2015 | 15 | 69-75
Article title

A burial with a stamp seal depicting a Bes-like figure from Abusir

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In the autumn of 2010, a humble intact burial in a reed coffin was found during the excavation of the Old Kingdom stone mastaba of the chief physician Neferherptah (AS 65) at Abusir South. The burial was positioned directly on the superstructure of Neferherptah’s tomb. The body of a more than fifty-year-old woman had been wrapped in linen, as indicated by eight fragments of fabric. The only burial equipment of the deceased consisted of a mud brick used as a headrest and a pyramidal stamp seal with a Bes-shaped figure on its base found on the breastbone. This latest addition to the corpus of stamp seals represents the first amulet of its type to come from a documented primary archaeological context at the Memphite necropolis. Although this tiny find is small in size, it is of particular importance for the study of the burial customs and beliefs of the lower social strata in the Memphite necropolis. The seal most probably provides one of the earliest examples of iconographical evidence for the archetype of the god later known as Bes. Some of the archaeological material from the excavations was destroyed during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. The remaining material is examined in this paper, together with an anthropological and textile report.
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