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Tusk

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This unusual object, carved from the tooth of a hippopotamus and terminating in a figure of a hippopotamus, may have served as a container for a substance believed to have magical powers. Such items were worn around the neck on leather strings.

Provenance

From Mesaid (Mesa'eed) tomb 25, no. 4 [M/25/4]. 1910: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the divsion of finds by the government of Egypt. (Accession Date: March 2, 1911)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

Egyptian, Predynastic Period, Naqada I, 3850–3650 B.C.

Object Place for Label

Findspot

Mesaid, Egypt

Dimensions

Length: 8.6 cm (3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

11.287

Medium or Technique

Ivory

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Unclassifiable objects, Function Unknown