Eye inlays

Napatan Period
623–568 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe (Begrawiya), South Cemetery, Pyramid 85


Length (eyes): 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.) Length (gilded eyebrow): 7.1 cm (2 13/16 in.) Length (bronze eyebrow): 8.1 cm (3 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Bronze, travertine (Egyptian alabaster), obsidian, gold

Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This pair of eye inlays wae probably been part of a coffin. Stone inlay pieces are set in bronze rims which retain areas of gilding. The whites of the eyes are travertine (Egyptian alabaster), the iris & pupils obsidian. The eyebrows are separate bronze components, one of which retains gilding. They were found in association with the mummy of Napatan Queen Mernua.


From Meroe (Begarawiya) South Cemetery, Pyramid 85, 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: 1923)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition