Scarab with the god, Bes
Measurement: 1.71.1 x .5
Material/colour: cream-coloured glazed steatite.
Technique: glazed, drilled for suspension
Condition: some damage to the edges, particularly visible on the bottom. Large chip missing from upper left of Bes image.
Date: New Kingdom, probably Ramesside
Provenance: Golden Chariot; original collection of Gustav Jecquier, reportedly from Sakkara.
Identification and Interpretation: Scarab has a tiny body and large legs. This style is usually found in Ramesside contexts.
The figure on the back is the god Bes, shown standing facing forward, with a crown of at least four large feathers on his head. His bandy legs are bent and his tail hangs down between his legs.
Bes is encircled by a decorative band.
Function and Meaning: This scarab would have been worn in life as an amulet to attract fertility and ward off pain in childbirth, dangers to babies, mothers, and men far from home. Bes is the most popular household god.
Parallels: For this style of Scarab, see Portland 29.16.57a, British Museum 1922.214.171.124; for similar image of Bes, see Ben-Tor, #12, p.74.