Pair of Clappers

Period: New Kingdom, Amarna Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 18

Reign: reign of Akhenaten

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten), King's House at Amarna, Pit south of the pond, Egypt Exploration Society excavations, 1931–2

Medium: Hippopotamus ivory

Dimensions: max. L. 21.5; max. h. as resting 2 ; max w. as resting 3.6 cm (8 7/16 x 13/16 x 1 7/16 in.)

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. John Hubbard and Egypt Exploration Society, 1932

Accession Number: 32.5.2a, b


These clappers in the form of human hands were carved from a single hippopotamus tusk that was split in half. Such percussion instruments were used to keep time during dances or as part of a musical ensemble. These examples, however, were found in a miniature coffin at Amarna and seem to have been part of an offering.