Beads and amulets

Classic Kerma
1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K IV grave 453 no.11


See description.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



This group of beads consists of eight strings of faience beads and amulets, ranging from 51 to 106 cm in length. The longest string has fifty-eight beads and amulets. Types include approximately one hundred ring beads (0.1 cm - 0.4 cm diameter), one ball bead, a number of barrel beads, corss-hatched rectangular beads, plain and fancy cylinder beads, and a wide variety of amulets. Also included are approximately two hundred loose complete and fragmentary ring beads and one ivory arrowhead-shaped fragment (1.7 cm x 1.1 cm).

The Object Register lists forty-three monkey amulets, thirty Taweret amulets, twenty-eight fly amulets, thirty-two door amulets, one hand amulet, one Bes amulet, seven assorted oblong bead/amulets, forty-three miscellaneous decorated beads and fragments, twenty-two barrel beads and fragments, twenty cylinder beads and fragments, and a few small ring beads. It is not clear which of these are present here. Also listed in the Object Register but not present here are fourteen ankh amulets, one bone or shell ring, one piece of pottery, and one metal ring.


From Nubia (Sudan) Kerma, K IV grave 453 no.11. 1914: Excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of the Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition