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Mold of a heron or phoenix

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Carved in fine white limestone, this plaque carved in sunk relief served as a mold. The image represents a squatting heron, known by the Egyptians as a benu bird. The benu, associated with rebirth, was the origin of the mythical phoenix.


From Giza, st. 7400. 1925: 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: June 19, 2005)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 25–30, 760–332 B.C.


Giza, Egypt


Height x width x thickness: 10.4 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm (4 1/8 x 4 3/16 x 1 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World


Tools & equipment, Molds