Horn protector

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K439


Height x diameter: 4.3 x 3.6 cm (1 11/16 x 1 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, organic remains

Not On View


The Ancient World



This horn protector of ivory is cylindrical with concave sides. Some additional fragments accompany it. The exterior surface is heavily worn, cracked, and flaking. The interior hollowing contains dark brown, organic matter that may be the degraded remnants of horn.

Such items were placed over the tips of animal horns (especially those of rams) to protect people from injury.


From Kerma, tomb K439. 1913-16: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan; 1920: Received by the MFA.

(Accession date: June 21, 1995)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition