Figure of Aha Bes



Deep turquoise-blue moulded faience figurine of a lesser-god or demon called Aha or Bes. He appears as a lion-legged man with a lion’s mane and round ears, with a lion's tail dropped behind his legs. The protruding ears with mane are marked by black lines. The brow projects, and both eyes, brows and pupils are emphasised in thick lines of black pigment. The nose and mouth are not touched up with paint; consequently their shape is indistinct under the thick glaze, but the nose appears extremely broad and flat. There is little detailed modelling of body and limbs. The figure is pot bellied, with protruding buttocks; both arms and legs are chubby and appear abnormally short, and there is no sign of genitalia. The hands are clenched and rest on the hips. Toe and finger nails, nipples and navel, the tip of the tail and the underside of the rectangular base are all painted black. The legs are bent to suggest movement, possibly dancing. Discovered during the 1905 excavations at the cemetery to the north of Esna, by John Garstang in grave 275. Dynasty 13 or Second Intermediate Period. Compare with a similar figure of Aha-Bes in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA (no. 48.420): Regine Schulz et al., Egyptian Art The Walters Art Museum (London, 2009), p.54.