Photo: Egypt Centre/Swansea University
Talismans usualy depict gods as fierce or solemn, but not this one! Recently found by Egypt Centre curator Carolyn Graves-Brown, the talisman of the Egyptian dwarf god Bes has googly eyes and a tongue sticking out:
A dwarf god and protector of pregnant mothers and young children, Bes may look goofy to us with his tongue sticking out, however, his appearance, tongue and all, had a purpose. Graves-Brown explained that he would sometimes bare sharp teeth and "it's assumed, but it's not known, that this [appearance] was supposed to scare off evil spirits and evil entities." That may well have been the intent of this object. Flinders Petrie, an archaeologist who encountered items similar to this, wrote in 1914 in his book "Amulets" (Constable and Company, 1914) that bells like these were probably "worn by children against the evil eye."