Ivory inlays and fragments of ostrich chicks

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K1096


Height x width x depth: 4.2 x 3.3 x 1 cm (1 5/8 x 1 5/16 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This group consists of the remains of five ivory inlays in the shape of ostrich chicks. Two are nearly complete, and the other three are fragmentary. Two large fragments are still embedded in mud. The bodies of the chicks have been decorated with circles bored into the surface. A similar technique has been used for the eye in the largely complete example on which the head has survived. Such inlays often adorned wooden fixtures such as funerary beds.


From Kerma, tomb 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