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Gallery Image

8 Fragment of a wooden headrest

Acacia species

Thebes (?)
New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC)

The underside of this fragment is decorated with the face of the god Bes holding a lotus flower, on which there are traces of red pigment. As a composite god Bes was charged with protecting vulnerable people, most notably women who were pregnant and children. In this capacity the god often features on Birth Houses in Egyptian temples and in a funerary capacity he can be linked to re-birth in the After Life. Representations of Bes are also commonly found on beds and on headrests in Ancient Egypt, protecting living owners from illnesses and bad dreams, and the dead in the After Life.

Bequeathed by E.T. Whyte
The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, E.98.1932

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