Horn protector

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1803-3x


Height x diameter: 4.3 x 4.2 cm (1 11/16 x 1 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, organic remains

Not On View


The Ancient World



This is a horn protector comprised of two fitted pieces that join to make a cylindrical whole with concave sides. Brown, somewhat degraded organic remains are evident on the interior; possibly degraded wood or horn. Incised bands have been applied around both base and top. Fragments have split off and are missing.

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


From Kerma, K1803-3x. 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; 1920: Received by the MFA.

(Accession date: March 1, 1920)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition