Leg from a funerary bed

Napatan Period, reign of Shebitka
698–690 B.C.

Object Place: Sudan, Nubia, el-Kurru, Tomb 72


Height x weight x thickness: 56.1 x 13 x 30.5 cm (22 1/16 x 5 1/8 x 12 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



The upper portion of the bed leg grows out of the back of a goose, which nestles down on the box support. Its feathers were finely chased after the form was cast. The head and pointed beak are examples of particularly fine artistic and technical workmanship.
The significance of this motif lies in one of the god Amun’s many divine forms. In Egypt, from the New Kingdom on, he is often represented as a goose. Furthermore, in the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom, the deceased utters the desire to ascend to heaven as a goose. And in New Kingdom royal tombs, wooden figures of geese are found among the images of deities buried with the deceased in order to accompany him to the next world. (Sudan catalogue)

Bronze. In form of a goose sitting on rectangular pedestal with post rising from its back. (Card)


From el-Kurru, tomb 72. 1919: 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.
(Accession date: December 31, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition