Stela with the Gods Bes and Tutu
Two powerful gods stand on either side of a table with offerings: Bes, shown brandishing a sword, and Tutu, depicted as a sphinx with a snakeheaded tail. The seven demons controlled by Tutu are pictured above him.
Reliefs on stelae such as this one were intended to placate the gods, keeping them in a favorable disposition. Alternately, placed in a temple, they served a votive function, expressing the donor’s gratitude for protection against illness and misfortune.
- Medium: Limestone
- Place Made: Egypt
- Dates: 332-30 B.C.E.
- Period: Ptolemaic Period
- Dimensions: 10 7/16 x 18 3/4 x 3 9/16 in., 47.4 lb. (26.5 x 47.7 x 9 cm, 21.5kg) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 58.98
- Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Stela with the Gods Bes and Tutu, 332-30 B.C.E. Limestone, 10 7/16 x 18 3/4 x 3 9/16 in., 47.4 lb. (26.5 x 47.7 x 9 cm, 21.5kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 58.98. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Limestone stela in rather bold low relief, framed by two plant columns supporting a cavetto cornice decorated with winged sun disc flanked by uraei. The main representation shows a sphinx striding to the right. The sphinx's tail ends in a serpent's head and crosses over the left-hand column. In front of the sphinx, to the right, is an offering table on a high stand. Other food offerings are on the table top. Further to the right is a figure of Bes, in front view, with feather crown, a raised sword in his right hand and a scaled serpent in his left. Over the sphinx head is a small panel with an illegible incised line of text. To the left, in a separate panel, are seven male demons walking to the right. They hold an oblong object in the near hand hanging down. Their heads are: 1) crocodile, 2) bull, 3) lion, 4) baboon, 5) jackal, 6) ibex, 7) hare. They all have long striated wigs. The walking sphinx represents the god Tutu (Tithoes). Condition: Good; somewhat chipped and discolored in several places.
- Record Completeness: Best (91%)