Leg of a bird figure

Early Napatan Period
760 B.C.

Object Place: Nubia


Height x width x depth: 25.5 x 7.5 x 15.5 cm (10 1/16 x 2 15/16 x 6 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



The tips of the three claws in front and one behind are broken off. Nevertheless, the form of a bird’s leg is clearly recognizable. The leg was fastened to a base by means of a large metal tenon. From the size of these fragments, we may imagine a bird-like statue with a total height between 50 and 60 cm.
This image was found on the surface between the early pyramid tombs tentatively identified as those of King Alara and his wife Kasaqa. Presumably it was a remnant of a statue attached to a capstone fallen from one of those pyramids. Capstones with pairs of holes for attaching the legs of small statues have been found in later Napatan and Meroitic pyramids. The statues were probably ba-statues (cf. cat. 306), of which this leg may represent the earliest example. (Sudan catalogue)

Leg from a ba-bird that probably topped the pyramid Ku. 9 (Alara?) or Ku. 23 (Queen Kasaqa?) Early Napatan-pre-Dyn. 25. (Card)


From el-Kurru, surface find between Tombs Ku. 9 and Ku. 23. 1919: 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.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition