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Friday, 12 October 2012

The Archers

arrowNot the Radio 4 programme, but archery stuff in the Egypt Centre, particularly stone arrowheads. The Egyptians also had arrowheads made of bone and metal but the flint arrowheads were especially sharp. Flint is a very effective material for making weaponary. It is lighter than metal, sharper than metal and breaks up when the animal or human moves. The latter quality means that not all the fragment can be got out of flesh. Yuk! Of course, being fragile also means it can't be used again and again. Also, if its light maybe it wouldn't be so good for piercing heavy armour.

The picture above shows some of our hollow based arrowheads dating to the Predynastic Period. The fact that these are made more elaborate than they need be suggests that they may well have had some symbolic importance too. You can read more about them here.

AR503402It is quite feasible to make much simpler arroweads from small flakes of stone. Indeed Egypt Centre has a couple of examples. The example on the left is from Armant. Note how small it is. You can read more about this type here.

The Egyptians used flint arrowheads right up until the 6th century BC, and no wonder. Why switch to metal if flint does the trick.

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