World’s Strangest

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Googly Eyed God

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."


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June 20th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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