Horn protectors

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

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


Height x diameter: 4.6 x 3.3 cm (1 13/16 x 1 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ivory, organic remains

Not On View


The Ancient World



This is a pair of horn protectors. They are comprised of small fitted pieces of ivory which now show sizable breaks. Remnants of decayed, dark brown oganic matter adhere to the interiors (possibly horn remnants or wood). Likely residues of mud cement on the end of one likely indicate the original presence of a cap.

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


From Kerma, K1620x. 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