The economy, including; Occupations, crafts and industry (ACHAH112), Technological development; tools, building materials, techniques and construction
      • Religion, death and burial, including; Gods (ACHAH141), Personal religion; magic and personal piety
      • Cultural and everyday life, including; Art; sculpture and jewellery (ACHAH120, ACHAH121, ACHAH123)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Analysis and use of sources
      • Explain the meaning and value of sources for an historical inquiry (ACHAH007, ACHAH009)
      • Analyse sources to identify and account for the different perspectives of individuals and groups in the past (ACHAH010)
      • Analyse and synthesise evidence from different types of sources to develop reasoned claims (ACHAH008)
      • Identify and analyse problems relating to sources in the investigation of the past (ACHAH011)
    • Historical Concepts and Skills; Historical investigation and research.
      • Use evidence from a range of sources to inform investigation and research (ACHAH005)
    • Historical Concepts and skills; Explanation and communication
      • Develop texts, particularly historical accounts and arguments, supported by relevant evidence from sources (ACHAH013)
  • Educational Resources
  • Online Resources
  • Bibliography/References
    • Andrews, C., (1994), Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London.
    • David, R. (2002), Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt, London.
    • Donnelly, P., (1999), 'Egyptian Faience Amulets in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney', Mediterranean Archaeology Vol.12, p.75-88.
    • Harris, E., (2015), Ancient Egyptian Magic, Newburyport, MA.
    • Hart, G. (2005), The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, New York.
    • Luiselli, M.M. (2014), 'Personal Piety in Ancient Egypt,' in Religion Compass,/i> vol.8 issue 4, p.105--116.
    • Malaise, M., (2005), 'Bes', in D.B. Redford (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Oxford.
    • Nicholson, P.T., (1993), Egyptian Faience and Glass, Buckinghamshire.
    • Nicholson and Peltenburg (2000), 'Egyptian Faience' in Nicholson and Shaw (eds.), Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge
    • Petrie, W.M.F., (1914), Amulets, London.
    • Petrie Museum UCL, (2009), “The History of Egyptian Faience”
    • Reshafim (2009), ‘The Religion of the People’
    • Sadek, A.I. (1987), Popular Religion in Egypt during the New Kingdom, Hildesheim.
    • Shafer, B.E. (ed.) (1991), Religion in Ancient Egypt. Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice, Ithaca and London.
    • Tristant, Y. & Ryan, E. (eds.) (2017), Death is Only the Beginning, Oxford, p.250-255 and cat.62, p.270-271.
    • Wilkinson, R.H. (2003), The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London.

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Macquarie University History Museum (2020). Bes Amulet, MU520. // (accessed on: 14 June 2020).

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