Posts filed under: Art

  • Close-up of Turtle-headed demon on coffin
Turtle headed demon – still missing! Turtle headed creatures are quite rare in iconography of ancient Egypt and examples are scattered through different contexts. We can meet them mostly in funerary sphere where they serve as guardians. In the case of late Third Intermediate Period coffins, turtle headed creatures can...
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Just when I thought that all the demons and liminal beings with knives on their feet were depicted on furniture, jewelry, or cosmetic containers… During the Egyptian and Jewish Magic in Antiquity conference, an image was shown of a big Taweret holding a knife with each of her four limbs. She stands tall and proud,...
This week the Demonology 2K team met with visiting scholar John Wyatt, who specialises in identifying bird and animal species in ancient Egyptian depictions. Together we discussed the different ways in which demons can be depicted and what animal species are used to create their images. We had lots of...
  • Men-Shen door-guard
In the interest of encouraging cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research, today we feature a door guardian from Ancient Egypt and another from China. Similarities and contrasts abound.   They can both wield weapons—for example a pair of swords, or a sword and axe for Men-Shen, and a butcher’s knife for the Ancient...
  • Bunny rabbit hare demon
This Friday the 13th seemed like a good day to explore the concept of the dastardly BUNNY!  These seemingly innocent creatures have a long history of having a dark underside, masked by that cute little twitchy pink nose and fluffy tail. In Ancient Egypt, they appear with weapons, ready to...
  • Demon dog knife breast snake Dirpu mythlogical
Day 9 of the Ancient Egyptian Demon Advent Calendar is a hybrid entity with a dog or jackal head, Bes-image type body with a pendulous breast, and a tail. He (she? it?) is shown in profile, moving forwards holding a knife in each hand, and snake draped over the forward...
It’s Hedgehog season again and these little guys were just as popular with the Ancient Egyptians as they are today. Hedgehogs are very good at protecting themselves by rolling up into spiky balls, so the Brooklyn Museum’s suggestion that this might have been shaken to scare away malevolent demons and...
  • cippus demon griffin
A pair of griffins, each with two snakes in their mouth pull a chariot over and through an assortment of demonic hostile creatures on the base of this unusual cippus. The archer’s arrows pierce a medley of dangerous animals including snakes, scorpions, antelope and lions, while underneath them two crocodiles...
  • Amarna Beset amulet necklace
Swansea’s Egypt Centre has brought an interesting amulet to light. Has anybody seen other Bes’s like this, with hair like this? The long locks on the central figure look most unusual. Perhaps this is not even a Bes(et) at all? Check out their blog for details and the full debate! http://egyptcentre.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/amarna-daemons-beset.html...
What makes a demon such a genius? It is not that she is so very smart. “Genius” is the term used for a hybrid being who is composed of animal parts.  A popular one in Ancient Egypt combined the form of a hippopotamus, lioness (or other big wild feline), and...