Ivory inlay of a vulture

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K 449x


Height x depth x length: 2.8 x 0.3 x 8.8 cm (1 1/8 x 1/8 x 3 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This ivory inlay piece depicts a vulture with outstretched wings. It would have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. Details are rendered by incision: wing feathers are indicated by long notches along lower edge and small notches along the upper edge. Somewhat thinner lines are used for outlining body components and facial details. The piece has discolored slightly, but is in generally very good condition. Slight traces remain of the mud used to attach the inlay to its fixture.


From Kerma, tomb K 449x. 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