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 3.5 x 0.1 cm (1 3/8 x 1 3/8 x 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This ivory inlay would have adorned a wooden fixture such as a funerary bed. It has been carved in the shape of a striding ostrich chick with raised wings. The head has broken off and is missing, while one wing has also broken off but remains. The body has been decorated with a pattern of circles bored into the surface, and the wings show notched decorations along one edge for feather pattern. A small amount 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