Comb fragment

Early–Classic Kerma
2400–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1805x


Length x width x depth: 9.3 x 3.5 x 1 cm (3 11/16 x 1 3/8 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

This ivory comb originally had six teeth, of which three are mostly preserved. The ornamental handle has a small nob at the top. The sides then form high “shoulders” before curving inward to form concave sides that widen to the comb’s teeth. The out edges of these sides are decorated with interspersed sets of five small incised lines (filled with black) oriented perpendicular to the edge.


From Kerma, tomb K1805x. January 1914: 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: March 1, 1920)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition