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W1702 Fragment of Bes vessel from Deir el-Medina

w1702Fragment of pottery probably from Deir el-Medina showing Bes (‘Deir el Medina’ is written in blue on the reverse). 9.5cm high with traces of blue paint. Such vessels probably contained wine or milk. New Kingdom. 9.5 x 3.5 x 8.2cm.  

The term ‘Bes‘ is applied to a number of deities from the Middle Kingdom onwards. These deities tend to have leonine features and were connected with the sun god. They also seem to have protected women and children. For more information and further references see Anna Stevens 2006 ‘Private Religion at Amarna’, BAR International Series 1587, 31-34. Bes is often, as here, shown as a dwarf god, with a sticking out tongue and a leonine mane.  

For information on ceramic Bes vessels See 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Living and the Dead: Egyptian and Syrio Palestinian Bes-Vessels from the New Kingdom through the Graeco Roman period’ unpublished PhD thesis, University of California.

Other Bes vessels

General information on Bes

Other items from Deir el-Medina in the Egypt Centre