Late Period or Ptolemaic Era Pantheistic Bes Egypt God. Ancient Egyptian deity is a deity worshiped in ancient Egypt “Bes”. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these deities formed the basis of the ancient Egyptian religion, which originated in prehistoric times. The gods represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and appeased them through offerings and rituals so that these powers could act in accordance with divine command. The Late Period or Ptolemaic period is the religious basis of such a deity is worshiped.
This bronze with gold inlay statuette, found in Syria, but from Egypt; depicts a composite deity who has the attributes and, therefore, the powers of several different deities with the face of the god Bes.
This pantheistic Bes has the remnants of the ram horns of Amun’s crown, and several snakes and crocodiles can be seen. The wings and falcon tail are related to the sky god Horus, and the African wolf, Anubis. The erect phallus could represent an ithyphallic Osiris or the Egyptian god of fertility, Min. There are many more aspects which refer to a multitude of divine aspects. By incorporating these elements into a single figure, the statuette protected the owner from many evils.
This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Known from as early as the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2000 BCE), Bes was venerated as a protector of the home, family, and childbirth, and for that reason figures prominently in domestic magic and amulets. His close connection to all aspects of fertility and sexuality is demonstrated by the presence of his image in the “Birth-houses”-shrines associated with temples of the Late Period into the Roman era. He also had a special relation to the goddess Hathor and performed in her retinue as a musician and dancer. Bes is represented here as a composite deity. He has the nude body of Horus the Child, two pairs of wings and four arms (two stretched to the sides on top of the wings, and two hanging down in front of the body). His head has the typical characteristics of Bes, with lion mane and ears, and a stylized beard. On the sides of his head additional animal heads are depicted. The eyes of the figure were originally inlaid with gold, and his hands which are pierced, once held objects, perhaps swords.
This statuette is dated to circa 7th to 1st century BCE and is now housed in the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Geneva, Switzerland.