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EC546 Bes Vessel

ec546Pottery vessel in marl fabric, 16.2cm high. This is a Bes vase of the Late Period.  

The vessel is extremely stylised so that Bes is reduced to only his eyes. Such vessels are found in Palestine as well as Egypt. The function of such vessels is unknown. It has been suggested that they contained wine or milk drunk at festivals.  

See Kaiser 2003, 268 for information on this type of vessel. A similar, though Middle Kingdom example and further references and information can be found in Pudleiner 2001. 

Our vessel seems to have been part of the Kennard Collection purchased by Henry Wellcome in 1912. Henry Martyn Kennard was a collector of Egyptian antiquities who sponsored Petrie’s excavations, so it is possible that this vessel came from one of Petrie’s excavations.  


Kaiser, R.K., 2003. Water, Milk, Beer and Wine for the Living and the Dead: Egyptian and Syrio Palestinian Bes-Vessels from the New Kingdom through the Greaco Roman period, unpublished PhD thesis, University of California. 

Pudleiner, R., 2001. Hathor on the Thoth Hill = Hathor sur le Mont Thoth Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. Abteilung Kairo,  57, 239-245.