Cylinder sheath of King Aspelta

Napatan Period, reign of Aspelta
593–568 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Nuri, Pyramid 8


Height x diameter: 11.4 x 3.2 cm (4 1/2 x 1 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gilded silver

Not On View


The Ancient World


Function unknown

On the lower cylinder, the goddess Hathor stands between vulture and serpent on the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt. The upper cylinder shows lotus flowers, ram’s heads with sun-disks, and a uraeus frieze. (Sudan catalogue)
Silver gilt cylinder sheath, originally mounted on silver, now mounted on modern silver cylinders; in two parts: top part with repoussé and engraved decorations, lower part with engraved decorations including cartouches of Aspelta; fragmentary and incomplete; bottom missing. See also 21.11744. (Card)


From Nuri, Pyramid 8 (Tomb of Aspelta),Chamber A. 1916: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Sudan; 1921: received by the MFA.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition