Box with sliding lid

Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 1–2
2960–2649 B.C.


Height x width x length: 8.5 x 5 x 12 cm (3 3/8 x 1 15/16 x 4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Limestone, gold

On View

Egypt: Pre-Dynastic and Dynastic (Gallery 105A)


The Ancient World



As the rulers of the first two dynasties extended Egyptian domination southward into Nubia, gold and other precious commodities flowed into Egypt. The nation’s wealth during this time was reflected in the richness, beauty, and diversity of decorative objects made not only for the ruler, but for wealthy individuals as well. This small limestone box is a superb example of such an object, and demonstrates the Early Dynastic stone workers’ skill and innovation. It is composed of thin slices of pale pinkish-white limestone joined with delicate gold rivets, set into drilled holes. The slightly convex lid slides in a carefully slotted groove, with a raised ridge at the front that allows it to move back and forth with ease. Similar boxes were also made in ivory and probably wood.


Said to be from Naqada. By 1904: with dealer Ghirgas in Qena; 1904: purchased for the MFA by Albert M. Lythgoe.
(Accession Date: January 1, 1904)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund