Ivory inlays of tear-drops with one to two holes

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, K1623


Height x width x depth: 4 x 1.5 x 0.5 cm (1 9/16 x 9/16 x 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This group is comprised of four sets (16 total) of drop-shaped inlay pieces of ivory, all but one with two holes bored through (the exception having only one hole). They may originally have been components of rosette patterns. For similar inlay pieces from the same tomb see also object 20.1542a-b. Such inlays were often used to decorate wooden fixtures, and some of these pieces still retain traces of the mud used as an adhesive to attach them.


From Kerma, tomb K1623. February 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