Figurine of the god Bes. Excavated in Alacahöyük. Hittite Empire, 14th-13th century BC.
The legs are broken (and lost) from the knees on.
Made of bone. Height: 5 cm; width: 3,5 cm.
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. Mentions of Bes can be traced to pre-dynastic Nile Valley cultures; however his cult did not become widespread until the beginning of the New Kingdom (16th-11th century).
Bes appearing in a Hittite context can be explained by the readiness of Hittite religion to assimilate all foreign gods for any beneficial effect, and the friendly relations with Egypt in the mid 14th century. After the death of Tutankhamun (1323 BC) Ankhesenamun (Tutankhamun's wife) even wrote to the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I, asking if she could marry one of his sons, because the Thutmosid family line had come to an end and she would not take one of her own people as new husband.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘The Hittites’ (J.G.Macqueen) 1996 & Wikipedia.