Horn protector

Early Kerma
about 2400–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, K 1620


Height x width x depth: 5.5 x 5 x 5 cm (2 3/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, wood?

Not On View


The Ancient World



This wooden or degraded ivory horn protector is inlaid with triangular pieces of ivory (likely ostrich eggshell) and capped with an ivory disc. It also has substantial remains of wax over many areas.

Such items were placed over the tips of animal horns (especially those of rams) to protect people from injury.


From Nubia, Kerma, southern cemetery, K16, grave K1620. 1913: 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: December 4, 1913)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition