Horn protector

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1600Bx


Height x diameter: 3.8 x 4.4 cm (1 1/2 x 1 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, organic remains

Not On View


The Ancient World



This is approximately one half of a horn protector, originally cylindrical in shape with concave sides. Applied to both the top and bottom are single incised lines. The surface is fairly well smoothed and polished, and, though incomplete, the object shows good preservation. Decayed, brown organic remnants (possibly horn, wood, or remains of a missing cap) adhere to one end.

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


From Kerma, K1600 Bx. 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