Relief fragment from the tomb of Nekhebu

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 6
2323–2291 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Tomb of Nekhebu G 2381 G 2382


Overall: 20.5 x 27.5 x 25 cm (8 1/16 x 10 13/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This fragment is executed with finely incised lines. There is almost no depth to the raised relief. It includes three horizontal registers, the top register has the boat in the water, the middle register contains the hippopotamus and several fish and the bottom most register is unclear and indistinct. The hippopotamus has its head thrown back with its mouth open. It is being speared by a figure in a boat whose foot is visible on the boat in the top left corner of the fragment. The middle register also includes portions of two fish. There are traces of red and black pigment and possible traces of ancient pink plaster from restoration.


From Giza. Found on shelves marked "G2381/G 2382 Nekhebu." From tomb of Nekhebu G 2382 [(originally thought to be a tomb, but now known to be a jumbled deposit of limestone blocks from other nearby tombs)], court, originally from G 2381. Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.
(Accession date: April 28, 2005)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition