The Ancient Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. Amulets were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife. Bes was a popular Egyptian deity, always depicted as grotesque and deformed bearded dwarf, with the huge face of a mask with hybrid monkey-lion features and widened legs between which hangs a long animal’s tail. Bes is the only deity in ancient Egyptian pantheon to be represented exclusively in front perspective. In Ancient Egyptian culture and religion, Bes acted as guardian of women, the household, children, and he was particularly linked to the critical phase of labour and birth. He was also a protector of sleep, ensuring sweet dreams; in fact he was often depicted on the beds to prevent the evil spirits from appearing in dreams.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.