Eye from coffin or mummy case

Napatan Period, reign of Harsiyotef to an unknown ruler
404–353 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe (Begrawiya), South Cemetery, Pyramid XIX, chamber debris


Height x width x depth: 1.6 x 2.6 x 8.5cm (5/8 x 1 x 3 3/8in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Bronze, alabaster, and obsidian

Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This is the left eye inlay from a coffin or mummy case. It is intact with a bronze rim into which is set the whites of the eye in travertine (Egyptian alabaster) and a circular obsidian piece for the iris & pupil. It comprises part of a set that originally would have included the right eye and two separate eyebrows. The rim is somewhat corroded and suffers from bronze disease. See also object 24.870.


From Meroe (Begrawiya), South Cemetery, Pyramid 19, chamber debris. 1921: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan. (Accession Date: March 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition