LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bronze sculpture of the God Bes, Egypt, Late Period, 25th Dynasty, 711-657 BC. Bes is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a protector of households, and in particular, of mothers and children and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad. While past studies identified Bes as a Middle Kingdom import from Nubia, more recent research indicates that he was present in Egypt since the start of Old Kingdom. Mentions of Bes can be traced to pre-dynastic Nile Valley cultures. His cult did not become widespread until the beginning of the New Kingdom. Since he drove off evil, Bes also came to symbolize the good things in life like music, dance, and sexual pleasure.
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