Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
One of the most powerful protective deities was Bes, a bandy-legged, potbellied god with a fiercely grinning leonine face and a lion’s feet and tail. Another was Taweret, a pregnant hippopotamus standing upright on lion’s feet with a very schematic representation of a crocodile on her back. This cylindrical bead includes a Bes image, two Taweret figures, and a snake, another protective symbol.
ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E.
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Archaeological provenance not yet documented; by 1944, acquired by Dikran Kelekian of New York, NY; 1944, purchased from Dikran Kelekian by the Brooklyn Museum.
Cylindrical Bead, ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E. Steatite, glaze, 1 1/4 x 1/4 in. (3.1 x 0.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 44.123.34. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.37.711E_44.123.34_37.707E_erg456.jpg)
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Are these ancient broaches?
Not quite, but they are pieces of jewelry. The one in the middle is a bead and the two on either side are pendants. They were all meant to be strung on something, like a necklace or bracelet.
If you look closely, you'll notice that the two outer pendants have bale (small loop or hollow channel) for attaching to a string or chain. Each of these pieces depicts a protective