Egyptian Wand [Object of the Day #57]

September 4, 2012

Wand Wand carved from hippopotamus tusk
Wand carved from hippopotamus tusk,Egypt, 12th Dynasty circa 1938-1759 BCE

This wand was carved from a hippopotamus tusk and decorated with nine magical figures including a lion, frog, gazelle, vulture and a cat.  Each of these figures are seated on top of a hieroglyph. The lion head is seen at larger end of the tusk and a jackal head decorates the pointy end of the tusk.

This object is dated to the 12th Dynasty (1938-1759 BCE) in Egypt, from Rifeh. This time period is also known as Middle Kingdom which saw the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt as well as the rise of the cult of Osiris. To learn more about the 12th Dynasty and get an expert’s take on the curse of the the pharaohs, read the Expedition article “The Curse of the Curse of the Pharaohs” by Dr. David Silverman, Vol 22 No. 1.

Penn Museum Object #E2914.

See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database.