From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, S. Magazines or Factories, MMA excavations, 1910–12
H. 4.3 × W. 3.2 × D. 1.5 cm (1 11/16 × 1 1/4 × 9/16 in.)
Rogers Fund, 1912
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 120
This mold was used to make an amulet in the form of the Bes-image, either to be worn or for decoration in one of the palaces of Amenhotep III at his festival city of Malqata. Remnants of paste used to make the faience amulet can be seen in its crevices. The Bes-image represented a number of deities, in particular Bes and Aha, whose responsibilities generally centered on the guarding of children and their mothers during childbirth. In later times, he assisted in protecting the eternal survival of Egypt as recorded in a well-known myth of the Far Away Goddess. From the New Kingdom on, Bes has a close tie to music and is often depicted playing a different instruments. Either the protective nature of this deity or his musical ability could speak to a role at Malqata.
Museum Excavations 1910-12. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.