Horn protector

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1603-3x


Height x diameter: 5 x 3.7 cm (1 15/16 x 1 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, organics/wood?

Not On View


The Ancient World



This horn protector is fashioned from fitted ivory pieces. Contained within and protruding from one end is a mass of dark brown, somewhat decayed organic matter, possibly remnants of horn. The overall shape is cylindrical with concave sides. There are no indications of decoration or other adornments.

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


From Kerma, K1603-3x. February 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