Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Bes


A steatite Egyptian scarab with incised features such as the clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The scarab is decorated to the reverse, depicting a kneeling figure in supplication. Characterised by a three-feathered headdress, the figure is identifiable as Bes, the dwarf god. He is portrayed with his arms bent towards the ground, supplicating and adoring an obelisk. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1295–1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period, Dynasty 19-20
Provenance: From the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt).
Condition: Very fine. Small chip to the front of the scarab. Hieroglyphs are very well defined.


SKU: AH-884 Category: Tags: ,

Bes was known as a household deity primarily. Depicted as a ferocious dwarf he was the protector of women and children. His fierce nature lent itself well to protection and Bes was also regarded the protector of huntsmen and the god of war. He gained popularity in the New Kingdom, especially after the Ramesside Period and was worshiped extensively, even into the Roman period. Archaeological evidence, found at Bawiti of a temple dedicated to Bes, comes from the Hellenistic period, with further evidence to show continued use into the Roman period.

The obelisk was associated with solar worship, specifically with the god Amun. Thus the representation of the obelisk could also imply an adoration of the god Amun.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 1.1 g
Dimensions L 1.3 cm


Egyptian Mythology



Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, item 10.130.592