Ivory inlay of a vulture

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, tomb K 439


Height x width x depth: 4.4 x 13 x 0.3 cm (1 3/4 x 5 1/8 x 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This ivory inlay piece, one of several shaped as vultures with outstretched wings from the same tomb, would have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. Incised details include: feathers indicated by long notches along lower edge and small notches along the upper edges of the wings, and somewhat thinner lines for body outlines and facial features. It is in slightly broken condition with some small fragments missing.


From Kerma, tomb K 439, January 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