Inlay in the form of an animal skin (?)

Classic Kerma
Early–about 2400–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K449


Height x width x depth: 3.8 x 2.1 x 0.3 cm (1 1/2 x 13/16 x 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



These ten ornamental inlay pieces of ivory would have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. They are carved in a symmetrical, stylized motif that may depict a turtle, frog, or animal skin. Not all have been carved to precisely the same dimensions. The ivory has discolored slightly in some areas of various pieces, and remnants of adhesive mud used for attaching the inlays still adheres to some surfaces. Seven are complete, two of which were broken but mended. Three have fragments missing, with missing portions ranging from half of the piece to extremely slight.

For similar inlays from the same tomb see also object 20.1496a-d.


From Kerma, K449. March 1914: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition