Ivory inlays of two single-tiered trees

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K439


Height x width x depth: 3.5 x 2.4 x 0.3 cm (1 3/8 x 15/16 x 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Two trees, single branched. Both broken but complete.
These two ivory inlay pieces each depicts a tree with a single tier of branches. Details of trunk sections and foliage have been added with incised lines. A trunk section of one has broken away. Such inlays were often used for wooden fixtures such as funerary beds. Some of the mud used as an adhesive to attach the inlays still remains on the pieces.


From Kerma, tomb K439. 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