Imitation tusk

Predynastic Period
Naqada I–II, 3850–3300 B.C.


Height x width x thickness: 7.5 x 2.5 x 0.8 cm (2 15/16 x 1 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Jewelry / Adornment

Pink limestone; thin with slightly convex sides. Shape imitates tusk ornaments meant to be suspended from a leather thong which is wrapped around the groove. Appears to be white plaster on both sides, as if it had been painted to resemble tusk.
A very common artifact of the Predynastic period. C.F. Ashmolean catalogue numbers 236-243.
Petrie hypothesized that they were used as water skin stoppers.
Common in Naqada I and II according to the Brooklyn Museum catalogue (p. 304)


Said to be from Basilea. 1903: Purchased for the MFA at Qena, Egypt from Ghirgas by Albert M. Lythgoe as part of a group (03.1392-03.1394, 03.1470, 03.1683, 03.1698-13.1700) for £3. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund.
(Accession Date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund