The Great Pyramid of Giza was a thousand years into to the future when this little guy was made.
This figurine, carved from the tusk of a hippopotamus, was carved during ancient Egypt’s most distant era, the Predynastic Period, ca. 3900-3500 B.C.
It is hundreds of years before the rule of King Narmer, the founder of the First Dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt in the 31st century B.C.
Egyptologists suggest that it is hard to imagine the tusk is anything but a powerful phallic symbol, enhanced by the ivory’s natural shape and the strong male features carved into it.
Who owned this striking talisman, however, will forever be a mystery.
This tusk figurine is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Accession Number: 23.2.31).