Inlay of a hyena

Classic Kerma
1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, K 1053


Height x length x width: 11.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 cm (4 1/2 x 1 3/4 x 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hippopotamus ivory

Not On View


The Ancient World



This ivory inlay is one of five depicting hyenas that formed the bottom row of a panel at the foot of a wooden (ebony ) funerary bed. Incised lines are used for details, which may originally have been filled with pigment. The mouth is a zigzag line, arcs give form to the body, and notches along the edges of the back and tail are used for fur.

This inlay forms a set that includes objects 13.4219-13.4223.


From Kerma: Tumulus K X, tomb K1053. 1913: 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.
(Accession Date: December 4, 1913)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition