Mirror of King Shabaka

Napatan Period, reign of Shabaka
712–698 B.C.

Findspot: Sudan, Nubia, el-Kurru, Pyramid 15


Overall: 34 x 21.5 x 3.4 cm (13 3/8 x 8 7/16 x 1 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Bronze and gilded silver

Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

The mirror consists of a bronze disk set into a gilt silver handle in the form of a column with a palm leaf capital. Standing figures of the great goddesses surround the column: Hathor, wearing a sun disk and horns; lioness-headed Tefnut; and Mut, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. A fourth figure, whose crown features two plumes, a sun disk, and horns, probably represents the king’s sister Amenirdis, a priestess who assumed the rank of goddess by accepting the highest priestly role of “God’s Wife.” She was “married” to Amun and resided, celibate, at Karnak.


From Nubia (Sudan) el-Kurru: pyramid 15 (tomb of Shabaka). 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.
(Accession date: March 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition