Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    A figure of a crouching lion in ivory: intended for use as a gaming-piece, originally carved with great detail but now in rather poor condition. The front paws are missing, as is the side of the head, and the surface of the ivory has decayed. The features still visible include the eyes and details of the mane, as well as the slightly open mouth, in which the teeth are delineated. The detail is only preserved in a small area beneath the chin and also beside the surviving ear. The underside of the lion is worn smooth from use.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 6.4 centimetres
    • Height: 3.6 centimetres
    • Width: 2.6 centimetres
    • Weight: 0.037 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

    For examples of similar Early Dynastic objects, see U. Schweitzer, 'Löwe und Sphinx in Alten Ägypten' (1948), 12—3; W. M. F. Petrie, 'Royal Tombs of the Earliest Dynasties' II, pl. VI. 3; W. M. F. Petrie, 'Abydos' II (London, 1902), pl. III, 23—9: W. M. F. Petrie, 'Tombs of the courtiers and Oxyrhynkos' (London, 1925), pl. VII, 1—5, 13; T. E. Peet in E. Naville (ed.) 'Cemeteries of Abydos' II (London, 1913), pl. X, 1; J. de Morgan, ‘Recherches sur les Origines de l’Égypte II (Paris, 1896-7), 192. fig. 699; J. E. Quibell, ‘Archaic Objects’ (Cairo, 1905), no. 14040: P. Montet, 'Kêmi' 8 (1946). pls.VII—VIII; W. B. Emery, 'Great tombs of the First Dynasty; excavations at Sakkara' II' (London, 1954), 58 and pl. XXIX, 233C; Z. Y. Saad, 'The excavations at Helwan art and civilization in the first and second Egyptian dynasties' (Norman, 1969), pl.49; A. Scharif, 'Abusir-el-Meleq' I, p1.39 (439); A. Scarff, 'Die Altertümer der Vor- und Frühzeit' II (Berlin, 1929-31), no. 11 and pl.17; E. Amélineau, ‘Les Nouvelles Fouilles d’Abydos’ I, (1895-6), pl.XXXI; W. C. Hayes, 'The scepter of Egypt : a background for the study of the Egyptian antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art' I (Cambridge, Mass, 1953), 45, fig. 35; G. Dreyer, 'Mitteilungen der Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Abteilung Kairo' 32 (Wiesbaden, 1976), 86, VIII (b) and pl. 25d.

    T. E. Peet in E. Naville (ed.) 'Cemeteries of Abydos' II (London, 1913), 33 and pl. X, I, lower left;
    U. Schweitzer, 'Löwe und Sphinx in Alten Ägypten' (1948), 12.
    Nicholson and Shaw, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Cambridge 2000), p. 324


  • Bibliography

    • Spencer 1980 497 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G64/dc10

  • Condition


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: YCA63750

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