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Ancient Egyptian Gold Bes Head Amulet


I’ve added this 1.9cm (3/4") tall solid-cast gold amuletic pendant of the leonine dwarf-god Bes with plumed headdress and voluminous beard, raised bar with two suspension holes to the reverse, to my Egyptian Antiquities gallery.

UPDATE: I always wondered how this endearing gold Bes head amulet from the Late Period, c.664-332 BC, was worn by the ancient Egyptians because of the two suspension holes on the bar at the back. Was it worn as a single piece, brooch or part of a necklace with other amulets? Was it worn by a high-ranking Egyptian male or female? Fortunately, I came across a remarkably similar Bes head amulet on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The piece at the Met is more stylised than my Late Period gold artefact and comes from the Achaemenid Empire, c.6th-4th century BC, with eyes and eyebrows that were originally inlaid. It was the centrepiece of a necklace comprised mostly of gold plaques with images of walking horses accompanied by attendants. In Egyptian thought Bes played a protective role, and it is possible that this function was ascribed to him by the Persians as well.

Interesting.  So threaded through the holes on a necklace?



--- Quote from: otlichnik on May 18, 2021, 09:07:01 am ---Interesting.  So threaded through the holes on a necklace?


--- End quote ---

Yes, many aspects of Egyptian material culture were appropriated by the Persians and my Late Period gold Bes head amulet may have been similarly suspended on a necklace along with other gold pieces or plaques.


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