Ivory inlay of a giraffe

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1096


Height x width x depth: 5.2 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm (2 1/16 x 9/16 x 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This ivory inlay was carved to depict a giraffe and would originally have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. It is now in seven fragments with much of the original missing. The largest fragment shows the front portion of the giraffe’s torso and upper front legs. Other portions of the figure are preserved in smaller fragments. Some pieces still adhere to remnants of mud adhesive. For several similar inlays from the same tomb see objects 20.1336-20.1342.


From Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Southern cemetery, KX, grave K1096. March 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.
(Accession Date: March 1, 1920)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition