Ivory inlay of an ostrich chick

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1096


Height x width x depth: 3.5 x 3.4 x 0.1 cm (1 3/8 x 1 5/16 x 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Though the accession card for this object lists three fragments of an ivory inlay, only one large fragment can be identified as object 20.1352. However, several possible additional fragments are housed with it. The original inlay would have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. The large fragment preserves most of the body of an ostrich chick, which has been decorated with a pattern of circles bored into the surface. Two raised wings remain, while the legs, neck, and head have broken off and are missing. Some of the mud used to attach the inlay still adheres to it.
For several similar inlay pieces from the same tomb see objects 20.1346-20.1353.


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