Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom in Egypt 9781784912499

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Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom in Egypt
 9781784912499

Table of contents :
Cover
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1Introduction
1.1. The scope of the study
1.2. History of research
Chapter 2 Production of Tools
2.1. Types of splintery rocks
2.2. Sources of raw materials
2.3. Lithic technology
2.4. Typology
2.5. Organisation of lithic production
Chapter 3 Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom
Figure 1. Metrical data on rectangular sickle blades from Kom el-Hisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine (measurements in mm). Measurements for Ain Asil are given for the most numerous group of sickle blades at the site, made of auburn and black-
Figure 2. Comparison of measurements and proportions of rectangular sickle blades of the Predynastic period and the Old Kingdom (Nagada, Hamemieh, Badari according to Holmes 1989, Ain Asil according to Midant-Reynes 1998, Elephantine according to Hikade 2
Chapter 4 Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites
4.1. The Dakhla Oasis
4.1.1. Ain el-Gazzareen (Site 32/390/K2-2)
4.1.2. List of types for the site of Ain el-Gazzareen
4.1.3. Watch-posts
4.1.4. The temple of Mut el-Khorab (Site 31/405 – G9 – 1)
4.1.5. Ain Asil
4.1.6. Comparison of sites from the Dakhla Oasis
4.2. Kom el-Hisn, the western Nile Delta
4.3. Elephantine
Figure 3. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of types of cores.
Figure 4. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on cores (measurements in mm).
Figure 5. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types
Figure 6. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on debitage (measurements in mm)
Figure 7. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of retouched tools along with the absolute and percentage frequencies of burnt pieces calculated within particular types .
Figure 8. Ain el-Gazzareen. Type and location of retouch on sickle blades
Figure 9. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of raw materials counted for each type of retouched tools
Figure 10. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types
Figure 11. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools
Figure 12. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types
Figure 13. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools
Figure 14. Ain Asil. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)
Figure 15. Comparison of flint inventories recovered from the late Old Kingdom sites in the Dakhla Oasis. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce.
Figure 16. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types
Figure 17. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types
Figure 18. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials.
Figure 19. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks
Figure 20. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of the location of retouch.
Figure 21. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials.
Figure 22. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks.
Figure 23. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Different sections for blades used for sickle production.
Figure 24. Comparison of percentages of different tool types from selected sites. Percentages based on the total number of tools (Helwan, Elephantine, Giza, Ibrahim Awad and Ain Asil according to Hikade 2005. For Ain el-Gazzareen and Kom el-Hisn see this
Figure 25. Elephantine. Northern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)
Figure 26. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)
Figure 27. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013).
Figure 28. Elephantine. Southern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)
Figure 29. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)
Figure 30. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013).
Chapter 5 Comparison of Flint Assemblages Dated to the Old Kingdom: Sites from Dakhla Oasis, Kom el Hisn and Elephantine
Figure 31. Comparison of flint inventories from Kom el-Hisn, the Dakhla Oasis and Elephantine. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce. (Elephantine according to Hikade 2013)
Figure 32. The percentage frequencies of major types of flint tool from watch-posts Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout. Compare to Figure 25.
Chapter 6 El Kharafish
Figure 33. El Kharafish 02/5-1. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types. (according to Riemer 2011b)
Chapter 7 Three Lithic Complexes
Chapter 8 The Importance of Flint Tools in the Culture of Early Dynasties of Egypt
8.1. Economic importance
8.2. Ritual importance
8.3. Prestige
Chapter 9 The Cognitive Potential of Flint Materials
9.1. Centralised rule
9.2. Acculturation
9.3. External contacts
Figure 34. Similarities and differences between flint inventories from the sites of Ain el-Gazzareen and El Kharafish (according to H. Riemer 2011a)
Chapter 10 Continued Interest in Flint
Chapter 11 Conclusions
Figure 35. Map of sites mentioned in the text. 1 Tell el Fara’in/Buto; 2 Kom el Hisn; 3 Tell el Iswid; 4 Tell Ibrahim Awad; 5 Tell el Farkha; 6 Abu Rawash; 7 Giza; 8 Abusir; 9 Heluan; 10 Dahshur; 11 Fayum; 12 Wadi Sheikh; 13 Beni Hassan; 14 Abydos; 15
Figures
Figure 36. Bifacial knife type 2 (Abydos, according to Hikade 1997).
Figure 37. Bifacial knife type „fish teil” type 1 (Abydos, tomb U-127, according to Hikade 1996).
Figure 38. 1- Bifacial knife type 3 (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 2- bifacial knife type 4 (according to Kromer 1978); 3-4 bifacial knifes worn by grainding (Abydos, according to Svoboda 2006)
Figure 39. Bifacial knife type 5 (Ain Asil VI dynasty, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)
Figure 40. Scene of dividing a cow’s carcass using bifacial knife. (Saqqara, mastaba of Ptahetep, V dynasty, according to Davies 1901).
Figure 41.1-9 Rectangular sickle blades 1-4 Kom el Hisn; 5-7 Ain el Gazzareen; 8-9 Ain Asil (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)
Figure 42. 1-3 half-finished sickle blades, 4 wooden sickle with visible row of sickle blades.
Figure 43. 1 Scene of harvesting by sickle with flint inserts (Tomb of Sennediem, XIX dynasty, according to Tristant 2009); 2 reconstruction of hafting sickle inserts based on traces of bitumite (Middle east, according to Cauvin 1973)
Figure 44. 1-5 masive rectangular sickle blades; 6-7 massive triangular sickle blades
Figure 45. 1-5,9 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) older phase (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 6-8, 10 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) younger phase (Elephantine, according to Hikade 2002);
Figure 46. 1 massive scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 3 scraper with denticulated edge (Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)
Figure 47. 1 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 triangular scraper (Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b; 3-5 end-scrapers (3-4 Ain el Gazzareen, 5 Ain Asil (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)
Figure 48. 1 crescent shaped drill (Tell el Fara’in/Buto (according to Schmidt 1986); 2-5 microperforators (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-8 notches (Ain el Gazzareen)
Figure 49. 1-2 nosed scrapers (Ain el Gazzareen); 3-5 tanged arrow heads (3,5 Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 bifacially retouched arrow heads (6 – Abydos, tomb of Djer, according to Hikade 2003; 7 – Ain el Gazzareen); 8 trapezoidal arrow head (Elephantine, accord
Figure 50. 1-5 borers (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 denticulates (6 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 7 – Ain el Gazzareen)
Figure 51. 1,3 strangled pieces (1 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 3 – Ain el Gazzareen); 2,4 scaled pieces (Ain el Gazzareen); 5-6 retouched flakes (Ain el Gazzareen);
Figure 52. 1-4 burins (Elephantine, according to Katthagen 1985); 5 backed piece (Helwan, according to Hikade 2005); 6-7 bracelets of flint (6 – Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b), 7 – Elephantine (according to Katthagen 1985)
Figure 53. Axe (Giza, afer Kromer 1978)
Figure 54. Hoe (Ain el Gazzareen)
Figure 55. Pebble tool (Dahshur)
Figure 56. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 cores
Figure 57. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 cores
Figure 58. Type list. 1 - bifacial knife; 2 – rectangular sickle blade; 3 – triangular sickle blade; 4 – half-finished sickle blade; 5 – massive rectangular sickle insert; 6 – massive triangular sickle insert; 7 – massive scraper; 8 – flat scraper; 9 – en
Figure 59. Ain el Gazzareen, bifacial knife
Figure 60. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 bifacial knifes
Figure 61. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 worn bifacial knifes
Figure 62. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 fragments of bifacial knifes
Figure 63. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 worn bifacial knifes
Figure 64. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 rectanglar sickle blades
Figure 65. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 triangular sickle blades; 4-6 half-finished sickle blades; 7-8 massive rectangular sickle blades
Figure 66. Ain el Gazzarn, 1-8 massive rectangular sickle blades
Figure 67. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 massive triangular sickle blades
Figure 68. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 masive scrapers
Figure 69. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 flat scrapers
Figure 70. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 flat scrapers
Figure 71. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 end-scrapers
Figure 72. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 nosed scrapers.
Figure 73. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 rabots
Figure 74. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 crescent shaped drills; 2,5 tanged arrow heads; 3,6 bifacially retouched arrow heads, 7 retouched flake.
Figure 75. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 micro-perforators; 10-12 noches
Figure 76. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-8 borers
Figure 77. Ain el Gazareen, 1-6 denticulate tools
Figure 78. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,3 strangled pieces; 2,4-6 scaled pieces
Figure 79. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 retouched blades; 2,3,5 retouched flakes
Figure 80. Dakhla Oasis. Location of watch-posts. 1- Seth Hill; 2 – Bee’s Lookout; 3 – Nephtys Hill; 4 – Trigpoint Hill; 5 – Meidum Hill; 6 – Darb el Tawil; 7 – E-99/38, E-99/39; 8- El Kharafish
Figure 81. Seth Hill. 1-2 cores; 3 Double patinated Middle Palaeolithic levallois core.
Figure 82. Seth hill. 1 sickle blade; 2 massive triangular sickle blade; 3 flat scraper, 4 massive scraper
Figure 83. Seth Hill. 1 end scraper; 2-3 tanged arrow heads; 4 retouched flake; 5 microperforator; 6 borer ; 7 denticulated tool; 8 notch; 9 scaled piece. 1,6-7 and 9 are double patinated Midlle Palaeolithic tools.
Figure 84. Bee’s Lookout. Core of chalcedony.
Figure 85. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 cores; 3,5 flat scrapers; 4 massive scraper; 6 mikroperforator; 7 borer. Number 4 is double patinated Middle Palaeolithic tool.
Figure 86. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 borers; 3 crescent shaped drill; 5 denticulated tool; 6 scaled piece; 4,7 retouched flakes.
Figure 87. Kom el Hisn. 1 core; 2 obsidian core; 3 notch; 4 borer; 5-6 truncations
Figure 88. Kom el Hisn. 1,3 fragments of bifacial knife; 2 – burin; 4 flat scraper
Figure 89. Kom el Hisn. 1-9 rectangular sickle blades
Figure 90. Kom el Hisn. 1-3 rectangular sickle blades; 4-6 triangular sickle blades, 7-10 half- finished sickle blades
Figure 91. Kom el Hisn. 1 end scraper; 2 retouched flake; 3 retouched blade.
Figure 92. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-4 cores (according to Riemer 2011a)
Figure 93. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 scrapers with flat retouch; 4-7 scrapers with steep retouch (according to Riemer 2011a)
Figure 94. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 scrapers made on Middle Palaeolithic double patinated flakes; 3-9 borers (according to Riemer 2011a)
Figure 95. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 perforators; 4-5 denticulated tools; 6-7 noches (according to Riemer 2011a)
Figure 96. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 bifacially retouched arrow heads; 3 Ounan point; 4-6 fragments of knifes; 7 retouched blade; 8 truncation (according to Riemer 2011a). 4,7 and 8 seem to be rather sickle blades.
Figure 97. Beni Hasan. XII dynasty Manufacture of flint knifes: a Tomb 2; b Tomb 15, (according to Griffith 1896)
Figure 100. Tabular flint
Figure 98. Eastern Desert. 1-2 heavy duty tools (according to Seton Karr 1905)
Figure 99. Nodular flint
Figure 101. Dahshur. Surface concentration of pebble flint
Figure 102. Naqlun. Layer containing pebble flints
Figure 103. Ain el Gazzareen. Hammerstone of quartz
Figure 104. Ain el Gazzareen. Cores
Figure 105. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacial knife
Figure 106. Dakhla Oasis. Rite of bifacial knife on sandstone rock.
Figure 107. Ain el Gazzareen. Rectangular and triangular sickle blades
Figure 108. Ain el Gazzareen. Half-products of sickle blades
Figure 109. Ain el Gazzaren. Massive rectangular sickle inserts
Figure 110. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts
Figure 111. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive scrapers
Figure 112. Ain el Gazzareen. Flat scrapers
Figure 113. Ain el Gazzareen. Nosed scrapers
Figure 114. Ain el Gazzareen. Crescent shaped drill
Figure 115. Ain el Gazzareen. Tanged arrow heads
Figure 116. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacially retouched arrow heads
Figure 117. Ain el Gazzareen. Microperforators
Figure 118. Ain el Gazzareen. Borers
Figure 119. Ain el Gazzaren. Denticulated pieces
Figure 120. Ain el Gazzareen. Scaled pieces
Figure 121. Ain el Gazzareen. Strangled pieces
Figure 122. Dahshur. Pebble tool
Figure 123. Stone construction on the wathpost
References
Appendix Contribution to the Functional Identification of Flint Tools used during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. A Case Study of Kom el Hisn and Ain el Gazzareen
1. Research methods
Introduction
2. The characteristics of the inventories and the results of use-wear analysis
Kom El Hisn
Ain el-Gazzareen
References
Summary
Appendix: Figure 1. Kom el-Hisn. Blade for smoothing non-organic material (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) and for plant cutting (b – microscopic photo, magnification 100x)
Appendix: Figure 2. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with edge polish (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) used for cereal cutting (b, c – microscopic photos, magnification 100x)
Appendix: Figure 3. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b - microscopic photo, magnification 100x)
Appendix: Figure 4. Kom El-Hisn. Blade used for plant cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b - microscopic photo, magnification 100x)
Appendix: Figure 5. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 100x)
Appendix: Figure 6. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x).
Appendix: Figure 7. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knife with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x)
Appendix: Figure 8. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 6 heavy duty scrapers
Appendix: Figure 9. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 heavy duty scrapers; 8 - 11 nosed scrapers
Appendix: Figure 10. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 end scrapers; 8 - 9 bifacial knifes
Appendix: Figure 11. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 5 bifacial knifes; 6 - 9 flat scrapers
Appendix: Figure 12. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 flat scrapers; 5 - 11 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 12 bifacial knife
Appendix: Figure 13. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 10 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 11 - 17 massive triangular sickle inserts
Appendix: Figure 14. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 massive triangular sickle inserts; 5 - 12 lamellar sickle inserts; 13 - 14 half-products of lamellar sickle inserts
Appendix: Figure 15. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 bifacially retouched projectile point; 2 - 4 groovers; 5 - 6 double backed perforators; 7 perforator; 8 - 9 scaled pieces
Appendix: Figure 16. Ain el-Gazareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x)
Appendix: Figure 17. Ain el- Gazareen. Massive rectangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x, c- microscopic photo of plant processing photo, magnification, pow. 200x)
Appendix: Figure 18. Ain el-Gazareen, Lamellar sickle insert (microscopic photo, magnification 200x)
Appendix: Figure 19. Ain El-Gazzareen. Groovers and perforator with traces of boring hard material

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt Michał Kobusiewicz

Archaeopress Egyptology 12 A

B

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt Michał Kobusiewicz

Archaeopress Egyptology 12

Archaeopress Publishing Ltd Gordon House 276 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 7ED

www.archaeopress.com

ISBN 978 1 78491 249 9 ISBN 978 1 78491 250 5 (e-Pdf)

© Archaeopress and M Kobusiewicz 2015

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Table of Contents Acknowledgments���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� v Chapter 1 Introduction������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1 1.1. The scope of the study...................................................................................................................................................................1 1.2. History of research.........................................................................................................................................................................2

Chapter 2 Production of Tools�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 2.1. Types of splintery rocks.................................................................................................................................................................6 2.2. Sources of raw materials...............................................................................................................................................................7 2.3. Lithic technology............................................................................................................................................................................7 2.4. Typology.........................................................................................................................................................................................9 2.5. Organisation of lithic production.................................................................................................................................................10

Chapter 3 Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom��������������������������������������������������������������������������13 Chapter 4 Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites�����������������������������������������������������������������������������26 4.1. The Dakhla Oasis..........................................................................................................................................................................26 4.1.1. Ain el-Gazzareen (Site 32/390/K2-2)..................................................................................................................................26 4.1.2. List of types for the site of Ain el-Gazzareen......................................................................................................................30 4.1.3. Watch-posts........................................................................................................................................................................33 4.1.4. The temple of Mut el-Khorab (Site 31/405 – G9 – 1).........................................................................................................38 4.1.5. Ain Asil................................................................................................................................................................................39 4.1.6. Comparison of sites from the Dakhla Oasis.......................................................................................................................40 4.2. Kom el-Hisn, the western Nile Delta............................................................................................................................................43 4.3. Elephantine..................................................................................................................................................................................48

Chapter 5 Comparison of Flint Assemblages Dated to the Old Kingdom: Sites from Dakhla Oasis, Kom el Hisn and Elephantine����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������53 Chapter 6 El Kharafish�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������56 Chapter 7 Three Lithic Complexes�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������58 Chapter 8 The Importance of Flint Tools in the Culture of Early Dynasties of Egypt������������������������������������������������������������������59 8.1. Economic importance..................................................................................................................................................................59 8.2. Ritual importance........................................................................................................................................................................59 8.3. Prestige........................................................................................................................................................................................60

Chapter 9 The Cognitive Potential of Flint Materials�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������61 9.1. Centralised rule............................................................................................................................................................................61 9.2. Acculturation...............................................................................................................................................................................62 9.3. External contacts.........................................................................................................................................................................64

Chapter 10 Continued Interest in Flint��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������66 Chapter 11 Conclusions�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������67 Figures���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������69 References������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 141 Appendix Contribution to the Functional Identification of Flint Tools used during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. A Case Study of Kom el Hisn and Ain el Gazzareen��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 147 Małgorzata Winiarska-Kabacińska

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List of Figures Appendix: Figure 1. Kom el-Hisn. Blade for smoothing non-organic material (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) and for plant cutting (b – microscopic photo, magnification 100x) ........................................... 152 Appendix: Figure 2. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with edge polish (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) used for cereal cutting (b, c – microscopic photos, magnification 100x)................................................................................... 153 Appendix: Figure 3. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b microscopic photo, magnification 100x) ..................................................................................................................... 154 Appendix: Figure 4. Kom El-Hisn. Blade used for plant cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b microscopic photo, magnification 100x)...................................................................................................................... 155 Appendix: Figure 5. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 100x) ......... 156 Appendix: Figure 6. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x). ..................................................................................................................................... 157 Appendix: Figure 7. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knife with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x) ................................................................................................................. 157 Appendix: Figure 8. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 6 heavy duty scrapers...................................................................................... 158 Appendix: Figure 9. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 heavy duty scrapers; 8 - 11 nosed scrapers.................................................. 159 Appendix: Figure 10. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 end scrapers; 8 - 9 bifacial knifes................................................................ 160 Appendix: Figure 11. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 5 bifacial knifes; 6 - 9 flat scrapers ................................................................ 161 Appendix: Figure 12. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 flat scrapers; 5 - 11 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 12 bifacial knife... 162 Appendix: Figure 13. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 10 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 11 - 17 massive triangular sickle inserts........................................................................................................................................................................... 163 Appendix: Figure 14. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 massive triangular sickle inserts; 5 - 12 lamellar sickle inserts; 13 - 14 half-products of lamellar sickle inserts........................................................................................................................ 164 Appendix: Figure 15. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 bifacially retouched projectile point; 2 - 4 groovers; 5 - 6 double backed perforators; 7 perforator; 8 - 9 scaled pieces............................................................................................................... 165 Appendix: Figure 16. Ain el-Gazareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x)...................................................................................................................... 166 Appendix: Figure 17. Ain el- Gazareen. Massive rectangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x, c- microscopic photo of plant processing photo, magnification, pow. 200x)............................................................................................................................................................................. 167 Appendix: Figure 18. Ain el-Gazareen, Lamellar sickle insert (microscopic photo, magnification 200x).......................... 168 Appendix: Figure 19. Ain El-Gazzareen. Groovers and perforator with traces of boring hard material .......................... 168 Figure 1. Metrical data on rectangular sickle blades from Kom el-Hisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine (measurements in mm). Measurements for Ain Asil are given for the most numerous group of sickle blades at the site, made of auburn and black-coloured (silex marron et noir) flint (according to Midant-Reynes 1998, fig. 7; for Elephantine according to Hikade 2013)..........................................................................................................16 Figure 2. Comparison of measurements and proportions of rectangular sickle blades of the Predynastic period and the Old Kingdom (Nagada, Hamemieh, Badari according to Holmes 1989, Ain Asil according to MidantReynes 1998, Elephantine according to Hikade 2013)...................................................................................................17 Figure 3. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of types of cores...........................27 Figure 4. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on cores (measurements in mm).......................................28 Figure 5. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types.........................29 Figure 6. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on debitage (measurements in mm)..................................30 Figure 7. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of retouched tools along with the absolute and percentage frequencies of burnt pieces calculated within particular types ............................31 Figure 8. Ain el-Gazzareen. Type and location of retouch on sickle blades.........................................................................33 Figure 9. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of raw materials counted for each type of retouched tools.........................................................................................................................................34 Figure 10. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types....................................................................35 Figure 11. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools..................................................................36 Figure 12. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types...........................................................37 Figure 13. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools.........................................................38 Figure 14. Ain Asil. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)..........41 Figure 15. Comparison of flint inventories recovered from the late Old Kingdom sites in the Dakhla Oasis. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce........................................................................................................................42 Figure 16. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types..............................................................44 Figure 17. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types.....................................................................44 ii

Figure 18. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials.........................45 Figure 19. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks......................45 Figure 20. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of the location of retouch..........................45 Figure 21. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials..........................46 Figure 22. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks........................46 Figure 23. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Different sections for blades used for sickle production........................................46 Figure 24. Comparison of percentages of different tool types from selected sites. Percentages based on the total number of tools (Helwan, Elephantine, Giza, Ibrahim Awad and Ain Asil according to Hikade 2005. For Ain elGazzareen and Kom el-Hisn see this volume.................................................................................................................48 Figure 25. Elephantine. Northern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)............................................48 Figure 26. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)..................................................................................................................................................................49 Figure 27. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013)..............................................................................................................................................................................50 Figure 28. Elephantine. Southern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)............................................50 Figure 29. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)..................................................................................................................................................................51 Figure 30. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013)..............................................................................................................................................................................52 Figure 31. Comparison of flint inventories from Kom el-Hisn, the Dakhla Oasis and Elephantine. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce. (Elephantine according to Hikade 2013)..............................................................54 Figure 32. The percentage frequencies of major types of flint tool from watch-posts Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout. Compare to Figure 25.....................................................................................................................................................55 Figure 33. El Kharafish 02/5-1. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types. (according to Riemer 2011b)..........57 Figure 34. Similarities and differences between flint inventories from the sites of Ain el-Gazzareen and El Kharafish (according to H. Riemer 2011a).....................................................................................................................64 Figure 35. Map of sites mentioned in the text. 1 Tell el Fara’in/Buto; 2 Kom el Hisn; 3 Tell el Iswid; 4 Tell Ibrahim Awad; 5 Tell el Farkha; 6 Abu Rawash; 7 Giza; 8 Abusir; 9 Heluan; 10 Dahshur; 11 Fayum; 12 Wadi Sheikh; 13 Beni Hassan; 14 Abydos; 15 Umm el Qaab; 16 Elefantyna; 17 Ain el Gazzareen; 18 Ain Asil; 19 Mut el Khorab; 20 Dakhla, strażnice w oazie; 21 Dakhla, strażnice poza oazą; 22 El Kharafish; 23 Gilf el Kebir.....................69 Figure 36. Bifacial knife type 2 (Abydos, according to Hikade 1997). .................................................................................70 Figure 37. Bifacial knife type „fish teil” type 1 (Abydos, tomb U-127, according to Hikade 1996). ...................................71 Figure 38. 1- Bifacial knife type 3 (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 2- bifacial knife type 4 (according to Kromer 1978); 3-4 bifacial knifes worn by grainding (Abydos, according to Svoboda 2006)........................................72 Figure 39. Bifacial knife type 5 (Ain Asil VI dynasty, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)....................................................73 Figure 40. Scene of dividing a cow’s carcass using bifacial knife. (Saqqara, mastaba of Ptahetep, V dynasty, according to Davies 1901)..............................................................................................................................................73 Figure 41.1-9 Rectangular sickle blades 1-4 Kom el Hisn; 5-7 Ain el Gazzareen; 8-9 Ain Asil (according to MidantReynes 1998)..................................................................................................................................................................74 Figure 42. 1-3 half-finished sickle blades, 4 wooden sickle with visible row of sickle blades.............................................75 Figure 43. 1 Scene of harvesting by sickle with flint inserts (Tomb of Sennediem, XIX dynasty, according to Tristant 2009); 2 reconstruction of hafting sickle inserts based on traces of bitumite (Middle east, according to Cauvin 1973)..............................................................................................................................................................76 Figure 44. 1-5 masive rectangular sickle blades; 6-7 massive triangular sickle blades.......................................................77 Figure 45. 1-5,9 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) older phase (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 6-8, 10 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) younger phase (Elephantine, according to Hikade 2002); ................................................................................................................................................................78 Figure 46. 1 massive scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 3 scraper with denticulated edge (Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)........................................................................................................79 Figure 47. 1 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 triangular scraper (Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b; 3-5 end-scrapers (3-4 Ain el Gazzareen, 5 Ain Asil (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)...............................................80 Figure 48. 1 crescent shaped drill (Tell el Fara’in/Buto (according to Schmidt 1986); 2-5 microperforators (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-8 notches (Ain el Gazzareen)..................................................................................................................81 Figure 49. 1-2 nosed scrapers (Ain el Gazzareen); 3-5 tanged arrow heads (3,5 Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 bifacially retouched arrow heads (6 – Abydos, tomb of Djer, according to Hikade 2003; 7 – Ain el Gazzareen); 8 trapezoidal arrow head (Elephantine, according to Katthagen 1985)...........................................................................82 Figure 50. 1-5 borers (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 denticulates (6 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 7 – Ain el Gazzareen)..................................................................................................................................................................83 Figure 51. 1,3 strangled pieces (1 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 3 – Ain el Gazzareen); 2,4 scaled

iii

pieces (Ain el Gazzareen); 5-6 retouched flakes (Ain el Gazzareen); ...........................................................................84 Figure 52. 1-4 burins (Elephantine, according to Katthagen 1985); 5 backed piece (Helwan, according to Hikade 2005); 6-7 bracelets of flint (6 – Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b), 7 – Elephantine (according to Katthagen 1985).........................................................................................................................................................85 Figure 53. Axe (Giza, afer Kromer 1978)..............................................................................................................................86 Figure 54. Hoe (Ain el Gazzareen)........................................................................................................................................87 Figure 55. Pebble tool (Dahshur).........................................................................................................................................88 Figure 56. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 cores.................................................................................................................................89 Figure 57. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 cores.................................................................................................................................90 Figure 58. Type list. 1 - bifacial knife; 2 – rectangular sickle blade; 3 – triangular sickle blade; 4 – half-finished sickle blade; 5 – massive rectangular sickle insert; 6 – massive triangular sickle insert; 7 – massive scraper; 8 – flat scraper; 9 – end-scraper; 10 – nosed scraper; 11 – rabot; 12 – crescent shaped drill; 13 – tanged arrow head; 14 – bifacially retouched arrow head; 15 – micro-perforator; 16 – borer; 17 – notch; 18 – denticulate tool; 19 – strangled piece; 20 – scaled piece; 21 – axe; 22 – hoe; 23 retouched blade; 24 – retouched flake.............91 Figure 59. Ain el Gazzareen, bifacial knife...........................................................................................................................92 Figure 60. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 bifacial knifes....................................................................................................................93 Figure 61. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 worn bifacial knifes..........................................................................................................94 Figure 62. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 fragments of bifacial knifes..............................................................................................95 Figure 63. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 worn bifacial knifes..........................................................................................................96 Figure 64. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 rectanglar sickle blades....................................................................................................97 Figure 65. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 triangular sickle blades; 4-6 half-finished sickle blades; 7-8 massive rectangular sickle blades...................................................................................................................................................................98 Figure 66. Ain el Gazzarn, 1-8 massive rectangular sickle blades........................................................................................99 Figure 67. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 massive triangular sickle blades..................................................................................... 100 Figure 68. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 masive scrapers.............................................................................................................. 101 Figure 69. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 flat scrapers.................................................................................................................... 102 Figure 70. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 flat scrapers.................................................................................................................... 103 Figure 71. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 end-scrapers................................................................................................................... 104 Figure 72. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 nosed scrapers............................................................................................................... 105 Figure 73. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 rabots............................................................................................................................. 106 Figure 74. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 crescent shaped drills; 2,5 tanged arrow heads; 3,6 bifacially retouched arrow heads, 7 retouched flake.............................................................................................................................................. 107 Figure 75. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 micro-perforators; 10-12 noches................................................................................... 108 Figure 76. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-8 borers............................................................................................................................. 109 Figure 77. Ain el Gazareen, 1-6 denticulate tools.............................................................................................................. 110 Figure 78. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,3 strangled pieces; 2,4-6 scaled pieces............................................................................. 111 Figure 79. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 retouched blades; 2,3,5 retouched flakes...................................................................... 112 Figure 80. Dakhla Oasis. Location of watch-posts. 1- Seth Hill; 2 – Bee’s Lookout; 3 – Nephtys Hill; 4 – Trigpoint Hill; 5 – Meidum Hill; 6 – Darb el Tawil; 7 – E-99/38, E-99/39; 8- El Kharafish............................................................ 113 Figure 81. Seth Hill. 1-2 cores; 3 Double patinated Middle Palaeolithic levallois core..................................................... 114 Figure 82. Seth hill. 1 sickle blade; 2 massive triangular sickle blade; 3 flat scraper, 4 massive scraper ........................ 115 Figure 83. Seth Hill. 1 end scraper; 2-3 tanged arrow heads; 4 retouched flake; 5 microperforator; 6 borer ; 7 denticulated tool; 8 notch; 9 scaled piece. 1,6-7 and 9 are double patinated Midlle Palaeolithic tools.................... 116 Figure 84. Bee’s Lookout. Core of chalcedony................................................................................................................... 117 Figure 85. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 cores; 3,5 flat scrapers; 4 massive scraper; 6 mikroperforator; 7 borer. Number 4 is double patinated Middle Palaeolithic tool................................................................................................................... 118 Figure 86. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 borers; 3 crescent shaped drill; 5 denticulated tool; 6 scaled piece; 4,7 retouched flakes............................................................................................................................................................................. 119 Figure 87. Kom el Hisn. 1 core; 2 obsidian core; 3 notch; 4 borer; 5-6 truncations.......................................................... 120 Figure 88. Kom el Hisn. 1,3 fragments of bifacial knife; 2 – burin; 4 flat scraper.............................................................. 121 Figure 89. Kom el Hisn. 1-9 rectangular sickle blades........................................................................................................ 122 Figure 90. Kom el Hisn. 1-3 rectangular sickle blades; 4-6 triangular sickle blades, 7-10 half- finished sickle blades...... 123 Figure 91. Kom el Hisn. 1 end scraper; 2 retouched flake; 3 retouched blade.................................................................. 124 Figure 92. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-4 cores (according to Riemer 2011a)................................................................................ 125 Figure 93. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 scrapers with flat retouch; 4-7 scrapers with steep retouch (according to Riemer 2011a)........................................................................................................................................................................... 126 Figure 94. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 scrapers made on Middle Palaeolithic double patinated flakes; 3-9 borers (according to Riemer 2011a)........................................................................................................................................ 127 Figure 95. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 perforators; 4-5 denticulated tools; 6-7 noches (according to Riemer 2011a)............. 128 Figure 96. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 bifacially retouched arrow heads; 3 Ounan point; 4-6 fragments of knifes; 7 iv

retouched blade; 8 truncation (according to Riemer 2011a). 4,7 and 8 seem to be rather sickle blades.................. 129 Figure 97. Beni Hasan. XII dynasty Manufacture of flint knifes: a Tomb 2; b Tomb 15, (according to Griffith 1896)....... 130 Figure 98. Eastern Desert. 1-2 heavy duty tools (according to Seton Karr 1905).............................................................. 131 Figure 99. Nodular flint...................................................................................................................................................... 131 Figure 100. Tabular flint..................................................................................................................................................... 131 Figure 101. Dahshur. Surface concentration of pebble flint.............................................................................................. 132 Figure 102. Naqlun. Layer containing pebble flints........................................................................................................... 132 Figure 103. Ain el Gazzareen. Hammerstone of quartz..................................................................................................... 133 Figure 104. Ain el Gazzareen. Cores................................................................................................................................... 133 Figure 105. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacial knife....................................................................................................................... 133 Figure 106. Dakhla Oasis. Rite of bifacial knife on sandstone rock. .................................................................................. 134 Figure 107. Ain el Gazzareen. Rectangular and triangular sickle blades........................................................................... 134 Figure 108. Ain el Gazzareen. Half-products of sickle blades............................................................................................ 134 Figure 109. Ain el Gazzaren. Massive rectangular sickle inserts........................................................................................ 135 Figure 110. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts........................................................................................ 135 Figure 111. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive scrapers................................................................................................................ 136 Figure 112. Ain el Gazzareen. Flat scrapers....................................................................................................................... 136 Figure 113. Ain el Gazzareen. Nosed scrapers................................................................................................................... 137 Figure 114. Ain el Gazzareen. Crescent shaped drill.......................................................................................................... 137 Figure 115. Ain el Gazzareen. Tanged arrow heads........................................................................................................... 137 Figure 116. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacially retouched arrow heads....................................................................................... 138 Figure 117. Ain el Gazzareen. Microperforators................................................................................................................ 138 Figure 118. Ain el Gazzareen. Borers................................................................................................................................. 138 Figure 119. Ain el Gazzaren. Denticulated pieces.............................................................................................................. 138 Figure 120. Ain el Gazzareen. Scaled pieces...................................................................................................................... 138 Figure 121. Ain el Gazzareen. Strangled pieces................................................................................................................. 139 Figure 122. Dahshur. Pebble tool....................................................................................................................................... 139 Figure 123. Stone construction on the wathpost.............................................................................................................. 140

Acknowledgments I would like to express my gratitude to people and institutions that largely contributed to this book. Grateful thanks are due to Anthony Mills, the director of the Dakhla Oasis Project, who kindly allowed me to analyse the rich Ain el-Gazzareen materials; and Robert Wenke, the then director of the American Research Center in Cairo, who invited me to cooperate in investigations at the site of Kom el-Hisn. I am most grateful to Olaf Kaper for trusting me with the materials from the watch-posts located in the Dakhla Oasis, and to Colin Hope for permitting me to study the lithic inventory from the Mut el-Khorab temple. Thanks are also due to Clara Juthe for the possibility to examine the archaeological record from Ain Asil. Lesley and Anthony Mills always created a nice and very friendly atmosphere and excellent working conditions in the Dakhla Oasis. I am much obliged to Zbigniew Szafrański, the director of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw in Cairo, and to Katarzyna Szafrańska, for their hospitality in the Centre, which much facilitated my study visits to Egypt. I am deeply indebted to the staff of the library of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, the library of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale in Cairo, the library of the Nubian Museum in Aswan and the library of the Collège de France in Paris for their assistance in exploring their book collections. I should also like to thank Andrzej Ćwiek for reading and commenting the text with his Egyptological expertise. Last, but not least, thanks are due to Joanna Sawicka for preparing tables, figures and her help in editing the text. The book has been written as a project Nr NN 109 202538, financed by the Ministry of Science and Tertiary Education. Owing to its financial support, I could conduct in-depth analyses of materials and explore the libraries of various institutions in Egypt and Paris.

v

Chapter 1 Introduction

conducted in accordance with the exhaustive list of types compiled for the materials recovered from the settlement site of Ain el- Gazzareen.

1.1. The scope of the study This book seeks to explore the issues of production, use and importance of flint tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the epoch immediately following the unification of pre-state organisms of Upper and Lower Egypt into one political body; the early days of the long reign of the pharaohs, the rulers of the Lower Nile valley, eventually also of oases scattered over extensive areas of deserts to the east and west of the valley and of Sinai.

At the beginning of this period, the vast majority of Egyptians dwelt in small settlements and lived by cultivating wheat and barley as well as by breeding cattle, sheep, goat and pig. Some hunting, fishing and gathering were done but played a minor role in this agriculture-based economy. Each village constituted a confined, self-contained world. Remarkably, by the end of the Old Kingdom, Egypt had burgeoned into a well organised, centralised state with an efficient administration, a powerful army, its own writing system and a developed economy; a state that was able to erect its own, splendid architecture and prominent towns (Wenke 2009). It is remarkable that in this advanced civilisation, flint nonetheless retained its essential function.

The study encompasses the Archaic Period, known also as the Early Dynastic Period, and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Their precise chronological frameworks, notably of the former one, have been widely discussed in the subject literature, albeit there is no space here to do this debate justice. When exactly the Archaic Period dawned remains a particularly contentious issue. The Egyptian state is most frequently defined as starting c. 3100 BC, when Aha, the first pharaoh of Dynasty I, acceded to the throne and established the capital at Memphis. This moment marks the commencement of the historical era of Egypt. The Archaic Period comprises the reign of dynasties I and II, the end of which falls at 2686 BC (Wenke 2009). Some Egyptologists include Dynasty III in the Archaic Period (Wilkinson 2000), a possibly misguided opinion considering that the dynasty displays features typical of the Old Kingdom (Wenke 2009). It is consequently assumed in this work that the Old Kingdom stretched from the establishment of Dynasty III to the end of Dynasty VI, that is to say from 2686 BC to 2181 BC. R. J. Wenke (2009) includes here the Old Kingdom dynasties VII and VIII as well. Having lasted for merely 21 years in total and least known in our present state of knowledge, they are generally taken to have been part of the First Intermediate Period. This book therefore presumes that the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom spanned 414 and 505 years respectively, thus accordingly the chronological scope of this study covers 919 years.

Owing to the natural conditions, the boundaries of the formation that came to be known as the Egyptian state from its early days remained virtually unchanged. Following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ancient Egypt spanned the Nile Delta and Valley upriver to the 1st Cataract – today’s Aswan, then Abu, the Sinai Peninsula and the Faiyum Oasis. Starting from Dynasty IV, Egypt also ruled over two deserts, i.e. the Eastern and the Western Deserts, or, to be exact, over large oases, e.g. Faiyum, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga, later also the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert, and over large wadis such as Wadi Hammamat and Wadi el-Sheikh in the Eastern Desert. Egypt’s intermittent sway in the area of Palestine or Nubia was too short-lived and weak for these states to be included into the territory of the Egyptian state. This book is an in-depth study of tools made of flint, which unceasingly fulfilled a major role in the period under study. Flint, occurring in a number of varieties, substantially outnumbers other raw materials used for manufacturing tools: chalcedony, obsidian, quartzite, carnelian or rock crystal, all found in small or even minute amounts, which attests to their minor role in the first periods of Egyptian history. Notwithstanding a growing number of implements made of copper, then bronze, flint tools constituted an essential element of a broad-based culture, and not only material culture, in the Archaic Period, the Old Kingdom and beyond.

The monograph explores and concentrates on rich flint inventories attributable to the late dynasties of the Old Kingdom especially thoroughly, and presents hitherto unpublished materials from rich archaeological sites such as Kom el-Hisn in the Western Delta, Ain el-Gazzareen in the Dakhla Oasis and watch-posts set up in the Oasis and in its vicinity. The analysis of the assemblages, which also refer to the well-studied materials yielded by contemporary archaeological sites such as Ain Asil from the Dakhla Oasis and Elephantine in northern Nubia, was

Initially in the form of beads, cooper has a history of use in Egypt at least since the Neolithic Badari culture (Krzyżaniak 1977). It is also found in the Naquada culture 1

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt (Ciałowicz 1999; Needler 1984). Copper ore was mined from the pre-Cambrian formations on the coast of the Red Sea, west of Gebel Zeit, from the early dynasties through to the beginning of the Old Kingdom (Wilkonson 2000). Requiring considerable expertise and marked by high fuel consumption, copper metallurgy was very expensive, as opposed to cheap and effective flintworking. Therefore, it was not before the twilight of the Old Kingdom that flint was gradually superseded by copper and bronze. Sickles with flint inserts came to be replaced by metal equivalents only by the end of the Late Iron Age, when iron became inexpensive (Müller 1983). Flint nonetheless persisted and there is an abundant archaeological record and a variety of extant iconographic and written sources to evidence its exploitation in the Middle and New Kingdom, and even later, at least until the 1st millennium BC (Hikade 2000). B. Midant-Reynes (1981) noted that flint, along with gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli held a prominent position in mythology as well as in beliefs and customs of Ancient Egypt. The paramount importance of flint in the life of the ancient Egyptians is brilliantly attested to by the grandeur of flint mines at Wadi el-Sheikh, exploited at least down to the end of the Middle Kingdom (Negro, Cammelli 2010).

Recent advanced excavations at a few Old Kingdom settlement sites have produced assorted, rich flint inventories. As well as permitting more comprehensive analyses of the typology of flint artefacts and the manufacturing technologies than those from burial assemblages, finds from settlement contexts shed some light on the organisation of toolmaking. Furthermore, lithic analyses evidence even such issues as centralisation of administration and external relations throughout the period of the first dynasties, and can be used to draw an understanding of the processes of acculturation of communities occupying the areas beyond the Nile valley, ensuing from the colonisation by the State of the Pharaohs. The analysed sites include Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen from the Dakhla Oasis, watch-posts located in the oasis and in its vicinity, a nearby pastoral nomadic settlement site of El Kharafish, a large settlement of Kom el-Hisn from the western Delta, and Elephantine in Egyptian Nubia. The foregoing sites largely provide a basis for exploring the Old Kingdom flint industry. Below I outline the history of field research at major Archaic Period and Old Kingdom sites which yielded lithic materials under study. It is worth noting that flint artefacts held various research value for archaeologists, hence the scarcity of such sites to be analysed. In earlier studies flint materials were either completely disregarded or merely hinted upon, site reports mentioning only specimens of great aesthetic appeal, e.g., beautiful Predynastic bifacial knives of the ripple-flaked type. Sadly, debitage went entirely unnoticed in the course of investigations. While artefacts from burial contexts were generally acknowledged, flint finds from settlement sites were habitually overlooked (Ciałowicz 1999; Conard 2000; Holmes 1989; Tillmann, 1999). This applies also to some extent to the area of Palestine (Rosen 2014). Predynastic flint inventories were typically so rich and constituted such a considerable share of the archaeological record that they could not be simply ignored (Buchez, Midant-Reynes 2007; Hendricks, Midant-Reynes 1988; Holmes 1989, 1992;) as such they stand in marked contrast to flint materials dated to the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom, overshadowed by finds of other elaborate objects of high aesthetic value.

B. Adams and K. Ciałowicz (1997) claim that the quantity of flint artefacts in the Archaic Period decreases roughly to ten per cent compared to the Predynastic period. I am of the opinion that while the discrepancy between the representation of this category of finds in the archaeological record from both periods is undeniable, it was decidedly far less extensive that the one suggested by Adams and Ciałowicz. The authors’ statement supposedly refers to the inventories from royal tombs or tombs of high officials employed in the then capital towns. However, the analysis of tool assemblages yielded by important, yet provincial settlement sites dated to dynasties V and VI, such as Ain Asil, Ain el-Gazzareen, both in the Western Dakhla Oasis, Kom el-Hisn from the western Delta or Elephantine, showed that copper objects were scarce, whilst flints accounted for virtually 100 per cent of the raw materials used for making tools. In the past, archaeologists investigating the Archaic Period and particularly the Old Kingdom had largely neglected the problem of the production and use of flint implements. It is only in the recent years that, together with the growing realisation of flint’s significance in Egyptians’ life, economy, religion and even armed conflicts, an increasing interest in the issue has been apparent in the subject literature. The topic has nevertheless remained largely unexplored and definitely needs to be further elaborated upon. This book is therefore intended to be the first comprehensive account of toolmaking and use in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. It was based on published materials from a variety of sites, both from investigations carried out at the turn of the 20th century and subsequent excavations, specifically those conducted in the last two decades of the 20th century and the early 21st century. Flint inventories were recovered from settlement sites and burial sites alike.

1.2. History of research There is a widely held consensus that the research of the antiquities of Egypt was inaugurated with the activity of a group of scholars who travelled alongside Napoleon’s army in the early 19th century. The first to take notice of flint artefacts was A. Arcelin, in 1869. Once intensive investigations of Egyptian antiquities began in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, the first to study flint finds fairly thoroughly was J. J. M. de Morgan (1896). Interestingly, in the last one hundred and twenty years there have been two clearly marked peaks of research, which resulted in recovering a considerable amount of ancient Egyptian flint materials. The first one covers the period from c. 1890 to the mid-second decade of the 20th century, while the second has lasted roughly from the early 1970s until now. 2

Production of Tools The publication of flint artefacts attributable to various periods was pioneered by such scholars of the closing two decades of the 19th century as J. J. M. de Morgan, G. Ebers or F. Delanoue. An Egyptian scholar, S. A. Huzayyn (1939), was the first on the territory of Egypt to seriously, albeit timidly, investigate flint assemblages. In the 1960s, some advancement in flint studies occurred with the publication of the first synthesis of Predynastic flint materials by E. Baumgartel (1960).

Abu Rawash The site is located north of Saqqara, at the north end of Memphis and its Necropolis. In the years 1880–2, an English Egyptologist, W. M. F. Petrie, conducted the first investigation of the site, followed by L. Borchardt; in the years 1898–1901 the site was excavated by É. G. Chassinat, in 1912–13 by P. Lacau and, in 1922, by J. P Montet. From 1957 to 1959, the latter’s research was continued by A. Klassens, who discovered even more mastabas and excavated a burial site dating back to dynasties 0 and I. Between 1995 and 2007, a French-Swiss expedition conducted excavations under the direction of M. Valloggio, and in 2007, Y. Tristant unearthed a Protodynastic necropolis; both worked on behalf of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale.

According T. A. H. Wilkinson (1999), serious exploration of flintwork and flint implements’ usage can be said to commence in Egyptology along with publications of Polish researchers, mostly prehistoric archaeologists, such as B. Ginter, A. Dagnan-Ginter, J. K. Kozłowski and J. Śliwa (Dagnan-Ginter et al. 1984; Ginter et al. 1980; Ginter, Kozłowski 1994).

Abydos

There is no doubt whatsoever that the enhancement of the quality of studies on flint inventories has largely ensued from establishing professional relations between some Egyptologists and prehistorians, whose expertise, methods of investigation and analysis of flint inventories had already been marked by excellence, and from the warmly welcomed participation of the latter in Egyptological research.

One of the longest-known and well-researched sites in Egypt, notably its necropolises of the earliest dynasties, the site is situated on the west bank of the Nile, on the edge of the desert, 40km southeast of Sohag. In the 1860s, the site was excavated by A. Mariette. The Abydos sites enjoyed particular research interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The site was investigated successively by É. Amélineau, W. M. F. Petrie, E. R. Ayrton, J. Garstang , T. E. Peet, W. Kaiser and G. Dreyer, the last two from the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Cairo. Engaged in research at the site are also S. Harvey and J. Wagner. Abydos has been recently investigated by American researchers, namely D. O’Connor and M. Adams.

Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in the number of published studies in the field, both comprehensive analysis of particular flint assemblages (Briois, Midant-Reynes 2008; Hikade 1990b, 2000b, 2003a, 2003b, 2005, 2013; Kobusiewicz 2007; Midant-Reynes 1998; Schmidt 1985, 1987,1992a, 1992b, 1996); works that seek to examine lithic technology (Hikade 1997, 2008; Midant-Reynes 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987; Midant-Reynes, Tixier 1981); and monographs of particular types of tools (Clark et al. 1974; Hikade 2001, 2004). Last, but not least, a monograph on the Predynastic lithic industry in the Upper Egypt has been published by D. L. Holmes (1989).

Ain Asil The seat of the governor of the Dakhla Oasis at the times of Dynasty VI, the site, discovered by A. Fakhry, lies in the centre of the Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert. The site has been under excavation since 1977, research on behalf of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale directed by J. Vercoutter, then L. Giddy and presently by G. Soukiassian and M. Wuttmann.

A brief history of research at the most important sites to yield flint materials attributable to the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom is outlined below. Principal investigators of particular sites are mentioned, along with archaeologists concerned with lithic production. Sites are given in alphabetical order and their location is shown on the map (Figure 35).

Ain el-Gazzareen Located in the central-western part of the Dakhla Oasis, the site was discovered by R. Fray in 1975. Since 1995, the site has been investigated by the Director of the Dakhla Oasis Project, A. Mills.

Abusir

Dahshur

Discovered in 1842 by K. R. Lepsius, the site is located on the west bank of the Nile, ca. 2.5km north of Saqqara, 17km south of Giza. From 1898 to 1901, it was excavated by a German Egyptologist L. Borchardt and in the years 1902–6 by other German researchers, i.e., G. Möller, H. Ricke and F. von Bissing. Between 1976 and 1986, Czech archaeologists supervised by M. Verner investigated the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir, dating to Dynasty V, and then explored the Old Kingdom burial sites of dynasties III-IV under M. Barta.

The site lies about 40km south of Giza. In 1843, K. R. Lepsius drew a map of the area. In the years 1894-5, research at the site was conducted by J. J. M. de Morgan. In 1925, G. Jequier explored the Bent Pyramid. Between 1951 and 1955, A. Fakhry continued the investigations. In 1975, the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut launched its research activity in the area, directed first by D. Arnold,

3

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt then, since 1980, by R. Stadelmann and now by S. Seidelmeyer and N. Alexanian.

Helwan The site, located ca. 25km southeast of Cairo, was excavated from 1942 to 1954 by Z. Y. Saad. Since 1997, investigations have been conducted by Ch. Köhler from Macquarie University, Australia, at present in Vienna.

Elephantine Elephantine is an island in the Nile, on the First Cataract, located between Egypt and Nubia. The first investigations were commenced in 1917 by P. Bovier Lapierre. Further research on the island was carried out on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquity Service in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1968, W. Kaiser and G. Dreyer started years-long excavations of structures of varying chronology on behalf of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, in collaboration with the Swiss Institute of Architectural and Archaeological Research in Egypt. M. Ziermann and D. Raue participated in the research.

El Kharafish The camp occupied by the community of the Sheikh Muftah culture, located ca. 25km north of the Dakhla Oasis, was excavated in 2002 by H. Riemer at the University of Cologne. Kom el-Hisn It is a settlement site of a considerable size functioning in Dynasty VI, located in the western Delta and investigated in the seasons 1984, 1986 and 1988 under R. Wenke, the then director of the American Research Center in Egypt.

Faiyum Faiyum is an oasis located to the west of the Nile, 70km south of Cairo. The area was first investigated in the early 20th century by H. W. Seton-Karr. In the years 1924–6, the area was under extensive prospecting by English researchers G. Caton-Thompson and E. Gardner, who worked on behalf of the Royal Anthropological Institute; they identified a number of sites with flint inventories attributable to the Early Pharaonic periods. In 1978–86, B. Ginter, A. Dagnan-Ginter, J. K. Kozłowski and J. Śliwa from Jagiellonian University, Kraków, investigated Protodynastic and Middle Kingdom sites in cooperation with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. In 1999, T. Herbich from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, conducted archaeomagnetic surveys near the temple of Qasr el Sagha. Numerous prehistoric sites in the depression were explored by Italians, Americans and Poles.

Mut el Khorab Research at the temple of Mut el Khorab, in the city of Mut, the capital of the Dakhla Oasis, has been carried out by C. Hope from the Monash University, Australia. Saqqara Saqqara is another of the richest and most widely excavated sites. It is located ca. 30km south of Cairo. F. A. Mariette is known to have been the first to work there, exploring Serapeum in 1850. Saqqara was further excavated by G. C. Ch. Maspero in 1886 and J. J. M. de Morgan in 1899. W. B. Emery excavated Early Dynastic tombs during three periods: 1935-8 (alongside Z. Y. Saad and A. Klassens), 1952–6 and in 1964; M. Z. Goneim worked there in 1952 and J. P. Lauer and J. Leclant since 1960. Currently Saqqara has been investigated by a number of archaeologists, to wit: K. Myśliwiec, at the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, Warsaw University, who has been exploring the area in the vicinity of the Pyramid of Djoser, including the Old Kingdom tomb of the Merefnebef since 1997; M. J. Raven from the Netherlands and Ch. Ziegler from France. Among the Egyptian researchers, I should mention S. Hassan, Abu Bakr, M. Z. Goneim and A. Fakhry.

Gilf el Kebir It is a plateau in south-western Egypt. In 1980, E. Cziesla at the University of Cologne investigated a camp of desert pastoral nomads dated to the end of Dynasty VI. Giza Giza is another of most intensively researched locations in Egypt. Most prominent researchers from across the globe include G. B. Belzoni, who worked there in 1819; H. Vyse and J. Perring (1837); K. R. Lepsius (1842–3); F. A. Mariette (1859); W. M. F. Petrie (1880–81, 1907); G. Ch. Maspero (1880–86); E. (1903–20); H. Junker (1912– 14, 1926–8); K. Kromer (1971–5); N. Conard (1988–9); Egyptian archaeologists include Selim Hassan, Abu Bakr, Ahmed Fakhry and W. S. Smith, who worked at the site in the years 1946–7. Since the early 1990s, M. Lehner and Z. Hawass directed the American and Egyptian missions, respectively. Furthermore, G. A. Gaballa, E. Brovarski, P. Der Manuelian, A. M. Roth and P. Janosi have recently explored the area.

Watch-posts at Dakhla Remains of several watch-posts were found in the Dakhla Oasis. ‘Seth Hill’ was excavated by O. Kaper in 2000 and 2004, and ‘Bee’s Lookout’ in 1999. O. Kaper worked also at watch-posts named ‘Meidum Hill’, ‘Venus Hill’ and ‘Trigpoint Hill’. ‘Nephthys Hill’ was discovered by M. Kleindienst in 1997. Watch-posts codenamed 99/38 and 99/39, located in the present-day desert about 25km south of the village of Ain el-Gazzareen in the centralwestern part of the Dakhla Oasis, were identified in 1999 by C. Bergman and unearthed in 2000 by R. Kuper and H. Riemer at the University of Cologne. 4

Production of Tools Since 2006, the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale has continued research at the site. In 2009, T. Herbich conducted an archaeomagnetic survey in the area.

Tell el Fara’in (Buto) The site is located in the north-western Delta, about 40km south of today’s sea coast. In the 1960s, English archaeologists V. Seton-Williams and D. Charlesworth registered the archaeological record attributable to later periods. In 1983-2007, the Predynastic to early Dynasty III levels were examined by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut expedition, supervised by T. von der Way and then D. Faltings. From 2001 to 2006, the area was explored by French researchers.

Tell el Farkha Tell el Farkha is located in the central western Delta. In the years 1987-9, research at the site was carried out by Italians, under R. Fattovich and S. Salvatori. Since 1998, this rich site dating to the Predynastic and Early Archaic Period has been excavated by Poles from Jagiellonian University, Kraków, and Archaeological Museum in Poznań, under the supervision of K. Ciałowicz and M. Chłodnicki.

Tell Ibrahim Awad The site is located in the middle of the eastern Delta, ca. 130km to the north east of Cairo. Since 1986, research at the site has been conducted by the Dutch expedition led by E. K. M. Van den Brink and W. van Haarlem. Excavations produced remains from the Predynastic period to the Middle Kingdom inclusive, together with a burial site from the time of the Dynasty I-II.

Wadi el-Sheikh The site is located east of the Nile, 160km south of Cairo. A huge quarry, it was exploited virtually at least down to the end of the Middle Kingdom. M. Blankenhorn prospected Wadi el-Sheikh in 1898. H. W. Seton-Karr was the first to explore the quarry in 1905. E. Baumgartel is known to have been at the site in 1930. In 1981, G. Weisberger and J. Kunkel investigated the area, and in 2009, G. Negro and M. Cammelli conducted more extensive excavations at the site.

Tell el Iswid Located in the western Delta, 40km to the north west of the town Zagazig, the site was excavated between 1984 and 1987 by a Dutch researcher E. K. M. Van den Brink.

5

Chapter 2 Production of Tools

cutting through the terraces. In the process of natural transport by wind and water, the surface of flint nodules is smoothed and largely removed of cortex. This kind of raw material was worked into small, simple tools for the manufacture of which large blanks (blades and flakes) were unnecessary.

2.1. Types of splintery rocks In the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom, rich varieties of flint provided ancient Egyptians with the essential raw materials for the production of chipped stone tools. In the words of D. A. Stocks (2003), flint is a siliceous rock; ranking 7 out of 10 on the Mohs’ hardness scale, it is slightly harder than quartz. Flint occurs as nodules in beds of Eocene limestone. Its eroded lumps, derived from siliceous spicules of sponges, are often found on the surface to be collected by people. Deeper-deposited, larger and better-preserved flint nodules were quarried from limestone rocks. The most suitable raw material for making stone tools, flint nodules were knapped with a hammerstone to detach flakes or blades with very sharp edges.

The second type of raw material, occurring as fewcentimetre-thick flat sheets of still doubtful origin, is commonly called tabular flint (Figure 100). Eminently suitable for the manufacture of flat, oval or fan-shaped scrapers, the so-called ‘tabular’ or ‘flat scrapers’ as well as for the production of massive sickle inserts and some larger tools, it was exploited on a massive scale in the late Old Kingdom in the Dakhla Oasis. The Oasis is bounded in the north by a high escarpment overlaid by the Eocene limestone plateau; it is more than likely that it was exploited as sources of tabular flint (Riemer 2011a). This variety, sometimes caramel in colour, occasionally orange or wine-coloured with a cherry shade (Kobusiewicz 2007; McDonald 1979-80), The surface of the slabs is frequently covered with a smooth, whitish cortex with sundry irregularities and small depressions. Most common is a reddish yellow variety (5YR-6/6). Strong brown flint (7.5YR-4/6) is fairly frequent, while reddish brown is rare (2.5YR-3/4). Some researchers believe that the latter colour resulted from flint being burnt in fire (McDonald 1993). Moreover, some scholars have purportedly located its sources in Palestine and in the Negev (Rizkana, Seheer 1988).

Frequent in the subject literature is the term ‘chert’. Flint is often referred to as chert and, likewise, chert repeatedly goes by the name of flint. The denotative difference between these two is difficult to explain. Nevertheless, given that flint, in its various forms, stands as the most common lithic raw material for manufacturing implements throughout the periods under study, in this book a general term ‘flint’ will designate both flints and cherts, irrespective of terms used by other authors in their studies. In ancient Egypt flint was represented by word kf (pronounced kef or kaf) (Roth 1992) or ds (pronounced def). Several words are believed to have denoted flint, depending on the period and function of flint tools (MidantReynes 1981). One word could have interchangeably stood for flint and a flint knife. Flint is even noted in the Pyramid Texts (Midant-Reynes 1985). Considering that the word ‘flint’ is brought up by ritual texts down to the Ptolemaic Period, it is no exaggeration to say that a king or god would for two millennia stab their enemies with flint (Midant-Reynes 1984).

Mined flint comprises the third type of raw material. Identical in terms of physicochemical structure, this variety was procured by quarrying to obtain better quality raw material from deeper buried deposits. Flint-miners exploited open-cast pits (Figure 102) or even dug shafts. Mined flint nodules, covered with whitish stone cortex, were characterised by a reduced amount of internal cracks, and as such were a superior raw material for the production of tools. Often larger-sized compared to specimens collected from the surface, mined nodules were accordingly better suited for the manufacture of larger items. Such flint typically occurred in various shades of brown in different hue variants: a light brown variety with pink streaks (according to the Munsell Colour Chart 7.5 YR 5/3 brown) was used especially from the late Naqada II to the mid- Dynasty II; medium brown of caramel hue with whitish streaks (7.5YR 4/4 brown) was exploited in Dynasty I; a very homogeneous dark brown variety of chocolate hue (7.5 YR 4/3 brown) was in use since Dynasty II. Procured from a wide range of sources, the foregoing

In terms of quality and usefulness, flint raw material falls into three varieties. The first one, nodular flint (Figure 99), comprises nodules collected from the surface, typically spherical or irregularly oval, fairly small and rarely exceeding 10cm in diameter. In accordance with the Munsell Soil Color Card they can be described as mostly brown in colour (10YR-5/3), but also pale brown (10YR6/3) or dark grey (10YR 4/1). Eroded from Palaeocene limestone strata, nodules of raw flint are scattered in large quantities on the surqfface of the plateau or at the foot of the escarpments. They are also deposited on terraces extending along the Nile valley and at the bottom of wadis 6

Production of Tools three colour variants of flint were exploited in different periods, from the late Predynastic to the Archaic Period inclusive (Hikade 2000a), and even later, throughout the Old Kingdom, yet were never mutually exclusive. Such flint was quarried from diverse types of mines and is habitually called Egyptian; in this book, such flint, after Hikade, is referred to as mined.

period (Tillmann 1999). Flint obtained from mines, more hydric and less fractured, was certainly a higher quality raw material compared to lumps collected from the surface. Far less exploited in toolmaking was chalcedony, raw material to be found in the area of Darb el-Arbain in the Western Desert, where it occurs as nodules in playa deposits (Said 1990), and obsidian, produced in small quantities by such sites as Elephantine, Hierakonpolis, Abydos, Qau elKebir, Tell el-Iswid, Tell el-Fara’in Buto, Kom el-Hisn, Tell el-Farkha or Abusir el-Meleq. Considering that no obsidian deposits have been identified anywhere in Egypt, the raw material was assuredly imported, possibly from different regions, although the areas of the African rift valley of Ethiopia and Yemen look like the most likely sources of obsidian imports (Hendricks, Bavay 2002; Wilkinson 2000). They were allegedly brought to Egypt via the Red Sea and the Eastern Desert (Bavay et al. 2000). Analysis of Predynastic obsidian artefacts recovered from Tell elIswid and Tell el-Fara’in/Buto have demonstrated that throughout the Lower Egyptian culture, the communities inhabiting the Delta imported obsidian from the Middle East, i.e., the region of present-day Turkey (Bavay et al. 2004).

2.2. Sources of raw materials Egypt is replete with flint-bearing locations. Flint nodules eroded out of Eocene limestone, extending along the Nile valley, were well-known and readily available. They are found on the surface of limestone formations from Cairo to Isna (Hikade 2000a) and on a high plateau near the Faiyum Oasis, north of Lake Birket Qarun (Ginter 1985); on the plateau near Abydos (Hikade 2000a); in the Eocene formations near west Thebes (Debono 1971; Tillmann 1999); in an analogous formation Sin El Kaddab, about 80km south of Aswan (Kopp 2006) and in Dakhla and Kharga oases in the Western Desert. Raw flint was quarried from Eocene limestone for example at Wadi el-Sheikh in the Eastern Desert, 160km south of Cairo, where flint occurs in Eocene limestone beds stretched along the wadi (Baumgartel 1960; Negro, Cammelli 2010; Seton-Karr 1905; Weinberger 1987). The Wadi el-Sheikh quarry is notable for the extensive procurement of raw flint. Flint nodules were obtained both from open-cast pits and shafts, the latter perhaps in later periods. It is unsurprising considering that mine shafts had been exploited in Nazlet Kater in Middle Egypt as early as 33,000 years ago (Vermeersch et al. 1984). Wadi elSheikh mine fields are estimated to be 8 x 2km in size; huge piles of flint waste and hundreds of remains of mine shafts revealingly attest to the massive scale of mining works carried out on site. Raw material procurement has a long tradition in the area; it started sometime in prehistory and continued, at the very least, into the Middle Kingdom. Substantial archaeological record evidences that flintknappers crudely worked flint nodules around the pits and shafts and roughed out standardised, slender single platform cores. The cores were used to remove quality blades used as blanks for the production of sickle blades; interestingly, the blades themselves are virtually absent from Wadi el-Sheikh inventories (Negro, Cammelli 2010).

In addition, tools were sporadically crafted from carnelian, known from the Eastern Desert (Hikade 2000a; Kopp 2006), rock crystal (Adams, Ciałowicz 1997), or petrified wood. Occasionally, perhaps when circumstances precluded customary flint procurement, people tailored to their specific needs flint implements from earlier periods of prehistory, notably easily distinguishable flint artefacts of Middle Palaeolithic origin (Figures 81:3; 85:3) to be found in abundance scattered, e.g., all over the Western Desert (Close 1996; Hikade 2013; McDonald 1996; Kobusiewicz 2007; Riemer et al. 2005). 2.3. Lithic technology The production of every single tool started with roughing out the selected raw material. While the former tradition of producing blades continued into the Predynastic and Archaic Periods (Mączyńska 2013), the dominance of a primitive flake technology, used for working nodular flint, is apparent in the Old Kingdom Egypt. The processing of raw flint typically began on the very spot where it was obtained, be it on the surface where flint lumps were collected, near open-cast pits or around the tops of shafts in the case of underground mines. A collected or mined flint nodule was initially roughed out, its cortex thoroughly removed along with any unnecessary fragments hampering further processing (Negro, Cammelli 2010; Weisberger 1987 ). Any nodules disintegrating due to internal cracking were readily discarded at this phase. That flint nodules brought to settlement sites were already roughly prepared is attested to by the lack of unworked pieces, crude cores or primary debitage, i.e., flakes completely or largely covered with cortex at such sites. All were purposely left at a mine with a view to facilitating

It is worthy of note that 90 per cent of flints recovered from Old Kingdom layers at the site of Kom el-Ahmar, located roughly 460km south away from the analysed flintmining site, were made of flint raw material procured from Wadi el-Sheikh outcrops. Thus, Kom el-Ahmar inventory bears ample testimony to the extensive distribution of raw flint raw exploited at Wadi el-Sheikh (Pawlik 2006, after Negro, Cammelli 2010). Flint quarries not unlike those at Wadi el-Sheikh have also been recorded at such sites as a nearby Wadi Sojoor, dating from the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom, or Abu Roash near Giza, exploited throughout the Pharaonic 7

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt transportation. Nodules were further worked depending on the type of implement to be manufactured.

4-6; 108). All such quality blades are made from mined flint, which is absent in inventories, from both exhausted cores and from manufacturing debris. Produced as blanks for the manufacture of sickle blades, the blades were supplied to settlement sites, where they were shaped into rectangular (Figures 41: 1-9; 107) and triangular (Figures 65: 1-3; 107) sickle blades. Artefacts shaped using par pression technology were found at such Archaic sites as the tomb of Hemaka of Dynasty I in Saqqara (Emery 1938); Abu Roash and Abusir of Dynasty I; Abydos and Giza of dynasties I-II, Ain Asil (Midant-Reynes 1998), Ain el-Gazzareen (Kobusiewicz 2007) and Kom el-Hisn of Dynasty VI (Kobusiewicz 1988, 2015).

Flintwork technological procedures fall into five general types. In the first place, flake technology was used solely for working nodular flint. Exploited were single platform cores, which gradually, as the processing continued, turned into irregular multiplatform cores. There was little core shaping, and a striking platform, sides and a back were invariably left unworked. Consequently, cortex surfaces were often used as striking platforms. Considering that cores were flaked at random directions, multiplatform cores are most common (Figures 56: 1-3; 57: 1-4; 104). Flint knappers frequently discarded cores having detached one or a few flakes, therefore initial cores are found in considerable quantities. Heavily exhausted cores are occasionally recovered, notably from watchposts (Figures 81:2; 85:1-2). Both hard and soft hammers were in use, the former primarily during the initial phases of core processing. The above-described technology was employed to remove flakes, typically random and of various shapes, fashioned into simple retouched tools of generally smaller sizes.

Some researchers would argue that the above list of technologies should take account of a sixth one, allegedly employed by flint knappers from the Dakhla Oasis, called a counter shock technique, purportedly consisting of removing heavily rippled flakes by knapping a lump of raw material set on a hard stone base with a hard hammer. Using counter shock technique for toolmaking is supposedly evidenced by the occurrence of scaled pieces (Figures 51: 2,4; 86: 6, 120), usually regarded to be a type of cores trimmed by dint of this technique, as well as scaled flakes. I am of the opinion that scaled pieces do not constitute the remains of a conscious process aimed at obtaining scaled flakes, but were simply wedges used for splitting various materials, such as wood and bone. As such, they should be bracketed with implements.

Of a fundamentally different type was core technology, used for processing tabular flint. This variety of flint was never roughed out to produce cores; instead, a selected piece of a slab was trimmed, or ‘carved’, to produce tools, mostly larger pieces, such as various types of scrapers (Figures 46: 1-3; 111-112) and massive rectangular and triangular sickle inserts (Figures 44:1-5; 109-110).

Noteworthy are specimens from tabular flint exhibiting traces of heat-treatment. In the late Predynastic and early Archaic Periods, flint knappers heated raw material to improve the quality of raw material (Hikade 2008; Holmes 1989, 1992, 1996; Inizan et al. 1975-1976; Schmidt 1996). Identified in various locations of the old and new worlds, this treatment was practised in Egypt for a long time in the era preceding the periods under study (McDonald 1991). The question is whether heating was carried out deliberately, in order to facilitate flint processing, or if such artefacts accidentally fell into fire. It is significant, however, that pieces made of nodular flint never display any traces of having been exposed to fire.

Lithic technology of bifacial retouch was used in subsequent phases of bifacial knives production (Figures 36-37; 39; 105). Midant-Reynes (1998) is of the opinion that bifacial knives found at Ain Asil were imported specimens. It is noteworthy, however, that Ain elGazzareen yielded a fairly considerable amount of waste flakes from the process of bifacial knives production and the temple of Mut el-Khorab even more. The site of Ain Asil produced admittedly a smaller, yet fair, quantity of bifacial trimming flakes. Therefore, it is highly reasonable to conjecture that bifacial knives were produced at these sites or, at the very least, that they were repaired. Ain el-Gazzareen (Figures 61:1-2; 63:1-4) or Abusir yielded knives which were recurrently re-sharpened to the effect that they became heavily worn, further providing strong evidence that repairs were done on site.

Even if directly unrelated to the issue of technology, methods of fixing flint knives and inserts into a haft or handle should not be overlooked while we explore toolmaking in Egypt. Fairly well-examined in our present state of knowledge are handles of bifacial knives from the Predynastic and Archaic Periods, notably those specimens which played a part in ritual practices or were perceived as items of prestige. They were sometimes mounted into an ivory handle, decorated with scenes depicting people or some mostly unidentifiable animals, perhaps mythical beasts (Huyge 2004). The tomb of the pharaoh Djer of Dynasty I produced a knife with the pharaoh’s name inscribed on a gold handle (Needler 1956). The knife from Gobelein was hafted in gold alike (Quibell 1901). Judging by the paintings from Beni Hassan, a handle or haft could have been secured by having been tied with organic fibres

The fourth technological variant pertains to working a discoidal core. Its striking surface was exploited by a series of concentric circular blows forming a round, slightly convex striking surface; this technology produced more or less regular flakes. The only known find is a chalcedony core found at Bee’s Lookout watch-post (Figure 84). Both Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil yielded implements produced by dint of the fifth type of lithic technology. Par pression technology was used to strike regular, slender blades off a single platform core (Figures 42:1-3; 65: 8

Production of Tools (Váchala, Svoboda 1989). It is more than likely than handles from organic materials were commonly used.

Opportunely, the inability to use the method of dynamic typology is not as problematic as it may seem in the case of the analysis of the Archaic and the Old Kingdom flint inventories of Egypt. The practical value of the method lies in the possibilities of comparison it offers, allowing archaeologists to seek similarities and differences between innumerable, often spaced societies of various origin and technological traditions; to draw an understanding of the degree of relationships or isolation between such groups. Châine operatoire analysis bears therefore particular relevance for prehistoric times. This asset is not so germane to the periods discussed in the book on account of the circumstances prevailing in the then Egypt. Ancient Egyptians were a largely unified population, including their economic fundamentals and the resultant cultural adaptation. Whilst an obvious choice in the study on the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, an issue, however, not to be addressed in this book, a method of dynamic typology is nevertheless useful for exploring the question of acculturation of the communities of the Sheikh Muftah culture from the Dakhla Oasis following the arrival of Egyptians of Dynasty V from the Nile valley in the oasis, which will be discussed below.

To make a sickle, flint inserts were set in grooves carved in wooden hafts (Figure 43: 2), and cemented using some adhesive, i.e., resin, probably imported from the Middle East, where bitumen was also used for this purpose (Marder et al. 1995). An imported container with resin, probably cedar remains, was discovered in the tomb of Djer. Further coeval examples of using resin as an adhesive include a sickle blade with remnants of bituminous adhesive from Buto. Of the much later, early New Kingdom origin, are two sickle blades with preserved gluing mass of limestone gypsum found at Tell el-Dab’a in the eastern Delta. That type of adhesive is unknown in earlier periods of Egypt, the earliest examples of its use coming from Palestine, where they were estimated to be dated to the 13th millennium BC (Endlicher, Tillmann 1997). 2.4. Typology A typological analysis of flint artefacts from both periods under study should be performed using the principles of châine operatoire (dynamic typology) (Leroi-Gourhan 1964). This method is based on proper identification of flint artefacts, i.e., cores, debitage, tools, from the subsequent phases of production and possible repairs of an implement. The history of the production process can be thus reconstructed from lumps of raw material, through the core preparation phase, shaping a blank, final refinement into a tool by retouching or other procedures, to end with a tool’s death, that is to say the maximal exploitation or discard. If we assume that lithic technology, i.e., step-by-step actions of a person making an implement, was a permanent rule of conduct, typical and traditionally passed on to future generations within a particular human group, we may endeavour to observe cultural differences and similarities between different communities. In order for the dynamic typology approach, or châine operatoire analysis to be effectively employed, it is essential to analyse the entire flint inventory from a given site. As well as analysing cores at all stages of processing, we need to study the so-called characteristic flint waste, such as platform rejuvenation flakes, core tablets, crested blades of various sequence, chips, flakes, and blades, along with manufacturing debris typical for the production of particular implements, such as burin spalls and microburins. It is most unfortunate that flint inventories recovered from the sites examined in this book lack such vital elements. Deemed insignificant, they were simply neglected either already in the course of investigations (layers were unsieved, thus small flints got overlooked) or in published reports. The possibilities of typological analysis are consequently reduced and any typology must be unavoidably based on the analysis of cores and blanks, i.e., blades and flakes, providing there are any among ready retouched tools in various stages of their use. To some extent, exceptional in this respect are sites such as Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and some watchposts in the Dakhla Oasis, Elephantine in northern Nubia and Kom el-Hisn in the Western Delta.

Any attempt to define the typology of the Archaic and Old Kingdom flint artefacts is inescapably fraught with serious difficulties. The reasons for this are manifold. In the first place, the assemblages from the period are notable for their rich variety. Assorted inventories were recovered from settlement sites, cemeteries, watch-posts such as the ones scattered around the Dakhla Oasis, mine fields or temple premises, even if less numerous at the latter. Each particular type of site fulfilled its own distinct role. Implements were used by various social groups; hence, the needs of farmers were at variance with those of high officials, priests, guards occupying watch-posts or miners extracting flint. Secondly, it is a common practise among researchers compiling such lists of types to have different types of tools combined into one type, e.g., denticulates with notches or scrapers with end scrapers, thereby hindering comparisons. Thirdly, lists of types published in a number of mostly pre-war publications, do not take into account such small tools as perforators, smaller borers or burins. Last, but not least, while we discuss the evolution of some tool types, we should bear in mind that some specimens may have been in use for a very long time, even for a hundred years (Hikade 2004a). Archaeologists handling Egyptian lithic materials brought forward quite a few lists of types, largely for the purpose of describing inventories from particular sites, for particular types of implements, or for particular periods and regions. The earliest and most numerous are lists of types prepared for the sites attributable to the Archaic and Old Kingdom periods. Lists of types compiled by W. M. F. Petrie for Abydos (1902), and by W. B. Emery (1938) for the finds from the tomb of Hemaka of Dynasty I in Saqqara provide 9

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt relevant examples. More recent lists were drawn up by such authors as K. Schmidt (1992a), for Tell Ibrahim Awad; B. Midant-Reynes (1998), for the sixth-dynasty site of Ain Asil in the Dakhla Oasis; N. Conard (2000), for the Old Kingdom materials from Giza; or T. Hikade (2005), for the Archaic and Old Kingdom materials from Helwan and Elephantine (Hikade 2013). Lists of types for the rich inventories recovered from Ain el-Gazzareen, which also lies in the Dakhla Oasis, are provided in chapter 7.1.2 of the book.

2.5. Organisation of lithic production I have discussed above a variety of sources of raw flint exploited by Egyptians in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom. Flint nodules were either harvested from surface accumulations of eroded limestone or quarried in opencast pits or shafts (Negro, Cammelli 2010; Weinberger 1987), in all likelihood by expeditions made ​​up of skilled professionals acquainted with quarrying methods (Tillmann 1999). If sources of raw material, particularly surface accumulations, were located nearby, flint nodules were roughed out and hand-carried by inhabitants of adjacent settlement sites for immediate use. In the case of remote sources, pack animals were likely engaged for carrying a load. A. Close (1996) suggests that cattle could have been used to this end as early as the Neolithic. Throughout the studied periods, these were most probably donkeys, which are known to have been pack animals of fundamental importance in the Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom periods, employed also in goldmines. If necessary, flint could have also been river transported. Such expeditions are thought to have been organised to provide supplies of raw material for groups of specialised flint knappers who worked in the then capital or other administrative centres.

As noted earlier, Egyptologists also attempted to create lists analysing particular types of flint artefacts. Some examples include A. Tillmann’s list (1992) presenting types of sickle blades from the Predynastic period through to the New Kingdom, lists appertaining to the typology of flint arrowheads attributed to the Late Paleolithic through to the New Kingdom of Egypt (Clark et al. 1974; Hikade 2001), or a list of Chalcolithic scrapers of the Early Bronze Age chronology (Hikade 2004a). With one significant exception, namely the publication of materials from Elephantine (Hikade 2013), no general typological studies have been attempted for the Old Kingdom of Egypt as of yet. As regards the Predynastic period, a list of tool types for the site of Maadi was compiled by I. Rizkana and J. Seeher (1985); D. Holmes (1989) drew up a comprehensive list of types for Upper Egypt; and S. A. Rosen (1997) suggested a typology list for the Levant, neighbouring Egypt.

From the Predynastic period onwards, the production of flint tools was twofold. On-site production fulfilled the basic needs of the inhabitants of settlements, notably in areas where flint deposits were located in the vicinity. The sites of Ain ​​el-Gazzareen (Kobusiewicz 2007), Ain Asil (Midant-Reynes 1998) in the Dakhla Oasis, or younger levels of Elephantine, dated to the period of dynasties V-VI (Hikade 2013), provide relevant examples. Excavations at these sites uncovered copious amounts of all categories of lithic materials, i.e., cores, debitage and tools. Nevertheless, a complete absence of unworked flint nodules as well as a low incidence of initial cores and primary debitage products (covered by cortex) suggest that the initial processing, e.g. the removal of redundant pieces and cortex, together with crude, initial core preparation,were done off-site, possibly near the supply sources, with a view to reducing the weight of the transported material.

With some notable exceptions, these lists concern merely the typology of retouched tools or cores, ipso facto ignoring debitage, which, as I previously stated, precludes the application of the dynamic typology method for the analysis of assemblages, or for that matter any comparison between them. All things considered, I shall not attempt to create an overall list of types, which would comprise all flint materials dated to both periods under discussion. The characteristics of particular types used in the book is given in chapter 6. A major weakness of the studies of flint inventories from Egypt in terms of typology lies in the negligible amount of traseological analyses. More intensive traseological analyses should by definition enhance our knowledge on the function of tools, thereby enabling the formulation of more precise definitions of various types of implements. Nonetheless, given the climatic conditions prevailing in Egypt, whether such research would be successful in this area is highly uncertain. Mineral salts contained in site sediments cause salt weathering, bringing about the destruction of flint surfaces and withering of finer use wear traces. This process has been attested for artefacts from the Egyptian Neolithic (Fojud, Kobusiewicz 1982), albeit it is conceivable that it could be less destructive for materials of younger chronology, as evidenced by the results published in this volume.

Given that the technology used to work lithic raw materials at the sites from the Dakhla Oasis was very simple, no expertise or skills were required to produce tools. Cores were roughly prepared and mass-produced flakes were fashioned into an ad hoc, simple implements, such as scrapers, notches, perforators, borers, denticulates or retouched flakes for everyday use. Core shaping tended to be somehow more sophisticated on Elephantine. The lithic industry of the latter is typified by the predominance of blade technology and commonness of bladelets. Elephantine and Dakhla are alike, inasmuch as simple expedient tools were mass-produced on the island, too (Hikade 2013). In Ain el-Gazzareen, similarly to Kom el-Hisn from the western Delta and Elephantine, lithic artefacts were recovered from all architectural 10

Production of Tools structures, which suggests that flint was worked in individual households, all over the settlement. Domestic production is further confirmed by a find of a set of flint implements stored in a storage vessel in unit XXXII at Ain el-Gazzareen. It consisted of two almost spherical scrapers from tabular flint, both retouched along the most part of the length of the edges, a flake and five chips, all from nodular flint. Similar deposits are known from the settlement of Ain Asil, located c. 40km away. Two assemblages containing lithic implements, cores and flakes were found to have been kept in vessels in dwellings at the settlement (Midant-Reynes 1998).

‘razor blades’), the above-mentioned regular quality blades for the production of sickle blades, or arrowheads, covered with precise surface retouch, all of which were further exchanged or traded within centralised state distribution. Upon the relocation of the central authority to the north in the Archaic Period, such centralised groups of professional flint knappers were probably housed at the administrative centre, in the new capital of Memphis. They did all the work, which required high standards of craftsmanship and skill. Grinding, as a tedious and primitive work, is thought to have been left to auxiliary, unskilled workers. As noted earlier, it is more than likely that special expeditions were mounted in order to supply flint knappers with raw material, i.e., procure high quality flint (Hikade 2000a). The aforementioned paintings from Beni Hassan amply illustrate the work of craftsmen in the Middle Kingdom (Dynasty XII) (Figure 97). Such professional workshops are thought to have functioned as early as the Predynastic period (Holmes 1992). Yet, notwithstanding the unreserved consensus of opinion among all researchers that such specialised flint workshops did function in Egypt (Adams, Ciałowicz 1997; Briois, Midant-Reynes 2008; Hikade 1997, 1999b, 2000a, 2008, 2013; Kobusiewicz 2007; Midant-Reynes 1998; Schmidt 1992b; Svoboda 2006; Tillmann 1992, 1999; Wengrow 2006), their existence is merely deduced from the analysis of debitage and tools. Admittedly, T. Hikade (1999b) did publish a workshop site from Helwan, dated to the period from the mid-I to mid-II dynasties, which probably manufactured bifacial knives and scrapers. The excavated workshop, however, did not produce implements to be distributed within the state, but worked in compliance with the needs of the local necropolis. I am certain that it is only a matter of time before field research confirms the hypothesis of the existence of specialised workshops working on a large scale.

Likewise, preparation and repair of sickles were made on site, as attested by a considerable amount of exhausted sickle blades, burnt in fires in domestic hearths in individual houses. Villagers gave sickle blades the final finish in accordance with their needs, by appropriating their length and shape and sharpening their edges with fine serration. Sickle inserts were then set in wooden hafts. Once an edge was worn out, a sickle insert was removed, turned upside down and re-mounted, as evidenced by the frequent occurrence of sickle sheen at both longitudinal edges of these artefacts. It looks as if the inhabitants of Ain ​​el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and partly Elephantine, were essentially self-sufficient in the production of simple flint tools, with the exception of the already mentioned import of half-produced sickle blades, and other standardised tools. On the other hand, guards stationed at watch-posts were forced to settle for the raw material they brought with them, or found somewhere in the vicinity. Judging from the density of lithic artefacts inside the stone structures at Seth Hill and Nephthys Hill, most activities somehow related to flint tools, at the very least to their production and storage, took place inside the structures shaded with some coverage. Standardised implements from mined flint were virtually unattainable for the guards.

The organisation of toolmaking at Kom el-Hisn in the Western Delta, similarly presumed to date from Dynasty VI, was at variance with that in the Dakhla Oasis or Elephantine. Just like the above-discussed sites, so too Kom el-Hisn failed to produce any workshops. Its lithic inventory is almost exclusively made of sickle blades, fragments of bifacial knives and minute amounts of other, simple types of implements. Unlike at Ain el-Gazzareen, cores are virtually absent at the site (constituting 0.71 per cent of the assemblage), and primary debitage or waste from further stages of working core either, which proves that almost all, or even all lithic artefacts were brought to the site ready-made. Only sickle blades were sharpened and mounted in each particular dwelling in the settlement. The scarcity of raw material in the Delta, which stands in marked contrast to the abundance of easily accessible lithic resources in the Dakhla Oasis, may perhaps account for the fact that all flints at Kom el-Hisn were imported, either acquired through trade, or, more likely, distributed by central authorities in accordance with established orders, unsurprisingly so considering that other areas of production were correspondingly organised in Egypt.

Apart from the domestic production of expedient implements for immediate use, high-end standardised tools were supplied to the inhabitants of settlement sites by specialised workshops providing full-time occupation for expert flint knappers. Excavations at Ain el-Gazzareen and Kom el-Hisn failed to produce even a single core or piece of debitage from mined flint, which was used for the production of quality blades. i.e., blanks for sickle blades, so numerous in inventories recovered from settlement sites, or any other artefact manufactured by means of pressure technology (except some arrowheads) or made of this type of flint. It follows that quality blades must have been manufactured somewhere off-site, most probably in the aforementioned specialised workshops. Using pressure technology, such workshops produced standardised tools such as bifacial knives, bi-truncated regular blade tools (the so-called

11

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt Researchers who investigated the site of Adaima, located near the town of Isna, and estimated at the late Predynastic/ early Archaic Periods, arrived at very similar conclusions regarding the twofold procurement of tools in Egypt. They noted that the prevalence of the aforementioned two

models of toolmaking evidences social differentiation (Briois, Midant-Reynes 2008). Such a bipartite model in lithic assemblages is recorded at numerous sites in the Nile valley (Hikade 1999b; Holmes 1989).

12

Chapter 3 Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom

single or rare finds, more often than not fragmentary. With attention-grabbing finest ripple flaked knifes, there have been attempts to define and classify the knives of the Predynastic Period, the lithic industry of which was somehow more readily explored by archaeologists (Holmes, 1989; Midant-Reynes, Tixier 1981). The classification of knives from later periods has not been thoroughly studied for identical, above mentioned reasons. The task is all the more difficult that several knives were often re-sharpened, having their edges recurrently retouched. Their dimensions, shapes and proportions were thus frequently altered (Kabaciński 2012; Šajnarová 2006; Váchala, Svoboda 1989). Exhausted bifacial knives were from time to time refashioned into other tools (Schmidt 1992a).

Bifacial knives Just like sickle blades, so too bifacial knives were in use throughout the entire period discussed in this work. Of much earlier, Predynastic origin, they were produced from Naqada IIc onwards, much longer than the scope of this study. As definitely best-researched, long-distinguished and classified artefacts, bifacial knives are the first type of tools to be presented. Remarkably diverse, they are found at sites of varying chronology and function: cemeteries, settlements, places of worship and the seats of the elite. As I previously mentioned, the vast majority of such knives were manufactured in specialised workshops subordinate to administration and distributed to all sorts of destinations.

There is a commonly held consensus that since the early Archaic Period, i.e., from the beginning of Dynasty I, knives become more and more primitive over time (Hikade 1999a; Katthagen 1985; Midant-Reynes 1984; Petrie; 1902; Tillmann 1999). An attempt has been undertaken to draw up a list of types for knives from particular sites, such as Abusir (Bonnet 1928), Giza (Kromer 1978) or Ain Asil (Midant-Reynes 1998).

High quality bifacial knifes were a long time in the making. Midant-Reynes (1985) claims that their production could have taken up even between ten and twenty hours. Experimental production of a Gebel Arak type knife lasted ten hours, including five hours of polishing (MidantReynes, Tixier 1981). The most splendid bifacial knife found in Egypt to date is the specimen from Umm El Qaab burial site at Abydos (Figure 36). It is 73cm long and 9.5cm wide and weighs about 1kg. The core from which the blade for the production of this knife was detached had to be about one meter in length. Chronologically, this specimen is attributable to the period of Dynasty I or early Dynasty II (Hikade 1997).

Throughout the first six dynasties, the significance and quality of flint toolmaking were slowly decreasing. Flint knives were nevertheless still important in the lives of the inhabitants of the then Egypt. During dynasties I-II, an originally concave back became gradually straightened, to the effect that over time a back and handle formed one straight line. At the same time, a handle becomes shorter, ‘for three fingers’, with the index finger positioned at the back. Wall paintings in the twelfth-dynasty tomb from Beni Hassan show threads made of organic materials bound around a handle (Figure 97).

Lithic technology achieved utter perfection already by the end of the Predynastic Period and the beginning of the Archaic Period (Hikade 2000a; Midant-Reynes 1987). Well-known and thoroughly-studied knives of the Gebel Arak type, with a face covered with precise retouching pattern resembling ripples created by pressure flaking, adorn a number of museums across the world. Knives from later periods are known not only from excavated flint inventories, but are also mentioned in the ritual Pyramid Texts and depicted in paintings in mastabas (MidantReynes 1984, 1985; Miller 1983; Tillmann 1992; 1999). A classic bifacial knife was also engraved on a sandstone remnant in the Dakhla Oasis, along with other rites dating back to Dynasty VI (Figures 105 -106).

A more general division of bifacial knives proposed below comprises six types, including three suggested by A. Tillmann (1992). Type 1. Fishtail knife. A U or V-shaped working edge is set transversely to the tool axis of a tool. Both of its faces are covered with flat, fairly regular retouch, and margins are refined with bilateral fine retouch. A handle was finished with semi-steep retouch (Figure 37). These artefacts came up sometime in the Predynastic period. R. Van Walsem (1978-1979) believes that certain varieties of such knives were in use until Dynasty XVIII. The opinion of a lengthy continuance of bifacial knives is rejected by T. Hikade (2004b). Nevertheless, it can be safely assumed that these knives still occur at the very beginning of the Archaic Period.

Drawing up a list of types of the Archaic and the Old Kingdom bifacial knives is no easy task. The reasons for this are many. First, despite the fact that such knives have been recovered from a number of sites, their more precise chronology, notably in the case of earlier excavations, is difficult to determine. With few exceptions, these are 13

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt Type 2. The above-mentioned knife from the tomb of Khasekhemui from Umm el Qaab provides a relevant example. This 73cm-long knife is very slender. Its handle, constituting an extension of the back, is simple, slightly crooked, and prepared by steep retouch. It is not notched and it has a rounded end. Both edges are thinned with fine retouch, while both faces feature fairly regular, flat retouch, albeit undeserving to be called ripple-flaked (Figure 36). Comparably to Predynastic knives, the knife went through all phases of processing, perhaps without grinding its edges. Analogous artefacts were found in the tomb of Hemaka in Saqqara (Emery 1938), in Helwan (Saad 1951) and Elephantine (Dreyer, 1986). Such knives are dated to the period from Dynasty I to Dynasty V inclusive.

It took a highly qualified artisan to produce a type 2 knife. As in the case of Predynastic ripple-flaked knives, several exacting production phases had to be followed sequentially: the detachment of an elongated flake or blade off a core, roughing out a blank, smoothing the planes, covering them with flat surface retouch by pressure technique and refining the edges. A grinding phase was perhaps omitted. Type 2 knife and ripple-flaked knife are different inasmuch as the surface retouch covering the faces of the former is irregular. As in the Predynastic period, raw material was occasionally burnt in order for its processability to be enhanced. Although still labour-intensive, the production of the above-mentioned types of bifacial knives required less precision and was less time-consuming that manufacturing Predynastic knives.

Type 3 (Tillmann’s type 2) This type is generally considered to have been used throughout Dynasty I, perhaps II. Wide, fairly heavily curved, with both curved edges running parallel to each other, the knife is pointed and has a short handle with a notch. Its both faces are covered with precise surface retouch, albeit more irregular than a ripple-flaked type. The working edge is very finely retouched, and its back is thinned with steep retouch. This is a so-called knife with a ‘handle for three fingers’; two fingers were holding a handle, an index finger positioned at the back of the knife (Eggebrecht 1973). Such characteristic knives are known from a number of Archaic Period sites in Egypt (Figure 38:1) (Ciałowicz 1999; Emery 1938, 1954; Macramallah 1940; Needler 1956; Petrie 1902).

Bifacial knives attributable to the Archaic Period are most common at burial sites; they are also found in temples, in their vicinity and at settlement sites. There are nevertheless discrepancies between knives yielded by particular site types. Knives offered to the dead as grave goods are usually high quality specimens, considerably sized and finely crafted, generally displaying no traces of use wear (Hikade 1997). They are usually preserved as complete pieces, broken at times, probably deliberately, before being placed into a grave. By contrast, recovered from temples or nearby areas are mostly fragments of a markedly inferior quality or repetitively re-sharpened specimens, to the extent that they lost their original proportions and size (Figure 38: 3-4). Sometimes such worn knives were reworked into another type of tool, e.g., burins (Katthagen 1985). Knives from settlement sites, rarely preserved unbroken, are often maximally exhausted. Typically uncovered as fragments, they are of fairly low quality and workmanship.

Type 4 (Tillmann’s type 3) This type comprises less curved knives, with a narrower and rounded blade. Their short, simple, unnotched handle extends from a back, and a cutting edge shows fine retouch (Figure 38: 2). Type 4 specimens are roughly dated to the period between Dynasty II and Dynasty IV.

As well as having been used in rituals relating to offering sacrifices, knives were understandably used in everyday life (Figure 40), as evidenced by flint inventories from settlement sites produced by particular dwellings. Most important sites to yield bifacial knives include different types of necropolises dating to the Archaic Period such as Saqqara (Emery 1938; Hikade 2005; Macramallah 1940); to the very early Archaic Period, e.g., Helwan (Hikade 2005; Saad 1942, 1951) or Abydos (De Morgan 1896); as well as settlement sites from the period, e.g., Tell Ibrahim Awad (Schmidt 1992a) and Tell el-Farkha (Kabaciński 2012). The Old Kingdom examples include cemeteries from Bet Khalaf of Dynasty III (Garstang 1903), Saqqara (Myśliwiec et al. 2010), the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef and Khentkhaus II Mortuary Complex of Dynasty V in Abusir (Svoboda 1993, 2006; Váchala, Svoboda 1989), where numerous knives were found to have been evidently destroyed and discarded in the temple storerooms and slaughterhouse (Verner 1986); and settlement sites, such as Elephantine (Hikade 2013; Kaiser 1977), Giza (Kromer 1978), layers IV-VI of Tell elFara’in (Buto) (Schmidt 1992b), Ain el-Gazzareen, Kom

Type 5 (Tillmann’s type 4) This type is similar to type 3, the only difference lying in the slightly more pointed blade narrowing towards the end (Figures 39, 105). Faces of type 4 and 5 and covered with fairly primitive, flat retouch. A depiction of this type of knife, dated to dynasties V-VI, was engraved onto a sandstone gebel in the Dakhla Oasis (Figure 106). Bifacial knives were made from high-quality homogeneous mined flint in different varieties – beige, light brown, honey-caramel, light brown with pinkish stripes in colour. Given the size of knives, the cores to remove blanks for their production must have been of considerable dimensions. On no occasion do flint nodules of this size occur on the surface, and even if they did, it is unlikely that they would be suitable for obtaining high quality blanks, appropriate for fashioning a knife. It is therefore reasonable to conjecture that nodules had to be extracted from some open-cast pits or mines. 14

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom el-Hisn (Kobusiewicz 2007; 2015) or Ain Asil (MidantReynes 1998).

a haft, re-sharpened and then re-mounted. Sickle sheen, visible to the naked eye, makes this procedure easily recognisable.

Other sites in the Nile valley or in the oases, such as Fayum and Kharga in the Western Desert (Caton-Thompson 1952), unmentioned in the text, either produced negligible amounts of bifacial knives, or were less thoroughly investigated.

Sickle blades first appeared in the Middle East in Palestine, in the Natufian culture (Cauvin 1968; Garrod, Byte 1937), where they were used for reaping all crops but cereals. In Egypt, they had already been known since the Neolithic, e.g. in Fayum (Caton-Thompson, Gardner 1934; Tristant 2009), in the Predynastic Period (Holmes 1989); an important agricultural tool, they were used for a long time both in the Nile valley and in the oases where agriculture was a significant part of the economic base. In the early period of the Old Kingdom, i.e. in Dynasty III, this implement had already had a long history from Predynastic and Archaic periods. Remarkably, sickle blades’ shape stayed unchanged throughout the period of their use in Egypt, the differences sometimes lying in the dimensions and proportions of the specimens.

High standardisation of bifacial knives, coupled with the absence of specific manufacturing debris in inventories, e.g., exhausted and used cores, or debitage consistent with the type of raw material used to make knives, indicate that, at the very least, the majority of these artefacts were produced somewhere off-site and delivered as finished products to settlements or spots where grave goods were prepared. Characteristic flakes detached when bifacials were trimmed with surface retouch (bifacial trimming flakes) found at some settlement sites are likely to have been related to repairs (Šajnerova 2006). Alternatively, they might be waste from the production of rectangular or triangular massive flint sickle inserts from tabular flint, also bifacially retouched. A good example is the settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen in the Dakhla Oasis.

Almost all sites dated to the Archaic and Old Kingdom periods yielded some sickle blades. Rarely registered at cemeteries, they are numerous at settlement sites (Figure 43:1). There are several key sites to be mentioned. Tell Fara’in/Buto (Schmidt 1992a), Tell Ibrahim Awad (Schmidt 1992b), Saqqara (Emery 1938) and Helwan (Hikade 2005) are dated to the Archaic Period, whereas Elephantine, notably its southern area (Hikade 2013; Katthagen 1985) and Giza (Kromer 1978, 2007) are estimated to have functioned in the Old Kingdom. In addition to Elephantine, the richest, and at the same time best-investigated Old Kingdom settlement sites to yield considerable amounts of sickle blades include Kom elHisn, Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil; noteworthy is also a poor, albeit homogenous inventory from a nowadays desert site of Gilf el Kebir, dated to the very end of the Old Kingdom. A group of arched truncations identified at the site are referred to as sickle blades by E. Cziesla (1986).

Bifacial knives as discussed above are typical solely for Egypt. As early as in Naqada III, Predynastic knives are found at Chalcolithic Palestinian sites, thereby bearing ample testimony to the influence, or even presence of the Egyptians in the area. However, with the end of Dynasty I such imports came to an end (Wilkinson 2000). In Byblos (Jebeil), Lebanon, uncovered were knives dating back to the end of the Old Kingdom (Helck 1971); Knossos yielded a heavily damaged bifacial knife widely-attributable to the times from the Predynastic period to the end of the Middle Kingdom (Cadogan 1966). Rectangular and triangular sickle blades Although formally two different types, rectangular and triangular sickle blades are discussed here together, considering their identical, exceptionally well known, function. Sickle blades are implements produced on high quality, slender blades knapped off a single platform core using pressure (par pression) technology. Such blades were broken at both ends to acquire from the central part a more or less slender elongated rectangle with parallel margins and short transverse ends, set at right angles to the axis of the blade (Figure 41:1-9). Triangular sickle blades, made​​ of the distal part of such a quality blade, are one variant. One end was laterally broken off and two edges, one of which is arched, converged at the other end at an acute angle (Figure 65:1-3; 107). They were used to complete the series of inserts mounted in a wooden haft of a sickle (Figure 43:2). Both types feature a variety of secondary flaking, i.e. weak sharpening serration along one edge, steep retouch that enabled more stable attachment of a sickle blade in a haft, semi-steep or microlithic retouch. Transverse edges were also trimmed with steep retouch sometimes. A worn-out sickle blade was removed off

Sickle blades from Kom el-Hisn Kom el-Hisn is a large settlement site in the western Delta, excavated in the years 1984, 1986 and 1988 by R. Wenke from Washington State University (USA) (Wenke et al. 1988). Three hundred forty-nine sickle blades were recovered from the site; among them nine massive sickle inserts with bifacial retouch were registered. Accounting for 86.38 per cent, sickle blades constitute the vast majority of retouched tools. This tool category includes both rectangular sickle blades and triangular specimens, with one arched side and a pointed end (Figures 89:1-9; 90:4-6). Leaving aside undetermined burnt pieces, 79.00 per cent of sickle blades were produced on the central part of a blade, 14.00 per cent from the proximal part and seven per cent from the distal part of the blade. Sixty-seven per cent of these implements show inverse retouch along the whole edge, whereas 33.00 per cent feature obverse retouch. Retouch of the left edge is as frequent as retouch of the right edge. Denticulate retouch is common (51.00 per cent). Sixteen per cent of specimens were sharpened 15

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Siwte

Mean length

Mean width

Mean thickness

Kom el-Hisn

31.47

13.17

4.38

Ain el- Gazzareen

39.41

12.75

3.76

Ain Asil

47.00

12.00

4.00

Elephantine

50.13

13.60

4.10

Range Length

Width

Thickness

Kom el-Hisn

11.00 - 62.00

8.00 - 18.00

2.00 - 8.00 –

Ain el-Gazzareen

23.00 - 68.00

9.00 - 18.00

2.00 - 8.00 –

Ain Asil

16.00 - 85.00

7.00 - 19.00

2.00 - 8.00

Figure 1. Metrical data on rectangular sickle blades from Kom el-Hisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine (measurements in mm). Measurements for Ain Asil are given for the most numerous group of sickle blades at the site, made of auburn and black-coloured (silex marron et noir) flint (according to Midant-Reynes 1998, fig. 7; for Elephantine according to Hikade 2013).

by serrating retouch and use retouch was registered on 33.00 per cent pieces. Steep retouch is most common, whereas flat retouch is rare. Sickle sheen is visible to the naked eye in the case of 61.00 per cent of specimens. It is present always on the retouched edge or edges. Sixtysix per cent of specimens shows sickle sheen on only one edge, on the ventral or dorsal side. Eight per cent of pieces display sickle sheen on both edges and both sides. Almost all sickle blades (94.00 per cent) were produced on tertiary blades (entirely lacking cortex), and 5.85 per cent were made on secondary blades (remains of cortex covering less than half of the area). Primary blades (more than 50.00 per cent of surface covered by cortex) were never used for the manufacture of sickle blades. Mined flint was a material of choice in the case of 88.31 per cent of specimens, transparent flint – for 3.56 per cent, brown flint – for 3.05 per cent and hornstone – for 0.25 per cent. The raw material was indeterminable in 4.58 per cent of cases. Metrical data on sickle blades and their comparison are given below in Figure 1.

sickle blades with one side arched and pointed, mounted as the last piece in a row of rectangular inserts in the haft of a sickle were also in this case bracketed in the same tool type. The mean length, width, thickness and range of sickle blades from Ain el-Gazzareen are given in Figure 1. Sickle blades from Ain Asil The fortress and the seat of a governor, dated to Dynasty VI and the very beginning of the First Intermediate Period, Ain Asil is situated in the central part of the Dakhla Oasis. It has been investigated since 1997 by J. Vercoutter, L. Giddy, G. Soukiassian and M. Wuttman (Midant-Reynes 1983; 1998). Excavations at the site yielded 109 sickle blades, which accounts for 18.00 per cent of retouched tools (Figure 41:1-9). As at both sites described above, blanks for sickle blades were struck off single platform cores from high quality raw material, which outcrop has not been identified in the area. Again, pressure technology was used. The morphology, ways, types and location of retouch and sickle sheen are identical to those visible at sickle blades from Kom el-Hisn and Ain el Gazzareen.

Sickle blades from Ain el-Gazzareen

Sickle blades from Elephantine

Dated to the late Dynasty V and VI, Ain el-Gazzareen is a large settlement site in the western part of the Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert. It has been investigated since 1995 by A. Mills from the Dakhla Oasis Project (Kobusiewicz 2007; Mills 1995; Mills, Kaper 2003). The description of sickle blades is given on a basis of a sample of 91 specimens (Figures 64:1-9; 65:1-3). Just as at Kom el-Hisn, so too sickle blades were produced on quality blades knapped off single platform cores using pressure technology. The specimens are mostly trapezoidal, less frequently triangulate in section. The majority of them were made on a central part of a blade with proximal and distal parts broken off in order to create an elongated rectangle. Longitudinal edges show retouch analogous to that on sickle ,blades at Kom el-Hisn. Likewise, traces of sickle sheen are located in similar places. Triangular

The site has been explored by a German expedition since 1968. Sickle blades recovered from Elephantine come from different areas and from different layers. Younger levels, located south of the Khnum Temple, estimated mostly at the Old Kingdom, produced 163 sickle blades, both rectangular and triangular specimens. They are similar to the artefacts from the above-described sites, inasmuch as they are made on quality blades from imported mined flint. Their dimensions and proportions correspond also to sickle blades from other periods – the Archaic and early First Intermediate Period (Hikade 2013). The metrical data on sickle blades from the other two, less numerous groups of sickle blades from this site are alike.

16

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom

Predynastic

Old Kingdom

Measurements

Nagada

Hamemieh

Badari district

Elephantine

Kom el-Hisn Ain el-Gazzareen Ain Asil

Medium length

48.86

74.97

57.53

50.13

39.29

Medium width

14.82

15.46

16.86

13.60

12.64

Medium thick.

3.82

5.00

5.09

0.41

4.04

Length/width ratio

3.64

4.59

3.59

3.69

3.11

Figure 2. Comparison of measurements and proportions of rectangular sickle blades of the Predynastic period and the Old Kingdom (Nagada, Hamemieh, Badari according to Holmes 1989, Ain Asil according to Midant-Reynes 1998, Elephantine according to Hikade 2013).

Metrical data on rectangular sickle blades for the four of the above-described sites is given in a table (Figure 1).

Half-products of sickle blades (Figure 42:1-3). As well as sickle blades, a number of inventories contained also substantial amounts of half-products of sickle blades – the above mentioned quality blades with a typical pointed butt, produced by pressure technology. The blades were preserved either as complete specimens or were broken, usually at the distal end. They were used for the production of rectangular or triangular sickle blades.

The above table shows that inhabitants of Ain Asil used the slenderest sickle blades (length/width ratio 3.23); less slender pieces were found in Elephantine (3.68) and Ain el Gazzareen (3.09); the most stout sickle blades were uncovered at Kom el-Hisn (2.39). No explanation for this phenomenon has been provided. Interesting, yet again hardly explainable is a comparison of the dimensions and proportions between sickle blades from the Old Kingdom (Kom el-Hisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine) and Predynastic sickle blades (Figure 2). Predynastic and Old Kingdom sickle blades from Elephantine are alike in terms of their dimensions and proportions and are clearly longer, wider and thicker, or simply larger than sickle blades from the Delta and the Western Desert. Perhaps a strong resemblance between the sickle blades from Elephantine and Predynastic sickle blades from Upper Egypt can be explained by the continuous influence of local Predynastic tradition of Upper Egypt on later, but geographically close flintwork of Elephantine.

Massive rectangular and triangular sickle inserts (Figures 44:1-7; 109- 110) In addition to the above-described sickle blades, some sites attributable to the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom yielded another variant of this type of artefact – the socalled massive sickle inserts. Made of tabular flint or on flakes, they are much larger, more massive and stout than sickle blades. Massive sickle inserts occur in two varieties. To obtain a rectangular implement (Figure 44: 1-5), both ends of a blank were broken off and steeply retouched in order to fashion an elongated rectangle or trapezoid. Their longitudinal edges show flat or semi-steep fine serration, while lateral edges display frequent sickle sheen visible to the naked eye. The other variety comprises massive sickle inserts in the shape of an obtuse triangle with a pointed tip (Figure 44: 6-7) and a concave or straight back. Analogously to sickle blades, rectangular massive sickle inserts were set in a groove of a wooden haft to form an oblong blade of a sickle, completed at both ends with massive triangular inserts.

At the three Predynastic sites, as well as on Elephantine, in Kom el-Hisn and Ain el-Gazeereen, sickle blades were produced from different varieties of high quality mined flint such as transparent, beige or brown flint. Evident standardisation of sickle blades recorded in vast amounts at Old Kingdom sites suggests that quality blades, i.e. blanks for sickle blades production, were manufactured, like most bifacial knives, in specialised workshops.

It is reasonable to conjecture that a sickle with sickle blades and a sickle with massive inserts were each intended for specific purposes, nonetheless a practical difference between them has not been determined as of yet.

Sickles with flint inserts were used in Egypt not only throughout the Old Kingdom, but much longer, continuing until Roman times. The ease and cheapness of sickle blades production from quality flint readily available in Egypt, a concurrent lack of raw materials for bronze production and then the delay in the introduction of iron (Tillman 1999), can unmistakeably account for an extended period of using sickles with flint inserts, which were nevertheless almost as effective as metal sickles that replaced them.

Found at such Predynastic sites as the cemetery in Maadi (Rizkana, Seeher 1988) or Maghara (Hendrickx, MidantReynes 1988) as well as at Helwan (Hikade 2005) or Giza (Kromer 1978), attributable to the Archaic Period, massive sickle inserts are much more rare than sickle blades and this applies to all known sites. It is noteworthy that although such massive implements found at Giza are 17

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt referred to by the investigator of the site as saws, I interpret them to be sickle inserts. Massive sickle inserts increased in amount at the end of the Old Kingdom, as markedly evidenced by specimens recovered from settlement sites at Ain Asil (Midant-Reynes 1998) and Ain el-Gazzareen (Kobusiewicz 2007), both located in the Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert and dated to Dynasty VI. One massive triangular sickle insert was recovered from Seth Hill watchpost in the Dakhla Oasis, dating from Dynasty V. Rich in sickle blades, correspondingly dated flint inventories from settlement sites at Kom el-Hisn in the western Delta and in Elephantine do not contain any massive sickle inserts. It is interesting that this type of sickle inserts, even if not numerous, was also identified in the inventory of an early Archaic site of El Kharafish (Riemer 2011a), lying in the depths of today’s Western Desert. Considering that uncovered at the site were remains of a stay of the Sheikh Muftah pastoral nomadic population, the presence of a sickle insert in its inventory is astonishing, just as it is in the case of the above-mentioned watch-post.

towards one of the ends, which gives them a shape of a very elongated trapezoid. Bi-truncated regular blade tools fall roughly into two groups, distinguished by T. Hikade (2008), who analysed finds from Umm el Qaab and Elephantine. The first type comprises earlier artefacts dating back to Dynasty I; their transverse edges are rounded on both ends, which gives them a shape of an elongated oval (Figure 45: 1-5,9). From Dynasty II onwards, the transverse edges became straight and the implement turned into a regular, elongated rectangle (Figure.45: 6-8,10), continuing in such a form into Dynasty III-IV. Bi-truncated regular blade tools were produced from different varieties of high-quality flint procured from outcrops and mines. Gi,ven the aforementioned evident standardisation, these tools can be safely assumed to have been manufactured, in common with bifacial knives and half-products of finished sickle blades, in specialised workshops to be traded or distributed by the state administration.

Bi-truncated regular blade tools (Figure 45:1:10)

Bi-truncated regular blade tools are found both at cemeteries, having been offered to the dead as grave goods, and at settlement sites. The most important archaeological burial sites to yield these implements include Saqqara (Dynasty I; Emery 1938; Macramallah 1940), Abusir (Dynasty II; Bonnet 1928), Abydos (Dynasty II; De Morgan 1896); Umm el Qaab (Dynasty I; Hikade 2003a), Beth Khalaf (Dynasty III; Garstang 1903); they were also recovered from several sites, to wit: Tell Ibrahim Awad (Schmidt 1992a), Tell el Farkha from the eastern Delta (Kabaciński 2003), Elephantine (the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom; Hikade 2002, 2013; Katthagen 1985) and Giza (the early Old Kingdom; Kromer 1978). Numerous specimens of this type are also known from the Fayum Oasis, dating probably from different periods (Caton-Thompson, Gardner 1934).

The so-called razor blades, Rasiermesser, square flakes, rechteckige breite Klingen, Doppelschaber or Viereckklingen will be referred to in this book, after T. Hikade (2013), as bi-truncated regular blade tools, in order to avoid any suggestions regarding their usage. The purpose of the implements is indeed taxing to specify. Once believed to have been end scrapers (Emery 1938; Petrie 1902), they were later considered by several researchers to have been used for cosmetic purposes, since they were found in graves together with tool kits for this kind of treatment. Such usage is purportedly attested to by finds from the tomb of Hetepheres at Giza (Reisner 1929), where such artefacts were placed next to copper blades of the same size and shape. It is perhaps reasonable to accept that while these tools were supposedly used for beauty treatments, they also fulfilled other functions, even working in hard materials, as evidenced by registered traces of use wear (Hikade 1999a; Katthagen 1985). Having their roots in Palestine (Tillmann 1999), they first appeared in Egypt at the beginning of Dynasty I and continued to be in use down to the end of Dynasty IV of the Old Kingdom (Hikade 1999a, 2013). They often make up a substantial part of an inventory, e.g., on Elephantine (Hikade 2002, 2013). The tools are very uniform and standardised, as strongly attested to by numerous bitruncated regular blade tools from the tomb of an official Hemaka (Emery 1938) showing the same size, proportions and shapes (Tillmann 1992). They were made from a central part of a large, fairly massive, regular blades both ends of which were broken off. Such blades are typically trapezoidal in cross-section. A longitudinal section of a slightly bent blade frequently shows a protuberance near one end. Short transverse edges, formed by breaking, are trimmed with obverse, semi-steep or, less commonly, steep retouching. Sometimes one or both parallel lateral edges show complete or partial inverse, obverse or bifacial retouch. Some, though admittedly rare, specimens taper

Scrapers (Figures 46:1-3; 47:1-2) Implements of a very ancient origin, scrapers were extremely common both in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom. Known as early as in the Neolithic Capsian culture in Algeria (Roubet 1979), they were used in Egypt also in the Neolithic, in the Predynastic (Rizkana, Seeher 1988) and Early Dynastic periods (Stępień 2011). Scrapers were made on flakes of various sizes and shapes. Both nodular flint or tabular flint were used, depending on the accessibility of raw material. Edges, or sections of edges were shaped with flat or semi-steep, always obverse flaking. Uncomplicated to make, scrapers were expedient tools not requiring the craftsmanship necessary to produce the majority of bifacial knives, sickle blades and bitruncated regular blade tools. Fashioned by everyone for their immediate use from the nearest available raw material, their shape and size were conditioned by the size and quality of raw flint, to some extent also by the intended function, with the exception perhaps of triangular scrapers 18

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom showing some degree of standardisation, admittedly rare in Egypt.

55.6 per cent of the assemblage from the excavated site 02/5-1, while in the case of surface finds from the site 0-2/5-0, they represent up to 80.6 per cent of the total inventory (Riemer 2011a).

The extraordinary variety of shapes and proportions renders drawing up a list of types for this type of artefact particularly difficult. Such a task was undertaken by T. Hikade (2004a), who distinguished nine types of scrapers for the period from Naqada I down to Dynasty VI, to wit: 1. fan-shaped scrapers, 2 flat elongated scrapers, 3.circular scrapers, 4 triangular scrapers, 5. scrapers made on flakes – by-products of bifacial production, 6. arched scrapers, and three other types he identified as scrapers, which I believe to be in fact end scrapers; I shall elaborate on this issue later on. In this book I distinguish two types of scrapers, namely massive scrapers (Figures 46: 1; 111) and flat scrapers (Figures 46: 2; 112). Triangular scrapers (Figure 47: 2) are very scarce.

Advanced and centralised production of flint scrapers from tabular flint is noticeable in the Pharaonic era in Palestine and Sinai (Schmidt 1988). This type is relatively well defined and comprises oval, fan-shaped specimens, round or elongated, made on flat flakes. Unlike Egyptian scrapers, their dorsal side is normally covered with cortex. Occurring from the Chalcolithic to the Old Kingdom inclusive, such scrapers were widely distributed in the areas from the Euphrates to Saudi Arabia. Notwithstanding a developed trade in such scrapers, they virtually did not make it to the Nile valley, except for the Sinai in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom (Rosen 1983; Schmidt 1988). End scrapers (Figure 47:3-5)

It is common knowledge that scrapers were used for a variety of activities such as dressing slaughtered animals or hunted game, butchering a carcass, scraping bones, working hides, and manufacturing objects of wood. Traditionally called scrapers, these implements did not necessarily have to be used solely for scraping. Traseological analyses have shown some of them to have been used as cutting tools. See the appendix in this volume.

Sometimes bracketed together with one of the groups of scrapers, from the morphological point of view end scrapers represent a different type, even though the functions of both types were perhaps alike. In this book the term ‘end scrapers’ designate implements made on a relatively massive blade or an elongated flake, with one end, usually distal, trimmed by steep or semi-steep obverse flaking. A retouched transverse edge, called scraping edge, may be arched, straight or ’nosed’, symmetrical or asymmetrical with respect to the tool axis, or oblique. Sometimes entire lateral edges or their fragments were trimmed with obverse retouch. A function of time, the length of an end scraper is irrelevant from the perspective of typology; as scrapers were used, they became blunted and had to be re-sharpened, thereby getting progressively shorter and eventually becoming very short. It is uncommon for an end scraper to have two scraping edges, yet some double specimens have been registered, with one scraping edge located at the distal end and the other at the proximal end.

Scrapers are often found at settlement sites, e.g., Tell el Fara’in (the Archaic Period; Schmidt 1987), Elephantine (the Old Kingdom; Hikade 2013; Katthagen 1985), Ain Asil (Dynasty VI; Midant-Reynes 1998), Ain elGazzareen (Kobusiewicz 2007) and Giza (Conard 2000; Kromer 1978; Werschkun 2007a, 2007b); at Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout watch-posts in the Dakhla Oasis scrapers represented 15.00 per cent and 30.00 per cent of flint inventories, respectively. Few scrapers were registered at Kom el-Hisn in the western Delta (Kobusiewicz 1988, 2015), even less at Archaic cemeteries such as Abydos (Petrie 1902), Saqqara (Emery 1938; Macramallah 1940) or Helwan of Dynasty III (Hikade 2005). Numerous scrapers, made mainly on flat flakes, were recovered from a layer dated to Dynasty I at a site of the Sheikh Muftah culture at El Kharafish, located in the Western Desert on a limestone plateau 25 km north of Dakhla (Riemer 2011a).

Scrapers were ad hoc tools, requiring no special skills or practice to make. In Egypt, end scrapers came up sometime in the Late Paleolithic (Banks 1989; Mazher et al. 2005), and were used throughout the Neolithic (Mazher et al. 2005; Wendorf et al. 2001), the Predynastic period (Rizkana, Seeher 1988) and the Old Kingdom. Starting from the Paleolithic, they are always present in small to moderate quantities, although a considerable number of sites attributable to the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom produced none such specimens. End scrapers estimated at the Archaic Period were found in Dynasty I tombs in Saqqara (Emery 1938), in Abydos (Petrie 1902), Giza (Kromer 1978), Helwan, Elephantine (Hikade 2013) and Tell Ibrahim Awad (Hikade 2005). Few end scrapers were also recovered from the site of El Kharafish (Riemer 2011b); a sixth-dynasty settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen; Seth Hill, a watch-post in the Dakhla Oasis, where end scrapers made up 6.25 per cent of

At settlement sites, scrapers usually make up between ten and twenty per cent of the whole assemblage, for example: Helwan – 16.94 per cent, Elephantine – 15.06 per cent, Giza – 15.63 per cent (Hikade 2005), although as regards Elephantine, in the 2013 publication the author states that scrapers represented circa 13.00 per cent and five per cent for older and younger inventories, respectively. Ain el-Gazzareen yielded 16.55 per cent of scrapers. The southern group on Elephantine, mostly dating to the late Old Kingdom produced 5.13 per cent of scrapers. There are, nevertheless, significant deviations from this picture, such as a substantial amount of scrapers at Ain Asil (51.00 per cent) and a total lack of them in Tell Ibrahim Awad (Hikade 2005). Particular in this respect is the site of El Kharafish, where different varieties of scrapers amount to 19

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt the flint inventory; and the settlement site of Kom el-Hisn, which produced a single large end scraper.

the Dakhla Oasis (Kobusiewicz 2007); on Elephantine merely two such specimens were unearthed (Hikade 2013). More than two hundred crescent-shaped borers were found scattered on the surface near the pyramid of Djoser of Dynasty III (Lauer, Debono 1950); they were also collected from the surface of the Fayum Oasis (CatonThompson, Gardner 1934).

‘Nosed’ end scrapers (Figures 49:1-2; 113) Analogously to common end scrapers, a scraping edge of a ‘nosed’ end scraper is situated at the distal end of a flake. Regular, heavily arched and protruding, it resembles a snout of an animal. Fairly rare, some were identified, e.g., in the inventory of Ain el-Gazzareen. The function of nosed scrapers and ordinary end scrapers was most probably alike.

Arrowheads (Figures 49:3-8; 115-116) Flint arrowheads to be projected by a bow came up in Egypt in prehistoric times, sometime in the Late Paleolithic and were used throughout the Neolithic, the Predynastic period (Rizkana, Seeher 1988) through to the New Kingdom. A list of five types of flint arrowheads was drawn up by W. Emery (1938) for arrows found in the tomb of Hemaka, an official during the reign of Dynasty I. Egyptian arrowheads were more broadly explored against general African background by D. Clark (Clark et al. 1974). The list of types of arrowheads for all periods was put forward by T. Hikade (2001). In this monograph, we shall understandably focus on arrowheads attributable to the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom. According to the above-mentioned list of D. Clark, there were five types of flint arrowheads in use throughout this time. The first one is shaped like a trapezium with concave sides (Figure 49: 8). The second type comprises segments, or otherwise crescents, i.e., sector-shaped arrowheads with a convex edge thinned with steep, back retouch. Both of these types originated in the Late Paleolithic and persisted unmodified into the Old Kingdom, and probably longer. Besides, during the Archaic Period, older types of arrowheads bifacially retouched with a more or less deep notch at the base were replaced by three different types. This period saw the emergence of bifacially retouched arrowheads of a lanceolate shape, with a poorly isolated tang and straight or slightly convex lateral edges. Roughly 5cm in length and 1cm in width, they are bifacially, fairly regularly retouched (Figure 49: 7). Since a substantial number of such arrowheads were found on the Archaic cemetery at Abydos, T. Hikade designated them as ‘the classic Abydos arrowheads’, one variant called ‘Abydos with a transverse edge’. These are similar to the classic Abydos specimens, tapered, ended with a trapezoidal, transverse edge forming a basis of a trapezoid. The third type includes lanceolate, bifacially retouched arrowheads with a poorly isolate tang (Figure 49: 6). They were not given a designation in this list of types, but are presented in the typological table as attributable to the Archaic Period (Hikade 2001). In Dynasty VI, Egyptians used tanged arrowheads of Ounan point type (Figure 49: 3,5). The area of the Western Desert produced numerous flint arrowheads in different varieties; their more precise chronology is hardy possible to determine, if not unmanageable. Nearly all were found on the surface, devoid of a broader context. T. Hikade includes here tanged types, often bifacially retouched on one or both sides.

Rabots (Figure 73:1-4) Found at Ain el-Gazzareen, rabots are end scrapers made on massive, stout flakes, with a very high and steep scraping edge. They are uncommon, possibly for the reason that they are customarily counted among cores. Crescent-shaped drills (Figures 48:1; 114) Crescent-shaped borers are typical of Egypt. Known from the Predynastic Period to the end of the Old Kingdom, they were made on massive flakes, measuring averagely from seven to nine centimetres in length. The flakes were retouched to produce a crescent-like shape, with one concave side and the other arched. The retouch is steep, from both the concave side of a notch and the one running along the other, convex edge. K. Schmidt (1988) distinguishes such variants of the implements as sickleshaped borers, banana-shaped or rectangular borers, the shape being dependent, in the author’s opinion, on the phase of manufacturing a stone vessel in which particular specimens were employed, or on the shape of a fashioned vessel, with various shapes of pots necessitating the use of different shapes of borers. Making a borer is thought to be an easily manageable task. It is a widely held view that crescent-shaped borers were used for the manufacture of vessels of travertine (’Egyptian alabaster’), or other stones. T. R. Hester (1976), however, refutes such interpretation of their function and argues that on none of the analysed specimens did he find any traces of use, which should be unmistakably visible on tools working in hard materials. On the other hand, according to K. Schmidt, a borer of this type, found at a settlement site of Tell el Fara’in (Buto), features green remains of stone dust (Schmidt 1988). It is also possible that crescent-shaped borers were used for other purposes, such as straightening and preparation of wooden hafts used for mounting all kinds of tools. Such implements are already known from a Predynastic cemetery in Maadi (Rizkana, Seeher 1988), and as regards the Archaic Period, from Abydos (Dynasty I; Petrie 1902) and Tell el Fara’in/Buto (Schmidt 1985), which yielded a concentration of thirteen borers dating to the period between dynasties I and III. As to the Old Kingdom, they were found at a settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen in 20

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom Judging from the table summarising the proposed classification, all five types were still in use in the Old Kingdom (Hikade 2001).

more well-dated and contextualised finds. Typological sequences based on an analysis of flint arrowheads types recognised in the prehistory of the North American continent provide an ample example. The basic difference, however, lies in the fact that in North America, sites with arrowheads are many, arrowheads are in abundance, the inventories have been analysed and more or less precisely dated. For the moment, the state of research on Egyptian flint arrowheads is far from satisfactory. It would be interesting, for example, to find out who produced flint arrowheads in Egypt. Simple trapezes and segments or even tanged arrowheads are easy to make and could have easily been produced by the users themselves. Tanged arrowheads from Ain el-Gazzareen (Figures 49: 3,5; 115) and Seth Hill (Figures 83: 2-3; 115) illustrate this point well. In contrast, bifacially retouched arrowheads required considerable craftsmanship and talent. For example, considering the high degree of standardisation of the arrowheads from the tomb of Hemaka, it seems likely that they were manufactured in specialised workshops intended to address the needs, e.g., of the army, perhaps by the same specialists who produced fashioned bifacial knives, halfproducts of sickle blades or bi-truncated regular blade tools.

There are several reasons responsible for the fact that a complete and well-documented list of types of flint arrowheads known from Egypt is not easy to draw up. Although tombs of Dynasty I in Saqqara and Abydos yielded a number of flint arrowheads, deliberately placed there in large quantities in order for the items to serve the deceased in the afterlife, otherwise finds of arrowheads are rare at settlement sites with no more than a few specimens recorded at the most (obviously only in inventories acquired in the course of precise excavations). A rich, sixth-dynasty flint inventory recovered from the settlement of Ain el-Gazzareen in the western part of the Western Dakhla Oasis, which contains only four arrowheads, provides an illustrative example. Two arrowheads are tanged, similar to the Ounan type, while the other two are lanceolate in shape, bifacially retouched specimens, including one closest to J type from the Western Desert and the oases according to the classification proposed by T. Hikade (2001). Ain Asil, a comparable, yet larger settlement site of the same chronology, located in the middle of the oasis, produced a single tanged arrowhead, corresponding to type E in the Western Desert, in accordance with the same classification (Midant-Reynes 1998). This is all the more surprising that Ain Asil was an administrative centre, inhabited also by armed soldiers. An incomparably poorer inventory from a watch-post commonly called Seth Hill, lying in the same oasis, and dating to Dynasty IV/V, periodically inhabited by a few guards probably recruited from Ain Asil, contained two tanged arrowheads. It is remarkable that a very rich inventory from all Archaic and Old Kingdom levels on Elephantine, notably a defensive site – a fortress, contained only three arrowheads (Hikade 1999a, 2013; Katthagen 1985). Likewise, a sizeable assemblage recovered from a large settlement site at Kom el-Hisn in the Western Delta, also estimated at Dynasty VI, did not provide a single arrowhead. The observation of a paucity of flint arrowheads at settlement sites holds true for both periods.

The vast majority of arrowheads were made from different varieties of flint. Although scarce, some specimens were shaped from other raw materials such as agate, rock crystal (Adams, Ciałowicz 1997; Hikade 2001), or carnelian, e.g., segments from Umm el Qaab (Hikade 2000b). Whilst the function of arrowheads is obvious, it is, however, uncertain whether arrowheads used for hunting differed, and if they did, in what way, from corresponding items employed by the army. There is another site in the Western Desert, located north of the Dakhla Oasis, that is to say El Kharafish. The inventory yielded by the level attributable to the camp inhabited by the population of the Sheikh Muftah culture from the times of Dynasty I contained three arrowheads (Riemer 2011a). One of them matches the classic Abydos type, the second type F from Hikade’s list; the third one is an Ounan point type, deemed by the author of research to have been of earlier chronology, probably brought into the site from unspecified location. A site codenamed 80/14 in Gilf el Kebir, at the heart of the Western Desert produced relics of a camp dating to the end of the Old Kingdom or the very beginning of the First Intermediate Period. Among them, seven trapezoidal arrowheads were found, corresponding to the first type described in T. Hikade’s list – trapezoidal arrowheads (referred to as Querschneider (Cziesla 1987)

It is the arrowheads themselves that provide another explanation as to why a detailed list of types of flint arrowheads is problematic to create. First, the shape of these specimens, constrained by their function, is not particularly changeable. Second, it is also likely that arrowheads of different shapes and sizes were used for various purposes, such as hunting large or small mammals or birds, or for military purposes. It is a well-recognised fact, for example, that trapezoid arrowheads were to cause bleeding. Hence, different types of arrowheads could have occurred at the same time but in different sets, or some types might have appeared at different times.

Microperforators (Figures 48:2-5;117) This category of very small tools used for piercing or drilling is hardly ever listed in publications devoted to flint inventories. This does not reflect their insignificance in everyday activities carried out by Egyptians at Archaic and

The first and unquestionably praiseworthy list of types put forward by T. Hikade (2001) will probably become more comprehensive and precise once archaeologists acquire 21

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt the Old Kingdom settlements, but simply their negligence in the course of excavations due to their microlithic sizes. Tiny implements, they are frequently overlooked, and hence not included in research papers. This is not to say that microperforators were used everywhere. At the settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen from Dynasty VI, they make up almost two per cent of all retouched tools, while the settlement site of Kom el-Hisn from the same period did not yield a single specimen, although all cultural layers were scrupulously screened. Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout watch-posts, dated to Dynasties IV-V, produced three specimens (3.75 per cent), and two specimens (3.07 per cent), respectively. By contrast, the early Dynastic level of the settlement at Tell el-Farkha produced a number of workshops manufacturing microperforators (Kabaciński 2012). Likewise, on Elephantine, in the area that yielded young inventories mostly dated to the late Old Kingdom and the early First Intermediate Period, unearthed was a microperforator workshop, hence the number of these artefacts amounts to 14.34 per cent.

As to the Old Kingdom, fairly numerous were borers excavated on Elephantine (Hikade 2002, 2013; Katthagen 1985); some of them display clear use wear. The borers were mostly made on blades and their stings were poorly isolated at the distal end. Borers were also found in Abydos (Petrie 1902), Tell el Fara’in (Schmidt 1985) and Helwan (Hikade 1999b). The inventory of the Ain Asil settlement site in the Dakhla Oasis, dated to Dynasty VI, contained only one specimen of this type. The settlement of the population of the Sheikh Muftah culture at El Kharafish, situated on a plateau in the Western Desert, north of Dakhla, dating to the early Archaic Period, yielded a large amount of borers so that they come second in the inventory, after scrapers. The borers are mostly made on flakes and often have an isolated sting. A larger group of borers was recovered from a settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen (15.00 per cent), also dated to Dynasty VI, and from concurrent Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout watch-posts in the Dakhla Oasis, borers representing just over one per cent of the inventories at both sites.

Microperforators were made on small, yet massive blades, the end or, less commonly, ends of which were sharpened with steep retouch to form a pointy end. Now and again, the retouch is alternating. From time to time, lateral edges feature steep retouch, at a certain distance from a sting, occasionally along the entire tool and at times only along its shorter section. Use wear is visible to the naked eye on some specimens as evident gloss on a sting. Many are broken, probably at work, where they were discarded. Ease to make, microperforators are likely to have been produced ad hoc for immediate use and mounted. The foregoing description is based on the inventory from Ain el-Gazzareen, which yielded 11 microperforators.

Notches (Figure 48:6-8) Notches are another type of tools difficult to define. Made both on blades and flakes, they have at least one notch fashioned at the edges, which show a great variety in shape, length and depth. Obverse retouch is most common. Employed for scraping wooden or bone objects, round in cross section, notches were again made when the need arose. Notches attributable to the Archaic Period are known from Helwan, where they account for about two per cent of the inventory (Hikade 2005), and from settlement sites of Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen, Dakhla Oasis, where they represent 4.0 per cent and 1.8 per cent of the assemblages, respectively. Notches are more frequent at nearby watchposts: at Seth Hill they made up 8.75 per cent and at Bee’s Lookout almost 14.00 per cent of the inventory. By contrast, a single notch was found at the watch-post codenamed Dakhla 99/38; however, considering that the flint inventory comprised only 13 retouched tools, the said notch still represents more than eight per cent of the assemblage (Riemer et al. 2005). At El Kharafish, the Western Desert, notches represent 4.0 per cent of the flint inventory.

Borers (Figures 50:1-5;118) Borers make up a substantial element of certain flint inventories recovered from Archaic and Old Kingdom settlement sites. This type comprises both borers and groovers. Firstly, because they fulfilled comparable functions, and, secondly, because they typically remain undistinguished in subject literature, which precludes their more comprehensive analysis. Borers exhibit a great variety of shapes. They were made both on blades and flakes, often waste products. The presence of a more or less protruding fragment was a main criterion for selecting a particular blank to be modified into a borer. Such a fragment was further sharpened along both edges, on one or both sides, unilaterally or bilaterally, with steep, more or less regular, sometimes alternating retouch.

Denticulates (Figures 50:6-7;119). Denticulates are found at both Archaic and Old Kingdom sites. The intensity of their occurrence is problematic to determine. Earlier studies either failed to identify the tools, or did not publish any data on them. The unavoidable impression is that, having concentrated on the analysis of bifacial knives, sickle blades or alternatively scrapers, archaeologists still do not take into account

Borers were expedient tools produced for immediate use, either for making implements, ornaments of different materials, or for the manufacture of products from leather. No further information is available, pending traseological studies.

22

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom such unappealing artefacts, often difficult to identify, as denticulates, notches or scaled pieces. It is a common practice in published lists of types from given sites to combine notches and denticulates or scrapers and end scrapers, perhaps unsurprisingly so, given that the ultimate categorisation of an implement can be very demanding and is inherently arbitrary. This makes the determination of the intensity of occurrence of a type at a given site intractable.

pieces are correctly regarded as implements. They were used as chisels or wedges for working or cleaving various materials. Strong impact necessary for their use brought about the flaking of the blade, detachment of characteristic scaled flakes and a heavy rippled surface of the resultant flake scars. With use, an implement was rotated so that the point of impact changed and multipolar scaled pieces were shaped.

Denticulates could be easily made by anyone. They were probably used to perform a variety of tasks, such as sawing, cutting or scraping.

Known and popular in prehistoric cultures, scaled pieces are bound to have been frequently used in Egypt throughout the periods discussed in the book, yet, until recently, they remained largely unidentified. They are reported to have been registered at very few sites, e.g., on Elephantine (Katthagen 1985); at Ain el-Gazzareen, the Dakhla Oasis, where scaled pieces amounted to 2.10 per cent of the inventory; at nearby watch-posts, representing 3.75 per cent of the assemblage at Seth Hill, 12.30 per cent at Bee’s Lookout, 14 per cent at Nephthys Hill (Kaper, Willems 2002); some specimens were recorded also at El Kharafish, the Western Desert (Riemer 2011a).

Denticulates attributable to the Archaic Period were recovered from Abydos (Petrie 1902). Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen, the Dakhla Oasis, yielded 5.0 per cent and 4.50 per cent of these implements, respectively. Late Old Kingdom watch-posts from Dakhla produced a high percentage of denticulates: Seth Hill more than 21.00 per cent and Bee’s Lookout 20.00 per cent. In the watch-post codenamed 99/38, among 13 retouched tool, four were denticulates, representing 31.00 per cent of the inventory (Riemer et al. 2005). At El Kharafish, the Western Desert, occupied by the communities of the Sheikh Muftah culture, denticulates accounted for nine per cent of the inventory from Dynasty I level (Riemer 2011a).

Easy to make, scaled pieces were used on a daily basis. Axes (Figure 53). Axes were found at merely few sites. They are quite numerous in Abydos (Petrie 1902), some were registered in Giza (Kromer 1978), and Elephantine produced three axes along with two bifacial knives (Hikade 2013; Kaiser et al. 1997). Axes from Abydos, Giza and Elephantine are all very similar, inasmuch as they are fairly flat, bifacially and entirely covered with medium and fine surface retouching. Axe blades are slightly arched or nearly straight. Three similar axes found in the Old Kingdom workshop in the Fayum Oasis were published by G. Caton-Thompson and G. Gardner (1934).

Strangled pieces (Figures 51:1,3; 121) Elongated flakes with two fairly deep notches formed by retouch at opposing edges came to be known as strangled pieces. While their function has been unrecognised as of yet, the notches are believed to have been shaped in order to facilitate the fitting of a handle. These rare tools were found at two nearby sites in the Dakhla Oasis, i.e., Ain Asil (Midant-Reynes 1998) and Ain el-Gazzareen, both dating to Dynasty VI. Excavations at these settlement sites produced two and three specimens, respectively. In the northern area of Elephantine registered were three specimens referred to as ‘blades with lateral notches’ (Hikade 2013), a description presumably denoting strangled pieces.

Hoes (Figure 54) Excavations at the settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen, the Dakhla Oasis produced two very similar tools made of tabular flint, dating to Dynasty VI. Remains of cortex surfaces are present at both sides of these massive artefacts. Deep and quite extensive notches at both lateral edges were shaped with heavy, steep retouch. Their blades are slightly convex; in one case sharpened with transverse blow and in the other trimmed by removing a few flakes along the axis of the tool on the dorsal and ventral side. Judging from the position of side notches, these specimens were rather hoes than axes and were used accordingly.

Scaled pieces ( Figures 51:2,3; 120) Most often made on massive flakes, scaled pieces exhibit traces of removals of the so-called scaled flakes on one or both surfaces in the form of clear, highly rippled flake scars. Flake scars show the directions of blows, which could be applied from one or both ends of a flake, and even from all four sides. Heavy rippled surface of flake scars, as well as deep cryptobulbs, testify to high impact. In prehistory, particularly the European one, scaled pieces are considered to be a type of cores from which scaled flakes were detached. These cores are grouped according to the directions of flake removal into uni-, bior multipolar. A ‘pole’ corresponds here to the concept of a striking platform adopted to describe ordinary cores. In the terminology appertaining to African materials, scaled

Choppers –pebble tool (Figures 55; 122) There is one type of flint tool that has not been hitherto distinguished in the lists of types drawn up for particular sites in Egypt, yet sometimes noted in descriptions of inventories. These are choppers, or the oldest stone tools produced and used as early as at the dawn of the Lower Palaeolithic one million years ago. In typological terms, 23

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt artefacts referred to herein as choppers formally meet all the requirements to be called choppers.

close to the pyramid was readily exploited by its builders (Figure 101).

As their Palaeolithic countertypes, choppers of the Pharaonic period are sizable flint pebble tools the edge of which was sharpened by detaching a few flakes. Analogously to the Paleolithic specimens, they may be grouped into two types: ordinary one-sided choppers, which edge was formed through the removal of flakes from only one side of a pebble, and bilateral chopping tools, which had their edge sharpened by striking off flakes from both sides of a pebble. In the case of longitudinal pebble tools, the working edge may be longitudinal or transverse. But for flake scars, the entire chopper is covered with cortex.

I have also discovered a concentration of pebbles and accompanying massive choppers and chopping tools in Saqqara, having at first suspected the site to be of Lower Paleolithic origin. Elephantine gave analogous artefacts. In addition to choppers, reaching up to 18cm in length and 10cm in width, the island yielded picks, up to 13cm long and 6cm wide. They are dated to dynasties III and early IV (Hikade 2002). The usage of flint implements in working architectural elements has been expertly discussed by W. M. F. Petrie (1890), D. Arnold (1991) and D. A. Stocks (2003).

All Pharaonic sites in Egypt to have supplied choppers lie in the vicinity of locations known to have been related to working stone, building pyramids and mastabas. For example, a royal necropolis of Dynasty V in Abusir gave some choppers. Alongside similar tools made of hard rocks such as basalt, quartzite and granite, the site yielded also choppers made from local flint pebbles. In addition to classical choppers, the tools found at the site fall also into the categories of hammers, hammerstones and wedges. The edges of some choppers exhibit traces of sharpening. Choppers are found everywhere, but hammerstones and scaled pieces tend to be concentrated in the vicinity of brick buildings (Váchala, Svoboda 1989).

The foregoing observations point out that choppers were put to use in works relating to stone architecture, so extensive in the Old Kingdom. They allegedly came handy for finishing the planes of sandstone or limestone blocks to make them adequately adhere to one another, or for other similar tasks. Marked by the simplicity of production, they were most likely manufactured somewhere near the building sites. Tools of a definite shape and unmistakable functionality, choppers are fully entitled to be included as a distinct type in a list of flint artefacts of Ancient Egypt. Retouched blades and flakes (Figure 51:5-6)

The Old Kingdom materials from Giza gave, under the name of unifacial or bifacial cobble cores, both single and double-sided choppers. Made of local flint pebbles, they reach 7.5cm in length and 6cm in width (Conard 2000) and are commonly regarded to have been used for smoothing limestone (Aston et al. 2000).

Retouched blades and flakes are common at all settlement sites, starting from the Lower Palaeolithic until the dawn of civilisation. Effortlessly produced, probably only for immediate use, these tools were discarded once cutting, scraping or piercing were done. Particularly frequent in inventories are retouched flakes, their shapes, types of retouch and its location exhibiting a great variety. Likewise, the intensity of retouch shows considerable diversity: some tools might have been consciously retouched in order to form a particular type of an edge or to sharpen it, while others feature merely unintentional use retouch. Sometimes both types of retouch co-occur on a flake or blade.

In Dahshur, similar artefacts were found near two pyramids. The area near the Red Pyramid of Sneferu of Dynasty IV produced flint pebbles with traces of pounding. The oblong chopper, 12cm by 5.5cm in size with a chisellike end, believed by Ch. Eger (1994) to be of Lower Paleolithic origin, is in fact an Old Kingdom chopper. Flint artefacts of this kind are accompanied by various types of hammers made of other rocks of up to more than eight kilograms in weight, with grooves carved probably for binding a hammer to a wooden haft. Remains of stone dust registered on their surfaces prove that they were used for working blocks of limestone and sandstone (Eger 1994).

Burins (Figure 52:1-4) Burins are infrequent in Egyptian late prehistoric flint inventories. Rarely produced in Egypt of the Pharaohs, they were more common in the Predynastic period. The inventory from Maadi provides a good, if somehow exceptional example; numerous burins of different varieties, mostly made on blades, constitute a major part of the flint inventory (Rizkana, Seeher 1988). In later periods, burins are a rarity. Some specimens dating to the Old Kingdom were found on Elephantine (Hikade 2002, 2013; Katthagen 1985); in the sixth-dynasty fort of Ain Asil burins represent only 0.50 per cent of the inventory (Midant-Reynes 1998; very few were registered at Kom

In the northern foreland, a few hundred meters to the south, natural mantles of flint pebbles were found lying at a distance of several meters from the northern edge of the Bent Pyramid, also Sneferu of Dynasty VI’s work. They are spread over the area of tens of square meters. Among natural, unworked pebbles, choppers of both variants, large flakes, as well as large cores in the initial stages of treatment were found in copious amounts. It is reasonable to conjecture that such a rich accumulation of pebbles

24

Types of Flint Artefacts in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom el-Hisn (0.66 per cent). Many inventories do not contain any burins at all.

Bracelets (Figure 52:6-7) While we explore the issue of flintwork in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it is incumbent upon us to note that flint was used not only for the production of implements, but also sculptures and ornaments, namely bracelets, favourites already with the prehistoric inhabitants of Egypt (Kobusiewicz et al. 2010). Unfortunately, no flint bracelet has been preserved in its entirety. A large fragment of a bracelet was found at the settlement site in Buto, dated by K. Schmidt (1987) to the Archaic Period, whilst a small one, attributable to the early Dynasty I, was recovered from Tell el-Farkha in the central Delta (Kabaciński 2003). B. Katthagen (1985) published a half of a flint bracelet from the Old Kingdom unearthed on Elephantine (Figure 52: 7).

Few burins were made on blades, flakes and even fragments of bifacial knives (Katthagen 1985). There are some dihedral burins (Figure 52: 1-3), and burins on truncations (Figure 52: 4). It did not take a specialist to produce a burin – every resident could have fashioned such an implement for their own needs: for working bone, wood, probably even soft rocks. Given that the fruits of all these basic activities, that were no doubt undertaken in the periods discussed herein, are well-represented in archaeological record, they were probably carried out also by dint of other kind of tools, e.g., ordinary unretouched blades or flakes. Traseological analyses might perhaps help elucidate the issue. Backed pieces (Figure 52:5)

Presumably very valuable, flint bracelets must have been manufactured by craftsmen-specialists. It comes as a surprise that these artefacts are found merely on settlement sites, and that they were never registered in the tombs of the then elite.

In the Archaic and Old Kingdom periods, backed pieces, i.e., blades, more rarely flakes with one straight edge formed by steep, high retouch, are scarce. T. Hikade (2005) reports that the Helwan cemetery supplied four of such artefacts, representing 1.65 per cent of the inventory. The author (Hikade 2013) notes that only three specimens made on flakes were recorded in the Elephantine inventories from the area North of the Knumh Temple, which represents 0.27 per cent of all retouched tools. Neither settlement sites of Dynasty VI from the Dakhla Oasis nor neighbouring watch-posts produced any backed pieces. This tool was probably of little use in these periods.

Animal sculptures Elaborately ‘carved’ animal figurines of flint are also noteworthy. The oldest to date are figurines of a hippotamus and dog unearthed at a late Predynastic cemetery in Hierakonpolis (Adams 2000; Friedman 2000), as well as a crocodile and hippopotamus uncovered at a coeval settlement site near the temple of Osiris at Abydos (Petrie 1902). A small hippopotamus of the Middle Kingdom origin is known from Kahun (Friedman 2000).

25

Chapter 4 Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

The other highly common type is tabular chert (Figure 100), imported in the form of flat slabs from unknown, yet given the popularity of this raw material, probably nearby sources.

4.1. The Dakhla Oasis In the Dakhla Oasis, flint materials attributable to the Old Kingdom were recovered from four types of sites of similar chronology, yet different functions. An extensive, agricultural settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen in the central western part of the oasis, long-excavated by A. Mills, constitutes the first type. The second type is Ain Asil: a large urban centre in the middle of the oasis with a fortress – the abode of the governor. The area of the El Khorab temple located within today’s town of Mut exemplifies the third type; and a series of watch-posts within and surrounding the oasis constitute a fourth type of sites under study. All are coetaneous sites: Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen are dated to dynasties V-VI; the El Khorab temple is perhaps a little earlier and is estimated at Dynasty IV (kind information of C. Hope). Watchposts should be dated to dynasties V-VI, although some researchers speculate that this type of sites date back as early as to Dynasty IV (Riemer et al. 2005).

Chalcedony was found exclusively at watch-posts; Bee’s Lookout produced a considerable amount of this raw material, and Nephthys Hill likewise. In Bee’s Lookout, a large number of implements were detached from a single, large, spherical, half-exploited chalcedony concretion covered with grey, fairly fine-grained cortex, the surface of which exhibits multidirectional cracks. The hue of chalcedony goes from light bluish-grey (Grey 2.8/1) to pinkish grey (5YR 7/2), to turn into cherry red near the surface. Deposits of chalcedony are unknown anywhere in Dakhla. Relatively few specimens of mined flint, used solely for the production of sickle blades, had been brought from one of many outcrops in the Nile valley. Occurring in various shades of brown, sometimes dark honey in colour and with occasional brighter streaks, this variety of flint is easily distinguishable from the two other types of flint prevailing at archaeological sites in the Oasis. Transparent and brown flints, rare in inventories recovered from the Dakhla Oasis, were also imported, perhaps from one of the numerous sources to be found in the Nile valley.

The examination of materials from these four types of well-researched sites has permitted the presentation of the typology of flintwork and the technology employed in the late Old Kingdom in the Dakhla Oasis. Interestingly, while the typology and technology have been shown to bear great similarities throughout the Oasis, they differ in some respects from Old Kingdom flint inventories recovered from other areas of Egypt. Furthermore, the studies have allowed us to draw an understanding of such issues as the procurement and management of raw material used in toolmaking. Besides, as well as suggesting some hypotheses relating to various aspects of economy, lithic analyses provided an insight into the relationships between indigenous people living in the Oasis and Egyptians, who arrived from the Nile valley carrying their more advanced civilisation. I analysed flint inventories, inter alia, in pursuance of an explanation if the local population of the Oasis was supplanted by the colonisers or else, if it yielded to acculturation, i.e., a progressive assimilation into the Egyptian civilisation. This issue is further explored in chapter 9.2.

Just like nodular flint, so too quartzite, produced in negligible amounts by archaeological investigations, had likely eroded from the Upper Cretaceous strata in the northern escarpment to be picked up and brought to the Oasis by its inhabitants (Midant-Reynes 1998). 4.1.1. Ain el-Gazzareen (Site 32/390/K2-2) Discovered in 1979, this settlement is located in the central-western part of the Oasis. Regular excavations under the supervision of A. Mills, the Director of the Dakhla Oasis Project, were conducted in the years 1995 to 2002 and 2004 – 2005 and have been continued since then (Mills 1995; Mills, Kaper 2003). The site is almost 5 acres in area. Previous excavation seasons produced massive quantities of flint materials – cores, debitage and tools relating to the daily life of the settlement, nowadays called Ain el-Gazzareen. Estimated on the basis of pottery at dynasties V-VI (Puttman 2012), in Dynasty VI, perhaps as early as the end of Dynasty V, the settlement was an autonomous, large agricultural village (Mills, Kaper 2003). Its architecture was of a fairly low quality; none traces of any prestigious structures have been uncovered to

Raw materials Two types of rock raw materials predominate at all sites of the Dakhla Oasis analysed in this book. The first is the socalled nodular chert (Figure 99), which occurs as relatively small, almost spherical nodules, 6 – 10cm in diameter, found at foot of escarpment bounding the oasis in the north (Midant-Reynes 1998). 26

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

T y p e

Number

Percentage

Single platform cores for flakes

22

39.32

Opposed platform cores for flakes

3

5.35

Ninety-degree cores for flakes

5

8.92

Regular multiplatform cores for flakes

2

3.57

Irregular multiplatform cores for flakes

11

19.64

Initially struck cores

3

5.35

Unclassifiable cores

10

17.85

Total:

56

100.00

Figure 3. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of types of cores.

date. A satellite settlement of the governorate of Ain Asil, located about 40km as the crow flies, the village’s raison d’être was supplying food to Egyptian settlers in the oasis (Mills 1995).

varieties of raw material, i.e., nodular flint and tabular flint, constituting 53.17 per cent and 46.58 per cent of the assemblage, respectively. Other types of raw material include imported mined flint (0.24 per cent), quartzite and quartz (0.01 per cent).

Flint materials

Cores and debitage from Ain el-Gazzareen are presented below based on the material obtained from the sample collection from O16 square, while retouched tools are discussed on the basis of a much richer assemblage produced by multiple research seasons.

The description of cores and debitage from Ain elGazzareen was grounded in a minute examination of a special collection yielded by a sample square codenamed O16. The material was collected with particular preciseness, including all kinds of chipping debris, such as tiny flakes and chips, since it was intended that the inventory from the square would provide a representation of debitage and so it did. In order to draw an understanding of the employed technology, all complete retouched tools, cores and debitage from the square were accurately measured and the type of the raw material identified. Furthermore, determined were types of blanks (flake vs. blade) and their butts; the degree of coverage with cortex (primary flakes/ blades – more than half of the surface covered with cortex; secondary flakes/blades – less than half of the surface covered with cortex; and tertiary flakes/blades – absence of cortex on the surface); types and position of retouch; types of striking platforms and their angle of inclination with respect to the striking surface; and, last but not least, the degree of core preparation and exploitation.

Cores in the sample collection (Figures 56:1-3; 57:1-4; 104) Fifty-six cores from the sample collection were analysed in detail; the table shows the absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of cores (Figure 3). Single platform cores for flakes (22 specimens) In general, cores of this type are rather small, stout, short and very short. Their mean length equals 38.12mm, and they fall in the range of 20.00–60.00mm; their mean width is 40.20mm (ranging between 18.00 and 58.00mm); and the mean thickness amounts to 22.88mm (ranging from 8.00 to 41.00mm). Striking platforms are largely covered with cortex (36.38 per cent); lisse and faceted platforms represent 27.27 per cent and 22.72 per cent of platforms, respectively; 13.63 per cent of platforms are unclassifiable. The mean angle between a striking platform and a striking surface is 80.30°, falling in the range of 49° to 99°. The preponderance of cores (59.10 per cent) exhibits no traces of cores preparation whatsoever. 40.90 per cent of cores were very roughly prepared. 63.64 per cent of cores are characterised by an advanced degree of lithic reduction, whilst 36.36 per cent are fully exhausted.

The collection and analysis of the data have allowed a reconstruction of the intentions of flint knappers from Ain el-Gazzareen along with the procedures they followed in order to achieve their aims. Conveniently, the results of the analysis of lithic inventories from the site can be successfully applied to other Old Kingdom inventories known from the Dakhla Oasis. In general, the assemblage from the so-called sample collection from O16 square consists of 5272 products, where 56 cores represent 1.06 per cent of the assemblage, 5092 debitage pieces amount to 96.59 per cent of the collection, and 124 retouched tools account for 2.35 per cent of the total number of excavated artefacts. Virtually all specimens were made from two of the aforementioned

Opposed platform cores for flakes (three specimens) These are also small and short cores, with the mean length of 40.00mm (ranging between 34.46 and 45.54mm), the mean width of 35.00mm (falling in the range of 34.00 to 27

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Core type

Mean

Standard deviation

Range

Single platform cores for flakes

Length Width Thickness

38.12 40.20 22.88

10.55 10.53 8.28

20.00 – 60.00 18.00 – 52.00 8.00 – 41.00

Ninety-degree cores for flakes

Length Width Thickness

50.60 53.00 35.20

11.90 22.29 8.72

43.00 – 70.00 51.00 – 68.00 6.00 - 20.00

Irregular multiplatform cores for flakes

Length Width Thickness

57.00 35.20 25.60

14.41 11.50 7.65

20.00 – 67.00 20.00 – 58.00 16.00 – 38.00

Unclassifiable cores

Length Width Thickness

49.71 41.40 27.86

20.71 17.36 8.65

20.00 – 80.00 28.00 – 75.00 20.00 – 40.00

Figure 4. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on cores (measurements in mm).

of 20.00 to 38.00mm). Most striking platforms are lisse, some are covered with cortex and some are unspecified. Core angles are varied and difficult to measure, and the relation of striking platforms likewise. None of the specimens bears any traces of core preparation, and the majority of them exhibit maximum degree of lithic reduction.

36.00mm) and the mean thickness of 24.50mm (ranging from 23.00 to 26.00mm). Three striking platforms are covered with cortex. The mean angle between a striking platform and a striking surface equals 85° (ranging between 51° and 108°). All these specimens were crudely prepared and all were partly exploited. Ninety-degree cores for flakes (five specimens)

Initial cores (three specimens)

These cores are short and stout, with the mean length of 50.60mm (in the range of 43.00 to 70.00mm), the mean width of 53mm (ranging between 51.00 and 68.00mm) and the mean thickness of 35.20mm (ranging from 20.00 to 46.00mm). The striking platforms of four pieces are covered with cortex, and one striking platform is lisse. The mean core angle is 84° (a core angle range of 62105°). In two cases, the striking surfaces are situated at the same side and are convergent, while in two cases the striking surfaces are located at separate planes of the core. Unshaped prior to exploitation, four cores were partially reduced and one was fully exhausted.

Initial cores are, by definition, slightly larger and show no core preparation. Their mean height is 46.50mm (they range from 45.00 to 48.00mm), width – 36.00mm (between 30.00 and 42.00mm), and thickness – 21.00mm (in the thickness range of 20.00 to 22.00mm). In two cases, the striking platforms are covered with cortex; one is lisse. The core angle ranges from 90° to 95°, and there is no regularity as regards the localisation of striking platforms. Unclassifiable cores (ten specimens) Unclassifiable cores are relatively larger specimens, fractured or damaged in the initial stages of exploitation. Their mean dimensions are as follows: the mean length – 49.71mm (between 20.00 and 80mm), width – 41,40mm (from 28,00 to 75.00mm) and thickness – 27.86mm (between 20.00 and 40.00mm). The types of striking platforms, their interrelation, core angles and extent of core shaping are largely unreadable. Almost all cores were maximally exhausted.

Regular multiplatform cores for flakes (two specimens) These multiplatform cores are short and stout. Their mean length equals 57.00mm (ranging between 55.00 and 59.00mm), width – 51.50mm (between 42.00 and 61.00mm) and thickness – 28.50mm (between 21.00 and 35.00mm). Three striking platforms are faceted and two are lisse. The mean core angle is 88° (ranging from 80° to 93°). In two cases, the striking platforms are situated at the same side of a core, being convergent in once case. Only one specimen displays traces of core preparation. Both cores were partially exploited.

Generally, all cores are alike, inasmuch as their dimensions and proportions are very similar. Cores for blades are virtually non-occurring, and few blades identified in the debitage were probably knapped accidentally. All cores were made from nodular flint. Core preparation is negligible or unnoticeable. A lack of core preparation is further corroborated by the absence of characteristic chipping debris produced while a core is shaped. Flint knappers processed these cores by directing random blows at different angles, hence their occasional almost spherical

Irregular multiplatform cores for flakes (11 specimens) Short and stout, irregular multiplatform cores for flakes have got a mean length of 57.00mm (falling in the range of 20.00 to 67.00mm), the width of 35.20mm (in the range of 20.00 to 58.00mm) and thickness of 25.70mm (in the range 28

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Debitage type

Number

Percentage

Cortex flakes

72

1.41

Cortex blades

59

1.15

Flakes from single platform core

454

8.91

Flakes from double platform core

2

0.04

Flakes from ninety-degree core

17

0.33

Flakes from multiplatform core

5

0.10

Unclassifiable flakes

365

7.17

Blades from single platform core

39

0.76

Blades from double platform core

1

0.02

Blades from ninety-degree core

1

0.02

Unclassifiable blades

13

0.25

Crested blades

1

0.02

Chips

3513

69.03

Chunks

400

7.85

Burin spalls

2

0.04

Scaled pieces

50

0.98

Biface trimming flakes

98

1.92

5092

100.00

Total:

Figure 5. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types

measuring less than 15mm and classified as chips, were likely overlooked in the course of investigations.

shape. The assemblage contains numerous discarded initial specimens. Detached flakes were plentiful and irregular, the preponderance of them left unretouched. The foregoing observations further substantiate the hypothesis that the Ain el-Gazzareen population enjoyed an easy access to raw material.

For the purpose of identification of raw material types from the O16 square of sample collection, a random sample of debitage was selected, numbering 2200 pieces, which represents 43.00 per cent of the entire debitage. The analysis has demonstrated that 19.70 per cent of examined specimens were made from nodular flint, while 80.30 per cent from tabular flint. The number of chips of nodular flint roughly equals the rest of debitage specimens from this raw material, while the quantity of tabular flint chips almost three times outnumbers other debitage pieces from this raw material. This discrepancy arises from the technology of working tabular flint. In order to fashion a desired implement, to ‘carve’ it out of a tablet, a flint knapper must have chipped it extensively, thereby producing huge amounts of chips, including typical bifacial trimming flakes, made without exception from tabular flint.

The foregoing detailed characterisation of cores from the model collection from O16 square broadly corresponds to the nature of numerous cores recovered from other excavation units at Ain el-Gazzareen. Debitage in the sample collection The sample collection comprises 5092 pieces of debitage (Figures 5 and 6). If the length is lesser than the width, a specimen is referred to as a flake, while a blade is defined as a specimen, the length of which is equal to or greater than its width. A chip is a flake that measures less than 15mm. A chunk is a fragment of a raw material nodule, which disintegrated on impact or spontaneously, due to natural fractures. Typically small and short, rarely larger and extensive, with the characteristic butt at an obtuse angle to the dorsal surface, bifacial trimming flakes are characteristic flakes detached while shaping bifacially retouched tools. Their butts are oblong, very fine, unspecified or pointed, which attests to the use of a soft hammer or more likely pressure. Some of them,

Furthermore, this process accounts for the relative advantage of tabular flint within the category of chips, much greater if we consider the entire inventory. It is undeniable that flake technology was used for processing nodular flint. A nodule was knapped from all sides, with cortex surfaces often used as striking platforms. In most cases, striking platforms, sides, back of a core or 29

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Debitage type

Mean

St. Dev.

Range

Cortex flakes

Length Width Thickness

28.20 26.45 7.69

14.85 10.07 4.45

4 – 65 4 – 54 2 – 22

Flakes from single platform core

Length Width Thickness

23.95 24.22 5.89

10.14 10.17 3.78

7 – 60 9 – 90 1 – 30

Flakes from ninety- degree core

Length Width Thickness

31.18 30.47 9.00

12.23 7.21 3.34

15 – 55 14 – 42 3 – 17

Flakes from multiplatform core

Length Width Thickness

21.20 29.40 7.60

4.55 12.58 4.39

14 – 25 14 – 45 2 – 13

Blades from single platform core

Length Width Thickness

36.27 14.69 5.58

16.13 7.43 4.05

17 – 72 5 – 32 2 – 14

Figure 6. Ain el-Gazzareen. Sample collection. Metrical data on debitage (measurements in mm)

even edges of striking platforms were unprepared. The debitage lacks any characteristic forms produced while preparing a core, such as platform rejuvenation flakes or crested blades. Given that flakes were generally randomly detached, frequent are irregular multiplatform cores. In fact, cores typologically identified as single platform specimens apparently did not have more striking platforms simply because there were no more to be found; it follows that, once one striking platform was exploited, a core was simply discarded. Consequently, we cannot describe the technology of working nodular flint as the technology of a single platform core; it was more of an ‘as it was possible’ technology. It seems that once a flint knapper proceeded with working a flint nodule, they used a hard hammer, as evidenced by frequent extensive bulbs. Hammer stones and fabricators are scarce in Ain el-Gazzareen. Excavation exposed few quartz hammer stones (Figure 103) along with unworked spherical nodules with traces of knapping, most likely used for working flint.

the employment of this type of technology at the site. Very few flakes of quartzite probably represent the waste from the production of millstones. Retouched tools Retouched tools were studied on the basis of analyses of 614 retouched tools recovered from all surface units explored in the course of six excavation seasons in the years 1998-2002 and 2004 at Ain el-Gazzareen (Figure 7). 9.06 per cent of retouched tools were shown to have been burnt. For the purpose of a comprehensive analysis of retouched tools, a list of 23 types was compiled specifically for the abundant inventory from Ain el-Gazzareen. More subtypes could perhaps be distinguished, e.g., within the scrapers class, it seems nevertheless that manufactures had no intention of producing such a diverse range of products, hence an artificial construction of types does not help to clarify but rather obscures their intention. Since the examination of archaeological record yielded by other Old Kingdom sites in the Dakhla Oasis proved the applicability of the list of types developed for Ain el-Gazzareen to all four types of sites recognised in the Oasis, the list was accordingly used to present lithic materials from all these sites.

Flaking produced thick flakes, often with an obtuse angle between a butt and ventral surface. Most common are lisse butts and cortex butts are less frequent. Flakes of tabular flint are slightly larger than those of nodular flint. Lithic reduction resulted in the detachments of numerous chunks. A great deal of carelessness is noticeable in the management of raw material, which is unsurprising since areas in the vicinity were rich in sources of raw flint. Out of a vast amount of detached flakes, few were retouched with the intention of shaping them into desired forms. Typical for the manufacture of flint implements at the site is the frequent use of irregular, debris flakes, not particularly suitable, in my opinion, to achieve an anticipated objective. A relatively large number of bifacial trimming flakes, usually from tabular flint, are a characteristic testimony of

4.1.2. List of types for the site of Ain el-Gazzareen Type 1. Bifacial knives. (Figure 58:1; 59; 60:1-2; 61:1-2; 62:1-2; 105; 106) Bifacial knifes found at Ain el-Gazzareen were made on flat, longitudinal flakes of considerable size. The raw material for their production was identified as mined flint, rarely tabular or Egyptian flint. The knives’ 30

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Type No.

Tool type

Number

Percentage

Figure

Burnt No.

%

1

Bifacial knifes

24

3.90

59; 60:1-2; 105;106

3

5.35

2

Rectangular sickle blades

84

13.68

64:1-9; 107

6

10.71

3

Triangular sickle blades

13

2.11

65:1-3, 107

1

1.78

4

Half-products of sickle blades

29

4.72

65:4-6; 108

-

-

5

Massive rectangular sickle inserts

29

4.72

65:7-8; 66:1-8; 109

4

7.14

6

Massive triangular sickle inserts

15

2.44

67:1-5; 110

-

-

7

Massive scrapers

83

13.51

68:1-3; 111

8

14.28

8

Flat scrapers

37

6.02

69:1-2; 70:1-5; 112

9

16.07

9

Endscrapers

20

3.25

71:1-5

-

-

10

Nosed endscrapers

17

2.76

72:1-3; 113

-

-

11

Rabots

3

0.48

73: 1-4

-

-

12

Crescent-shaped borers

3

0.48

74:1,4; 114

1

1.78

13

Tanged arrowheads

2

0.32

74:2,5; 115

-

-

14

Bifacially retouched arrowheads

2

0.32

74:3,6; 116

-

-

15

Microperforators

11

1.79

75:1-9; 117

-

-

16

Borers

8

1.30

76:1-8; 118

-

-

17

Notches

11

1.79

75:10-12

-

-

18

Denticulated tools

28

4.56

77:1-6; 119

2

3.57

19

Strangled pieces

3

0.48

78:1,3, 121

-

-

20

Scaled pieces

13

2.11

78:2,4; 120

-

-

21

Hoes

2

0.32

54

-

-

22

Retouched blades

8

1.30

79:1,4

-

-

23

Retouched flakes

169

30.12

79:2,3,5

22

39.32

Total:

614

100.00

56

100.0

Figure 7. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of retouched tools along with the absolute and percentage frequencies of burnt pieces calculated within particular types .

pressure technology. Such blades were broken at both ends to acquire a regular elongated rectangle with parallel edges. The edges of rectangular sickle blades are covered with fine serration on the ventral or dorsal side, sometimes both. One or both longitudinal edges typically display heavy sickle sheen, usually at one, more rarely at both sides.

surface was bifacially retouched and shows irregular retouch scars. The arched edge was trimmed with regular, continuous retouch on one side, while the other side either lacks edge retouch, or was thinned by discontinuous retouch. Edge retouch is invariably flat. The back of a knife is straight, forming one line with a handle, which is projecting in sufficiently preserved specimens. Knives from Ain el-Gazzareen correspond to type 5 in accordance with the above-given description of types, thus type 4 according to Tillmann.

Type 3. Triangular sickle blades (Figure 58:3; 65:1-3:107). These are pointed sickle blades with one arched edge. They were used to complete the series of inserts mounted in a wooden haft of a sickle. Their edge retouch is analogous to that of rectangular sickle blades.

Type 2. Rectangular sickle blades (Figure 58:2; 64:1-9; 107) were produced on quality, slender blades (trapezoidal in cross-section), knapped off a single platform core using 31

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt Type 4. Half-products of sickle blades (Figure 58:4; 65:46; 108) are quality, regular, slender blades removed from a single platform core by dint of pressure technology. When a butt is discernible, it is either pointed or lisse. The feature that distinguishes half-products of sickle blades from sickle blades is the absence of retouch. Some of them have traces of use such as the regular sickle blades (see Appendix Figure 14). The blanks were fashioned into both types of sickle blades.

Type. 11. Rabots (Figure 58:11; 73:1-4). End scrapers with a very tall scraping edge, made on a thick flake or a chunk, sometimes called core end scrapers. Type 12. Crescent-shaped drills (Figure 58:12; 74:1,4; 114). These are massive, thick fragments of flakes or flakes resembling new moon in shape. The main distinguishing mark of these borers is an extensive, fairly deep notch and a back parallel to the notch. Shaped by heavy, high, steep retouch, crescent-shaped borers were purportedly used for drilling stone vessels.

Type 5. Massive rectangular sickle inserts (Figure 58:5; 65:7-8; 66:1-8; 109) were made exclusively from tabular flint. Massive and fairly flat, they were finished with steep or semi-steep, always obverse retouch along four or alternatively three edges, which also occasionally exhibit sickle sheen.

Type 13. Tanged arrowheads (Figure 58:13; 74:2,5;115). These implements were made on slender, fine blades and had a pointed tip along with a short, projecting tang. Type 14. Bifacially retouched arrowheads (Figure 58:14; 74:3,6;116). Small, fine, flat and slender leaf-shaped implements bifacially retouched with fine, flat, very regular retouch, which completely covers both planes.

Type 6. Massive triangular sickle inserts (Figure 58:6: 67:1-5; 110), made from tabular flint, resemble a slightly obtuse-angled triangle with a pointed tip in shape. The convex, arched edge opposite the obtuse angle has regular retouch, and the other edge, also retouched, is a little concave. The straight base was prepared with regular steep retouch. Long, often serrated edges are finished with semi-steep or almost flat, fairly regular retouch. Marked by a very pointy and sharp tip, these implements were used as sickle inserts, as suggested by sickle sheen visible on the concave side. They were hafted as the last two sickle inserts in a row of massive rectangular inserts set in a wooden handle of a sickle.

Type 15.Microperforators (Figure 58:15; 75:1-9; 117). Microperforators are small, slender perforators, sometimes with two ends. They are made on small, quite massive, fairly irregular blades; bilateral, less frequently unilateral semi-steep or steep retouch, tapering to an end or ends, forms a pointed end. Type 16. Borers (Figure 58:16; 76:1-8; 118). Borers were mostly made on irregular flakes, less often blades. Characteristic for them is a projecting working end, frequently shaped with alternating retouch.

Type 7. Massive scrapers (Figure 58:7; 68:1-3; 111) were predominantly made from tabular flint. Resembling irregular circle or oval in shape, sometimes a rectangle with rounded edges, they were either finished with almost all-around retouch, or retouch could be limited to an arched scraping edge. Retouch was regular, semisteep, from time to time almost flat and not particularly high. Complete tools are relatively massive, usually of considerable dimensions.

Type 17. Notches (Figure 58:17; 75:10-12;). These implements were made on irregular flakes or, much less commonly, blades. They take their name from notches of varying extent and depth shaped with steep or semi-steep retouch at their edges. Type 18. Denticulated tools (Figure 58:18; 77:1-6; 119) were made on flakes of irregular shapes. Denticulates are marked by adjacent notches situated at different sections to form a denticulate edge.

Type 8. Flat scrapers (Figure 58:8; 69:1-2; 70:1-5:112) are similar in shape to massive scrapers, albeit are typically smaller in size. They were crafted on flat or very flat tablets of tabular flint, therefore their regular retouch running along most of their perimeter or in its section is flatter.

Type 19. Strangled pieces (Figure 58:19; 78:1,3;121). These are elongated, flat fragments of tabular flint, tapering towards one end. Both ends are transverse, with one end wider and the other narrower. One transverse edge is finished with obverse and inverse retouch at the same time, other edges are trimmed all-around with semi-steep retouch. Characteristic for them are two opposite, large and very deep notches shaped with bifacial retouch at both longitudinal edges near the narrower end.

Type 9. The distinguishing characteristic of end scrapers (Figure 58:9; 71:1-5) is a single scraping edge. End scrapers found at Ain el-Gazzareen were mostly made on flakes, occasionally massive, sometimes elongated. Their scraping edges are regular, usually arched, shaped with steep or semi-steep, at times high retouch. Lateral edges are from time to time irregularly retouched.

Type 20. Scaled pieces (Figure 58:20; 78:2,4; 120). Relatively flat nodules of raw material, which longitudinal planes are covered with heavily rippled scars of flat flakes, forming a kind of a striking surface. The scars may run from one, two or even multiple directions.

Type 10. Nosed scrapers (Figure 58:10; 72;1-3, 113) are made on fairly massive flakes, with an easily discernible projection, at which an arched scraping edge was shaped by regular, flat or very flat retouch, fairly fine and restricted basically to the edge. 32

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Type and location of retouch on sickle blades

No.

Percentage

Retouch on one edge on ventral side

23

23.71

Retouch on one edge on dorsal side

21

21.64

Retouch on both edges on ventral side

5

5.15

Retouch on both edges on dorsal side

18

18.55

Alternating retouch

5

5.15

Microlithic use retouch on one side

16

16.49

Microlithic use retouch on both sides

6

6.18

No retouch. Truncated end

3

3.09

Total:

97

100.00

Figure 8. Ain el-Gazzareen. Type and location of retouch on sickle blades

Type 21. Hoes (Figure 58:22; 54). Made of tabular flint, hoes are notched at sides. Both their surfaces are covered with flat, irregular retouch. The working edge is occasionally sharpened by a side blow or a series of finer flaking along the axis of an implement.

a watch-post housed a small military crew, probably numbering at most a few men, who stood guard and tracked the movements of both the local nomads and passing caravans (Figure 80). As well as remains of stone structures protecting them against wind and sun (Figure 123) and more or less comprehensible to us rock carvings, the soldiers left behind negligible amounts of potsherds along with some flint artefacts, the lithic analysis of which is presented below. Watch-posts date back to the late Old Kingdom, arguably dynasties V-VI. Flint assemblages from watch-posts were examined in accordance of the above list of types developed on the basis of rich materials from Ain el-Gazzareen.

Type 22. Retouched blades (Figure 58:23; 79:1,4) are waste blades finished with a variety of obverse, more rarely inverse or alternating retouch, steep, semi-steep, flat, often irregular. It occupies merely a segment or segments of the edge. Sometimes merely very fine use retouch is present. Type 23. Retouched flakes (Figure 58:24; 79:2,3,5). The production of all retouched tools at Ain el-Gazzareen is typified by the exclusive use of three varieties of raw material, namely nodular, tabular and mined flint (Figure 9). Sickle blades and blanks for their production as well as the majority of bifacial knives were made exclusively from mined flint.

Seth Hill (Site 30/420-G2-1) Investigated by O. Kaper in December 2000 and January 2004 (Kaper, Wilems 2002), this watch-post was named after the statuette of god Seth found on site (see Figure 80). Typically, a kind of shelter was erected from boulders on top of a sandstone gebel, probably for protection from the north wind (see Figure 123). Guards who occupied the site left behind pottery, flint artefacts and rock engravings. Deposited in a layer of blown sand or on its surface, artefacts were collected within 2 x 2m squares. The investigators delved into sand, yet did not sieve it. Most of the artefacts were collected from more or less flat top of the gebel, and some from the slopes, where they without doubt were subject to post-depositional translocations. Given that no clusters of artefacts or concentrations of particular types were registered, the inventory of Seth Hill was analysed and described as a whole. Noteworthy is only a relatively large collection labelled ‘hut floor’ from the interior of the stone structure located on the top of the hill.

Sickle blades were made on imported, very regular blades detached from single platform cores by pressure. The table above (Figure 8) demonstrates the types and location of retouch on these implements. It is not a strict rule, yet a marked trend that larger tools such as massive triangular and rectangular sickle blades, strangled pieces and most scrapers were manufactured from tabular flint, while smaller tools were made on nodular flint flakes, albeit implements of tabular flint are also an occasional occurrence. Next to tools made of flint, a damaged axe of basalt and two quartz artefacts were also registered. 9.06 per cent of retouched tools were burnt. 4.1.3. Watch-posts

The entire assemblage from Seth Hill amounts to 1910 specimens, including 44 cores (representing 2.30 per cent of the collection), 1786 pieces of debitage (93.52 per cent) and 80 retouched tools (4.18 per cent). 77.30 per cent

A watch-post is a term coined by archaeologists to define a place on top of sandstone remnants (gebels), selected from a strategic point of view. By order of a governor, 33

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Type No.

Types of tools

No. of tabul.

% of tabul.

No.of nodul.

% of nodul.

Other

% of Other

1

Bifacial knifes

9

37.50

-

-

Mined flint 15

62.50

2

Rectangular sickle blades

3

3.70

-

-

Mined flint 81

96.30

3

Triangular sickle blades

-

-

-

-

Mined flint 10

100.00

4

Half-products of sickle blades.

1

3.44

-

-

Mined flint 28

96.56

5

Massive rectangular sickle inserts

29

100.00

-

-

-

-

6

Masive triangular sickle inserts

15

100.00

-

-

-

-

7

Massive scrapers

73

87.99

9

10.84

Quartz 1

1.20

8

Flat scrapers

33

89.19

4

10.81

-

-

9

Endscrapers

8

40.00

12

60.00

-

-

10

Nosed scrapers

5

29.41

12

70.78

-

-

11

Rabot

-

-

3

100.00

-

-

12

Crescent drills

3

100.00

-

-

-

-

13

Tanged arrow heads

2

100.00

-

-

-

-

14

Bifacially retouched Arrow heads

-

-

-

-

Mined flint 2

100.00

15

Microperforators

-

-

10

91.00

Mined flint 1

9.00

16

Borers

3

37.50

5

62.50

-

-

17

Notches

7

63.63

3

27.27

Quartz 1

9.10

18

Denticulates

18

64.25

10

35.75

-

-

19

Strangled pieces

3

100.00

-

-

-

-

20

Scaled pieces

3

23.08

9

69.23

Mined flint 1

7.69

21

Hoes

2

100.00

-

-

-

-

22

Retouched flakes

7

87.50

1

12.50

-

-

23

Retouched blades

101

59.77

68

40.23

-

-

Figure 9. Ain el-Gazzareen. Absolute and percentage frequencies of particular types of raw materials counted for each type of retouched tools

34

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Debitage type

Number

Percentage

Cortex flakes

45

2.52

Flakes from single platform core

168

9.41

Flakes from multiplatform core

91

5.10

Unclassifiable flake

162

9.10

6

0.34

Chips

1165

65.21

Chunks

149

8.32

Total:

1786

100.00

Blades from single platform core

Figure 10. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types

of recovered artefacts were made from nodular flint and 21.42 per cent from tabular flint.

Retouched tools (Figures 82, 83) Eighty retouched tools were distinguished in the lithic inventory recovered from Seth Hill, including 57 pieces (71.25 per cent) from nodular flint, 17 pieces (21.25 per cent) from tabular flint, five specimens (6.25 per cent) from mined flint and one piece (1.25 per cent) from chalcedony (Figure 11).

Cores (Figure 81:1-3) The vast majority of cores (93.87 per cent) were made of nodular flint. Some specimens from quartzite sandstone (4.08 per cent) and a single piece of mined flint (2.04 per cent) were also recorded. Two types of cores were basically distinguished. Most numerous are multiplatform, irregular cores for flakes (40 specimens, accounting for 90.68 per cent of cores). There are few single platform cores for flakes (9.10 per cent) and one (0.22 per cent) single platform core for blades. Both main types of cores entirely correspond to analogous types of cores characterised for Ain el-Gazzareen, the only difference lying in the more advanced degree of exploitation, thus smaller size of cores from Seth Hill. The specimens also lack any traces of core preparation.

Tools of Seth Hill are slightly smaller in size than implements from Ain el-Gazzareen and none of them are large, massive specimens. Noteworthy is a relatively rich inventory recovered from the interior of a stone structure (hut floor). It consists of 14 retouched tools, including two massive scrapers and one flat scraper from tabular flint, a groover, three denticulates, two notches, four retouched flakes, one scaled piece, and one small retouched blade, all from nodular flint. These tools are accompanied by ten cores and three flakes from nodular flint. Outside, next to the entrance to the construction, a cluster was registered, comprising one fully exhausted core from nodular flint, 22 flakes from the same raw material, five flakes from tabular flint along with two small and one large flake from quartzitic sandstone. Given that this cluster of nodular flint products seems to be homogenous as regards raw material, it is reasonable to conjecture that this was a spot where one nodule of raw flint was worked.

Debitage Debitage types identified amongst 1786 pieces of debitage recovered from the site are given in a table (Figure 10): Just like cores, so too the debitage from Seth Hill is marked by a slightly smaller size than the debitage of Ain el-Gazzareen. 74.36 per cent of debitage is made from nodular flint, 24.33 per cent from tabular flint, 0.50 per cent from quartzitic sandstone, 0.33 per cent from quartz, 0.22 per cent from mined flint, 0.11 per cent from basalt; specimens from hornstone and the so-called transparent flint are an uncommon occurrence, representing 0.05 per cent of the assemblage each. Few blades recovered from the site are irregular. Given an almost complete absence of cores for blades, these can be assumed to have been detached by accident. In contrast to Ain el-Gazzareen, at Seth Hill debitage from nodular flint is more frequent than from tabular flint, which indicates that the hosts of the watch-post did not have an easy access to sources of tabular flint.

Generally, the lithic technology and typology of Seth Hill assemblage closely resembles that of Ain el-Gazzareen, being analogously marked by primitiveness and, basically, a lack of core preparation. While we compare the lithic assemblages of Ain elGazzareen and Seth Hill, it is interesting to note Middle Paleolithic cores (Figure 81:3) and tools made on Middle Palaeolithic flakes (Figure 83: 1,6-7,9), frequent in the inventory of the latter. A total of nineteen such specimens were distinguished, of which nine exhibit no traces of reworking and ten were retouched for the purpose of being 35

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Type No.

Tool type

5

Number

Percentage

Figure

Rectangular sickle blades

1

1.25

82:1

6

Massive sickle inserts

2

2.50

82:2

7

Massive scrapers

5

6.25

82:4

8

Flat scrapers

7

8.75

82:3

9

Endscrapers

5

6.25

83:1

10

Tanged arrowheads

2

2.50

83:2-3

15

Microperforators

3

3.75

83:5

16

Borers

6

7.50

83:6

17

Notches

7

8.75

83:8

18

Denticulate tools

17

21.25

83:7

20

Scaled pieces

3

3.75

83:9

22

Retouched blades

3

3.75

-

23

Retouched flakes

20

23.75

83:4

Total:

80

100.00

Figure 11. Seth Hill. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools

re-used. Palaeolithic artefacts are believed to have been exploited as the supply of raw material. All heavily eolised, Middle Palaeolithic artefacts are scattered on the surface around Seth Hill watch-post and in several other places in the oasis. The fact that they were collected combined with the general reduction in the inventory’s size speaks of some difficulties with obtaining raw material experienced by the crew of the watch-post. Furthermore, a relatively small amount of sickle blades at Seth Hill (3.60 per cent) stands in a striking contrast to finds from Ain el-Gazzareen (16.20 per cent). Notwithstanding a minimum quantity of arrowheads at both sites, their percentage is nonetheless more than three times larger at Seth Hill. Moreover, two arrowheads found at the watch-post were made from exotic raw materials, i.e., mined flint and chalcedony. Neither bifacial tools nor flakes for their production were uncovered at Seth Hill. To conclude, despite apparent similarities of technology between the inventory of Seth Hill and that of Ain el-Gazzareen, there are considerable, yet unsurprising differences between them in terms of typology, which is obviously all down to a sharp distinction between their functions.

artefacts. The assemblage from Bee’s Lookout and Seth Hill are alike, inasmuch as their typological composition is comparable. A total of 1388 lithic artefacts were recovered from the site, the assemblage consisting of 74 cores (5.33 per cent), including 35 specimens of chalcedony and 39 specimens of nodular flint; 1249 pieces of debitage (89.99 per cent); and 65 retouched tools (4.68 per cent). Artefacts from chalcedony outnumber those from nodular flint (51.52 per cent vs. 40.48 per cent, respectively). 7.00 per cent were made from tabular flint. Hornstone and quartzite are present in minor amounts (0.64 per cent and 0.57 per cent, respectively). Chalcedony from Bee’s Lookout is dull white in colour, turning into cherry plum near the surface of the cortex, supposedly owing to having been burnt in fire. Cores (figure 84; 85:1-2) A considerable quantity of chalcedony artefacts were worked from a large, spherical, almost half-exploited concretion, from which a discoidal, hemispherical core was roughed out, sized 105 x 105 x 70mm (Figure 84). Its single striking surface is circular and slightly convex, and consists of scars of irregular flakes removed by concentric blows directed to the edge of the nodule. As such, it resembles a ‘tortoise’s shell’ of Levallois cores. The core does not bear any traces of preparation. Both the large core and smaller cores of chalcedony along with other cores of nodular flint were very crudely worked. A flint knapper randomly selected subsequent surfaces

Bee’s Lookout (Site 30/450-C4-1) Bee’s Lookout is a watch-post examined by O. Kaper in December 1999. Artefacts were collected from the surface within 2 x 2m squares, and the material from some squares was screened. Since there were no clusters of artefacts or of particular types of products, all finds were treated as a single unit. The list of types developed for Ain el-Gazzareen was again used as a reference for the description of the 36

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Debitage type

Number

Percentage

Secondary cortex flakes

12

1.30

Flakes from single platform core

134

10.71

Unclassifiable flakes

162

13.02

Chips

860

68.50

Chunks

81

6.47

1249

100.00

Total:

Figure 12. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types

that occurred during processing to be used as a striking platform, using both hard and soft hammer. Except for the above-described core of chalcedony, other specimens are irregular multiplatform cores for flakes, fairly small and heavily exhausted (Figure 85: 1-2). The largest specimen is 36mm in length, 40mm in width and 23mm in thickness and the smallest core measures 18 x 26 x 22mm.

Middle Palaeolithic specimens or using them as a source of raw material for the manufacture of tools. Nephthys Hill (Site 30/450-D4-2) Discovered by M. Kleindienst in 1997, the site lies east of the village of Eneida (see figure 80). The material was collected within stone constructions designated as Hut A, B, C and D, and from the surface (Kaper, Willems 2002). Flint inventory was recovered merely from Hut A and next to the entrance to the structure.

Debitage Among 1249 pieces of debitage, 51.00 per cent were made of chalcedony, 41.01 per cent from nodular flint and 7.99 per cent from tabular flint (Figure 12).

The assemblage from Nephthys Hill was published by M. McDonald (2002), thus the data given below come from her publication. The site yielded 968 flint artefacts in total, almost two third of which, i.e., specimens smaller than 15mm, were sorted out, while the remaining 247 pieces were analysed by the author. This collection comprises 50 retouched tools, 28 of their fragments and 26 specimens with scant retouch; ten cores and five core fragments; 111 flakes, four blades and 13 chunks. All cores were used to detach flakes; the vast majority of them were multiplatform specimens, single platform cores being a rare occurrence. Amongst retouched tools most common are denticulates, followed by scaled pieces, perforators and notches. The material kindly provided to me by O. Kaper was the very part of the assemblage that M. McDonald did not examine. It comprises six hundred chips, four retouched tools (a retouched flake and three scaled pieces) and one multiplatform core for flakes. In total, debitage amounts to 75.00 per cent, cores – 14.00 per cent and retouched tools – 11.00 per cent of the entire assemblage recovered from the site.

Primary (cortex) flakes are absent, and secondary flakes are fairly rare, perhaps owing to the exploitation of a large, spherical, chalcedony concretion, which yielded a number of flakes from the inside of the nodule, thus devoid of cortex. Unlike flakes from chalcedony, somewhat more regular, with mostly lisse butts and rare cortex butts, flakes from nodular flint have mostly cortex butts, lisse butts being scarcer. Bulbs are slightly convex and extensive. Bee’s Lookout’s flintwork exhibits a soft hammer use. The watch-post did not produce a single hammerstone or fabricator. Retouched tools (Figure 85:3-7; 86:1-7) Sixty-five retouched tools were identified at Bee’s Lookout (Figure 13). Analogously to Seth Hill, the implements are slightly smaller than their counterparts from Ain el-Gazzareen. The majority of them were made from nodular flint (52.86 per cent), a considerable quantity from chalcedony (40.00 per cent) and some from tabular flint (7.14 per cent).

The analysis of the raw material carried out by McDonald on the basis of debitage showed that the basic material was nodular flint (63.48 per cent), followed by chalcedony (34.71 per cent); few specimens were made from tabular flint (1.81 per cent). MacDonald is right when she claims that flints from Nephthys Hill are characterised by relatively smaller dimensions. The inventory is striking in a considerable quantity of highly eolised Middle Palaeolithic flakes (6.30 per cent), which were used to shape some retouched tools found at the watch-post (McDonald 2002).

In general, the inventory from Bee’s Lookout watch-post bears a close resemblance to the inventories from Ain el-Gazzareen and Seth Hill inasmuch as the technology and typology of artefacts are practically the same. The difference lies in the extensive usage of chalcedony, the supply of which enabled some profligacy in raw material management and exempted the inhabitants of the watchpost from the exploration of the area in pursuance of 37

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Type No.

Tool type

Number

Percentage

Figure

7

Massive scrapers

11

16.92

85:4

8

Flat scrapers

9

13.84

85:3,5

15

Microperforators

2

3.07

85:6

16

Borers

5

7.69

85:7; 86:1-2

17

Notches

9

13.84

86:3

18

Denticulate tools

13

20.04

86:-5

20

Scaled pieces

8

12.30

86:6

23

Retouched flakes

8

12.30

86:4,7

Total:

65

100.00

Figure 13. Bee’s Lookout. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools

Meidum Hill (Site 13/12 – 00)

Watch-posts: Site 99/38 and Site 99/39

A watch-post excavated by O. Kaper, Meidum Hill yielded a modest inventory numbering 92 specimens, including seven cores from nodular flint, two flat end scrapers, two rabots, one massive rectangular scraper from tabular flint, three denticulates (one from tabular flint and two from nodular flint), one sickle blade and one half-product of sickle blade from Egyptian flint. Next to the tools, the inventory comprises 53 flakes from nodular flint, 22 flakes from tabular flint, one irregular blade from nodular flint as well as six heavily eolised Middle Palaeolithic flakes.

These are two watch-posts located on two small, adjacent sandstone remnants in the desert, south of the Dakhla Oasis, about 25 kilometers south of the settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen (Figure 35). Discovered in 1999 by C. Bergman, they were excavated in 2000 by a group of German researchers under the direction of R. Kuper and H. Riemer (Riemer et al. 2005). Richer in artefacts is a watch-post codenamed 99/38. As well as a fairly considerable quantity of potsherds, containing both the ‘Egyptian’ and Sheikh Muftah elements and faunal materials, a poor inventory of flint products was recovered, which includes six cores, 190 pieces of debitage and 13 retouched tools, among them one scraper, one borer, four denticulates, two notches, two truncated blades, one retouched blade and two retouched flakes. Flint is the predominant raw material, occurring in light grey, grey, dark brown to wine and caramel varieties, although sandstone and fossilised wood are also represented.

As well as the above-presented inventories from watchposts, which provided fairly abundant materials, archaeological prospection in the oasis and in its vicinity has revealed a few similar locations. Very briefly investigated, they nevertheless bear resemblance to the above described watch-posts, making plausible a suggestion of their comparable role. These are as follows: Venus Hill (Watch-post 12) The watch-post produced 68 specimens, including 19 cores and 45 flakes from nodular flint, two flakes from tabular flint and two specimens of Middle Palaeolithic origin. No retouched tools were registered.

The watch-posts were inhabited in three phases: Dynasty IV, the end of the Old Kingdom and the Late Period. The flint inventory is attributable to the Pharaonic era. These checkpoints controlled areas southwest of the oasis and in Dynasty VI could have been ‘ports of call’ on the way to Abu Balas (Riemer et al. 2005).

Trigpoint Hill (12/12 – 00) Only specimens of considerable dimensions were collected. A sixty-eight-piece assemblage comprises two irregular multiplatform cores for flakes, 58 flakes and chunks from nodular flint, five flakes from tabular flint, one flake from quartzite sandstone and a quartz chunk.

4.1.4. The temple of Mut el-Khorab (Site 31/405 – G9 – 1) This Old Kingdom temple, excavated by C. Hope, is estimated to function throughout the reign of Dynasty IV. The collection consists of 114 pieces and contains no cores. Debitage and retouched tools account for 93.45 per cent and 6.55 per cent of the assemblage, respectively. Tabular flint markedly predominates in the collection (representing 79.83 per cent of the assemblage), followed by quartzite (14.91 per cent), small amounts of nodular flint (2.63 per

Darb el Tawil Ascent (Watch-post 12/2000 + 1.2001) Five collected specimens included one flat scraper, one denticulate, two flat retouched flakes and one chunk, all from tabular flint.

38

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites cent) and quartz (2.63 per cent). 107 pieces of debitage were identified, of which 14.95 per cent are flakes, 22.44 per cent are bifacial trimming flakes, 37.38 per cent are chips and 25.23 per cent are chunks. The preponderance of debitage was made from tabular flint, some from quartzite, nodular flint or quartz. The assemblage of retouched tools numbers seven pieces. It consists of a massive end scraper; a massive, rectangular scraper from tabular flint; two denticulates (one of nodular flint and the other from tabular flint); and three retouched flakes from tabular flint. The assemblage of Mut el-Khorab can be said to represent the technology akin to that characterising Ain el-Gazzareen’s inventory and identical types of retouched tools. The occurrence of bifacial trimming flakes, more numerous compared to other sites, attest to the on site production, or at least intense repair and re-sharpening of bifacially retouched tools, in all likelihood knives, since bifacial trimming of arrowheads does not produce such flint waste. The absence of knives in the excavated assemblage is not surprising considering the indigence of the inventory.

Again, the lithic technology can be defined as very primitive. Most numerous are irregular multiplatform cores for flakes, almost spherical in shape, frequently discarded by tool makers upon removing merely a few flakes. Single platform cores are scarce, and opposed platform cores occur in negligible amounts. The absence of characteristic chipping debris speaks of the absence of any core preparation. Striking platforms of the cores are mostly lisse, and few are cortex. Flake technology is the only one employed in lithic reduction, as evidenced by the percentage frequency of flakes (86.40 per cent of the debitage) versus the percentage of blades (1.3 per cent). The type of butts is indicative of the use of both hard (most likely during initial phases of core processing) and soft hammers. The site produced also a core for flakes and blades and a Levallois core. The nodules collected from the surface were initially roughed out somewhere outside the settlement. Analogously to Ain el-Gazzareen, simple tools of everyday use were produced ad hoc at the settlement. The percentage frequency of different types of retouched tools at both compared sites is alike, although a detailed comparison is hardly manageable because of the discrepancies between the lists of types adopted for each site. Two groups of artefacts made from two different varieties of raw material, i.e., on flakes from nodular flint and from tabular flint, feature prominently at both sites. Scraping implements markedly outnumber other tool types, followed by sickle blades from mined flint. Frequent are denticulates and retouched flakes, while end scrapers and notches are less common. Borers, strangled pieces and arrowheads are scarce.

The Mut el-Khorab assemblage differs significantly from all assemblages discussed above in a kind of exploited raw material. Tabular flint markedly outnumbers other lithic resources, while nodular flint, hitherto always most frequent, constitutes less than three per cent of the Mut assemblage. Fairly common is quartzite. 4.1.5. Ain Asil Ain Asil, the abode of a governor who worked in a fortress surrounded by residential complex, is the largest Old Kingdom site in the Dakhla Oasis. The description given below is based on a comprehensive publication of B. Midant-Reynes (1998). The flint inventory uncovered to date was produced by two soundings set in the northern and southern part of the site. Given that it has been published elsewhere, there is no need to present it in detail in this book. Therefore, I shall simply recapitulate here, just for the record, the absolute and percentage frequencies of various types of tools (Figure 14).

There is one striking quantitative discrepancy between both sites. The number of sickle blades is five times larger at Ain el-Gazzareen than at Ain Asil. The difference is nonetheless unsurprising given the character of both sites – Ain el-Gazzareen is a large agricultural settlement site, while Ain Asil is a fortress. Flint artefacts uncovered at watch-posts were used in activities other than those recovered from settlement sites. Sickle blades, related to agriculture, are scarce at posts. Bifacial knives or even characteristic flakes from the process of their production or sharpening are absent. Other retouched tools are trivial specimens that could have been used to perform several tasks. The foregoing suggests that guards stationed at watch-posts used flint implements to carry out the usual, mundane activities of daily life. Engraving ideas, cuts andn signs into the soft sandstone, the meaning of which is hardly decipherable nowadays, is a fascinating exception. Equally interesting is a relatively high frequency of occurrence of scaled pieces. A fair quantity of arrowheads at watch-posts likely results from their use as elements of weapons.

In general, the Ain Asil inventory is comparable to the above-described assemblages, notably to Ain elGazzareen, inasmuch as almost the same types of raw flint were exploited, albeit in slightly different proportions. Accounting to almost 90.00 per cent of all raw materials, nodular flint (silex gris) is markedly most popular in the debitage from the northern sounding. It was collected from the surface of the slopes at the foot of the escarpment surrounding the oasis from the north, extending a few kilometers from the settlement site. Some concentrations where flint was worked were identified in this area (MidantReynes 1998). Other raw materials include tabular flint (plaquettes); transparent flint (silex beige translucide); mined flint (silex brun et noir), supplied from outside as standardised tools; as well as quartz and siliceous nodules (quartz et nodules siliceux), which occur in comparable amounts and together constitute approximately ten per cent of the assemblage.

Although poor, the inventory of the temple of El Khorab in Mut is nevertheless attention-grabbing. There is nothing in particular that we can conclude from a few retouched 39

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt even more common at Ain Asil (90.00 per cent). Other raw materials include mined flint, tabular flint and quartz, which together with siliceous rocks occur in comparable, small amounts. At Seth Hill, nodular flint clearly outnumbers tabular flint (they represent 74.36 per cent and 24.33 per cent of its assemblage, respectively), while the quantity of mined flint is negligible (0.22 per cent). At Bee’s Lookout nodular flint and chalcedony are virtually equally common (amounting to 47.48 per cent and 46.63 per cent of the assemblage, respectively), whereas tabular flint is merely a tiny addition (4.68 per cent). Other stone raw materials are an extremely rare occurrence. All the other investigated watch-posts display a close resemblance to Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout in terms of raw material frequencies. It is evident that unlike inhabitants of settlements, guards to occupy watch-posts scarcely used tabular flint, perhaps on account of its inaccessibility. In contrast, tabular flint (85.06 per cent) clearly preponderates in Mut el-Khorab, followed by quartzite (12.14 per cent) and eventually nodular flint (2.80 per cent). Both excavated settlement sites, namely Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil, display a marked profligacy in flint management, in contrast to watch-posts, which show certain thriftiness in flint exploitation. Difficulties in obtaining raw material at watch-posts are further confirmed by the registered heavy exhaustion of cores from nodular flint at Bee’s Lookout and averagely smaller sizes of lithic artefacts uncovered at all watch-posts.

tools recovered from the site, but striking is a considerable (22.44 per cent) share of bifacial trimming flakes. Such high frequency could attest to some intense activities of ritual significance associated with the use of bifacial knives for sacrifice. That such knives were used in temples on a massive scale is exemplified by the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir (Svoboda 2006). The host of the Mut temple had probably an unlimited access, or simply a clear demand for tabular flint, most frequent as compared to other Old Kingdom sites of the entire Dakhla Oasis, amounting in Mut to 80.00 per cent of the assemblage. 4.1.6. Comparison of sites from the Dakhla Oasis Above, I have characterised flintwork at four different late Old Kingdom types of settlement found in the Dakhla Oasis. All these archaeological sites carried out their own particular functions in the Old Kingdom and their assemblages recovered in the course of investigations provide a basis for comparison between their lithic industries. We have therefore fairly comprehensive knowledge of flint inventories from a typical, yet extensive, settlement site of cultivators and breeders (Ain el-Gazzareen); the central hub of the local authority (Ain Asil); from a series of watch-posts deployed inside and around the oasis in this period; and from a temple (Mut El Khorab). In the case of watch-posts, I shall employ for comparison only two richer inventories of Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout.

Remarkable is the issue of using Middle Palaeolithic artefacts, regularly scattered on the surface throughout the oasis and re-used in subsequent periods. All made of nodular flint, their presence has been hitherto discussed by other researchers (McDonald 2002; Midant-Reynes 1998, Riemer 2011a). Heavily eroded Levallois flakes were recovered in large quantities from Nephthys Hill, where they accounted for more than six per cent of the whole assemblage. Nineteen were identified in the Seth Hill inventory, including ten re-retouched by the watch-post’s inhabitants, and six were found at Meidum Hill. Ain Asil is noted for a high frequency of their occurrence (MidantReynes 1998). The rich materials from Ain el-Gazzareen contained none such specimens. Re-usage of Middle Paleolithic artefacts is unsurprising at watch-posts, given that the guards were probably not allowed to wander off in pursuance of raw materials for the manufacture of tools. Accordingly, they collected everything that was at hand.

Ain Asil slightly differs from Ain el-Gazzareen in the preference for exploited raw materials. The watch-posts are typified by the predominance of local nodular flint coupled with a complete absence of tabular raw material. Save for a considerable quantity of chalcedony recovered from Bee’s Lookout, other raw materials are negligibly represented at these locations. By contrast, tabular flint markedly predominates in the temple. From the technological point of view, all these assemblages exhibit great similarity, inasmuch as their producers employed the same technology of production, described in detail in the section devoted to the technology at Ain el-Gazzareen. Some differences between the inventories lie in the quantities of particular raw materials used for toolmaking. In the economy of the communities inhabiting the Dakhla Oasis in the Old Kingdom era, most important for the lithic industry were local nodular and tabular flint, sometimes chalcedony; other lithic raw materials, such as mined flint, quartzite or quartz were used sporadically. A relatively considerable quantity of mined flint corresponds to the number of imported standardised tools, such as sickle blades and half-products of sickle blades, bifacial knives and bifacially retouched arrowheads. At Ain el-Gazzareen, just over half of the implements were made from nodular flint (53.10 per cent); tabular flint was used for 46.58 per cent of artefacts. Other lithic raw materials constitute merely 0.26 per cent of the assemblage. Nodular flint is

A by-product, assuredly plentiful, of fashioning tablets of tabular flint into implements by flaking, chips naturally account for the most numerous debitage pieces in all excavated lithic assemblages. Had the content of explored layers been screened, there would assuredly be even more of them. Flakes, formally removed from single platform cores, but in all likelihood mostly detached from multiplatform cores, are second most numerous artefacts. Unclassified flakes are also common. Most likely knapped accidentally, blades are registered in minimum amounts, at Ain el-Gazzareen constituting not 40

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Tool type

Number

Percentage

Scrapers

922

51

Retouched pieces

130

7

Notches

70

4

Denticulates

83

5

Denticulates with regular retouch

239

13

Pieces with steep retouch

34

2

Perforators

19

1

Pieces à bord abattu

1

0.5

Burins

1

0.5

Knifes

44

2

Unidentified

242

13

9

1

1794

100

Diverse Total:

Figure 14. Ain Asil. Absolute and percentage frequencies of retouched tools (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)

more than one per cent of the whole inventory. Likewise, at Ain Asil, ordinary blades equal merely 1.3 per cent of the assemblage.

chalcedony nodule recovered from Bee’s Lookout watchpost shows traces of fire exposure. It is hard to tell whether these traces evidence intentional burning undertaken in order to facilitate lithic reduction or simply result from an accidental burning in fire or hearth. The question nonetheless arises why specimens made of nodular flint never display any traces of burning.

In general, all sites are marked by a total absence of characteristic chipping debris, which testifies to the primitiveness of employed technology. It follows that the so-called châine operatoire was short.

Sickle blades, particularly numerous at Ain el-Gazzareen (16.00 per cent) and relatively frequent at Ain Asil (5.25 per cent), account for merely 2.35 per cent of the Seth Hill inventory, being virtually absent at Bee’s Lookout or other watch-posts. Massive rectangular sickle inserts are common at the settlement sites of Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil. None whatsoever were recovered from the investigated watch-posts or the temple. The absence of sickle blades at watch-posts is unsurprising given the function of the posts, totally unrelated to works necessitating the use of a sickle. Found at settlement sites, bifacial knives are non-present at watch-posts. The group of scrapers is numerous at the settlement sites of Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil, less common at watchposts and absent in the temple. End scrapers are found at all sites under discussion, bar the temple, similarly to borers, notches and infrequent arrowheads. A relatively higher frequency of occurrence of arrowheads at watchposts is self-evident given the military character of the sites. Major differences are discernible in the frequency of denticulates, relatively less common at the settlement sites, namely at Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil, and a few times more numerous at watch-posts. Scaled pieces, clearly most frequent at watch-posts, were exposed in a

This is not to say that flint knappers from the Dakhla Oasis did not possess more advanced skills. If we accept the hypothesis that some bifacial knives were produced on site, they must have been able to implement more sophisticated techniques should the need arose. At settlement sites, flint was further worked on site within particular households. All kinds of flint tools are evenly distributed and no units displaying evident differences in lithic inventory have been registered to date. I have already mentioned that soldiers stationed at watchposts had to do with the raw material they brought with them or happened to find in the vicinity. Judging from the density of artefacts found inside stone structures at Seth Hill and Nephhtys Hill, we can safely assume that most of flintwork-related activities, at any rate appertaining to the production of flint tools and their storage took place in a shady interior, sheltered from the hot sun with some coverage. Some fragments of tabular flint exhibit traces of having been exposed to fire. As noted earlier, perhaps a large 41

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Ain el-Gazzareen

Ain Asil

Watch-posts

Mut el Khorab

Nodular flint

XXX

XXX

XXX

X

Tabular flint

XXX

X

absent

XXX

Mined flint

X

XX

X

absent

Other raw materials

absent

X

X

X

Double patinated tools

absent

X

XXX

absent

Roughing out beyond a settlement

XXX

XXX

absent

absent

Production of simple tools on site

XXX

XXX

XXX

X

Supply of tools from a workshop

XXX

XXX

X

absent

Finishing out sickle blades on site

XXX

XXX

absent

absent

Blade technology

absent

X

absent

absent

Core technology

XXX

XXX

XXX

XXX

Core preparation

absent

absent

absent

absent

Sickle blades

XXX

XX

X

X

Massive rectangular sickle inserts

XXX

XXX

X

X

Bifacial knives

XXX

XXX

absent

absent

Scrapers

XXX

XXX

XX

absent

XX

XX

XX

X

X

X

XX

absent

XX

XXX

XXX

X

X

absent

X

absent

XX

XX

XXX

absent

Scaled pieces

X

absent

XXX

absent

Strangled pieces

X

X

absent

absent

Crescent-shaped borers

X

absent

absent

absent

Arrowheads

X

X

X

absent

Hoes

X

absent

absent

absent

XXX

XXX

XXX

absent

End scrapers Borers Denticulates Microperforators Notches

Retouched flakes

Figure 15. Comparison of flint inventories recovered from the late Old Kingdom sites in the Dakhla Oasis. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce.

small number at Ain el-Gazzareen. Few strangled pieces were recorded only in the inventories from the settlements. An agricultural settlement, Ain el-Gazzareen produced two hoes. As regards retouched flakes, they are numerous everywhere except the temple. Ain el-Gazzareen and especially Mut el-Khorab yielded a relatively considerable amount of bifacial trimming flakes, virtually absent at watch-posts.

at Ain Asil, they fulfilled agriculture-related economic functions (sickle inserts) and had obvious ritual importance (bifacial knives). In the latter case, one could argue that not all knives had an exclusively ritual significance, yet how to recognise the ones that did? After all, metal was not yet widespread in Dakhla, and iron came to be used almost a thousand years later. It is self-evident that knives were indispensible in everyday life, thus probably at least some of these specimens found in Dakhla were used in everyday activities. This is further attested to by the observation that the knives were habitually re-sharpened, to the extent that their shape was seriously altered (Figure 61:1-2; Figure 63:1-4), as already noted by J. Svoboda (2006) in the case

What function did flint tools play in the lives of those who dwelt in the Dakhla Oasis throughout the Old Kingdom? There is no doubt that in the case of the settlement site of Ain el-Gazzareen as well as the fortress and settlement 42

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites of the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir. It is more than likely that knives used solely for ritual purposes did exist, but, surely, they were not so recurrently re-sharpened. Whether very few arrowheads found at the settlement sites constituted elements of weapons or hunting equipment is difficult to conclude.

the Middle Kingdom, and as such are left aside in this book (Kobusiewicz, 1988, 2015; Wenke et al. 1988). The description and analysis of the lithic assemblage, provided below, was based on materials recovered from all explored trenches, bar three, which date back to periods later than the Old Kingdom. Besides, the latter rare materials are virtually no different from the former.

Flint artefacts uncovered at watch-posts were used in activities other than those recovered from settlement sites. Sickle blades, related to agriculture, are scarce at posts. Bifacial knives or even characteristic flakes from the process of their production or sharpening are absent. Other retouched tools are trivial specimens that could have been used to perform several tasks. The foregoing suggests that guards stationed at watch-posts used flint implements to carry out the usual, mundane activities of daily life. Engraving ideas, cuts and signs into the soft sandstone, the meaning of which is hardly decipherable nowadays, is a fascinating exception. Equally interesting is a relatively high frequency of occurrence of scaled pieces. In my opinion, these were wedges used to perform some unidentified activity (see Appendix, Figure 15:8-9). A fair quantity of arrowheads at watch-posts likely results from their use as elements of weapons.

The site yielded a total of 986 flint specimens attributable to the Old Kingdom where cores represent 0.70 per cent of the assemblage, debitage pieces amount to 53.15 per cent of the collection and retouched tools account for 46.15 per cent of the total number. Raw materials Mined flint clearly predominates in the lithic inventory from Kom el-Hisn, most common being a strong brown variety (7.5 YR 4/6), but also brown (7.5 YR 4/4) and somehow transparent brown (7.5 YR 5/3) flints are present. Its sources unaccounted for as of yet, mined flint amounts to 95.42 per cent of products preserved well enough to identify the variety of raw material. Exceptional in the inventory are single specimens of petrified wood and hornstone.

Although poor, the inventory of the temple of El Khorab in Mut is nevertheless attention-grabbing. There is nothing in particular that we can conclude from a few retouched tools recovered from the site, but striking is a considerable (22.44 per cent) share of bifacial trimming flakes. Such high frequency could attest to some intense activities of ritual significance associated with the use of bifacial knives for sacrifice. That such knives were used in temples on a massive scale is exemplified by the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir (Svoboda 2006). The host of the Mut temple had probably an unlimited access, or simply a clear demand for tabular flint, most frequent as compared to other Old Kingdom sites of the entire Dakhla Oasis, amounting in Mut to 80.00 per cent of the assemblage.

Cores (Figure 87:1-2) The site yielded seven cores, including four complete. One specimen is a single platform initial core made from mined flint. Its striking platform and side surfaces were prepared by removing some flakes. The majority of its surfaces are covered with cortex. Merely one flake was detached off the striking surface (Figure 87:1). Two other cores from mined flint are of average size and completely flat. The back of one of them is covered with smooth, thin cortex. The striking platforms of both these specimens were prepared by removing a few small flakes. The fourth core is a microlithic multiplatform specimen of obsidian, fully exhausted (Figure 87:2). Out of three fragments of cores, one is a fragment of a single platform core for blades, made from mined flint, while the other two are unclassified.

To sum up, the typological composition of flint tools is similar at different sites. It largely stems from their similar function and to some extent from their location in the area.

Debitage

The comparison of the inventories from the sites in the Dakhla Oasis is provided in the table (Figure 15).

Identified were 524 pieces of debitage. The absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types are provided in a table (Figure 16).

4.2. Kom el-Hisn, the western Nile Delta

The vast majority of blades were made from mined flint (84.00 per cent). Blades of brown flint are much less common (12.00 per cent), while those from transparent flint represent merely four per cent of the assemblage.

Research on the Old Kingdom episode at Kom el-Hisn was conducted in 1984, 1986 and 1988 by Robert Wenke from Washington State University, who worked on behalf of the American Research Center in Egypt. An extensive settlement, the capital of nom III, the site lies on the sands of gezira, i.e., an unimpressive in terms of height, yet extensive hill built from Pleistocene sands and gravels located on the western edge of the Delta. The settlement in the area is presumed to date to dynasties V-VI ( c. 2500 BC- 2200 BC). Some areas of the site yielded also artefacts attributable to the First Intermediate Period and

Among 211 flint implements, including sickle blades and half-products of sickle blades with preserved butts, 174 (82.49 per cent) have pointed butts, seven (3.31 per cent) lisse, six (2.84 per cent) faceted and four (1.89 per cent) cortex butts. In 20 cases (9.47 per cent), butts are unidentifiable. In the case of blades, most common are 43

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Debitage type

Number

Percentage

Blades

25

4.77

Blade fragments

402

76.73

Flakes

26

4.97

Flake fragments

18

3.43

Crested blades

8

1.52

Core trimming flakes

1

0.19

Chips

25

4.77

Chunks

19

3.62

Total:

524

100.00

Figure 16. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types

Type No.

Type of tool

Number

Percentage

Figure

1

Bifacial knifes

43

9.45

88:1,3

2

Rectangular sickle blades

297

65.26

89:1-9; 90-1-3

3

Triangular sickle blades

52

11.43

90:4-6

4

Half-products of finished sickle blades

44

9.67

90:7-10

8

Flat scrapers

2

0.44

88:4

9

Endscrapers

1

0.23

91:1

16

Borers

2

0.44

87:4

17

Notches

4

0.88

87:3

22

Retouched blades

5

1.10

91:3

24

Truncations

2

0.44

87:5-6

25

Burins

3

0.66

88:2

Total:

455

100.00

Figure 17. Kom el-Hisn. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types

pointed butts. Butts of flakes and chips tend to be lisse, faceted and cortex, but are frequently unidentifiable.

The site yielded 455 retouched tools (Figure 17). Halfproducts of sickle blades were also counted among tools, since they have more in common with tools than with debitage. Sickle blades account for 76.69 per cent of all tools, and if we include half-products of sickle-blades their frequency rises to 86.36 per cent.

Primary blades are scarce (1.90 per cent); secondary blades are represented by 6.29 per cent of blades; tertiary blades markedly predominate in the inventory, amounting to 91.81 per cent of blades recovered from the site.

Bifacial knives (Figure 88:1,3)

Retouched tools

Fragments of bifacial knives comprise the third largest group of tools at Kom el-Hisn after sickle blades and halfproducts of sickle blades. No knife was complete and 43 fragments were identified. Among 33 identifiable pieces, 63.64 per cent are central fragments, 24.24 per cent are tips of knives and 12.12 per cent ends from the side of

Since the list of types compiled for the flint inventory from Ain el-Gazzareen was used for the description of retouched tools it was possible to draw comparisons between both sites.

44

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites

Type of raw material

Number

Percentage

Mined flint

40

93.04

Transparent flint

1

2.32

Petrified wood

1

2.32

Hornstone

1

2.32

Total:

43

100.00

Figure 18. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials.

Types of blanks

Number

Percentage

Primary

0

0.00

Secondary

2

4.65

Tertiary

41

95.35

Total:

43

100.00

Figure 19. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knifes. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks

Retouched edge

Number

Percentage

Unclassifiable

96 82 139 32

27.51 23.49 39.84 9.16

Total:

349

100.00

Left Right Both edges

Figure 20. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of the location of retouch.

to the naked eye along one or both edges. Metrical data on rectangular sickle blades is given in Figure 1.

the handle. Almost all (95.35 per cent) are retouched on the entire surface on both sides. The vast majority (93.04 per cent) were made from mined flint, while others from transparent flint, fossilised wood or hornstone, one from each (2.32 per cent each) (Figure 18). Figure 19 shows different types of blanks used for knife production.

Triangular sickle blades (Figure 90:4-6) The site yielded 52 triangular sickle blades. They were manufactured by breaking the proximal end of a blade to leave only its distal end. A very prolonged triangle was thus acquired with one arched edge. The hypotenuse exhibits retouch analogous to that of rectangular sickle blades. Since a number of flint implements from Kom elHisn were heavily burnt, in the case of 30.27 per cent of sickle blades it is sometimes difficult determine precise attributes of each sickle blade. Based on well-preserved specimens, it was calculated that 79.00 per cent of sickle blades were made from the central part of a blade, 14.00 per cent from the proximal part and seven per cent from the distal end. 67.19 per cent featured inverse retouch, while 32.81 per cent were finished with obverse retouch. Left and right longitudinal, lateral edges of sickle blades were retouched with almost equal frequency. Also, it is not uncommon for both edges to be retouched (Figure 20).

Two specimens are burnt. A couple of better preserved fragments display obvious traces of heavy use especially in the area of the handle, but also along the cutting edge. Rectangular sickle blades (Figures 89:1-9; 90:1-3) The site produced copious amounts of rectangular sickle blades, namely 297 pieces. All were made on straight, regular quality blades detached from a single platform core by dint of pressure technology. Blades were intentionally broken in order to produce rectangular segments. One or both longitudinal edges were trimmed with fine, semisteep retouch on the ventral, dorsal or occasionally both sides. One or, more rarely, two transverse edges were shaped by steep retouch. Sickle sheen is frequently visible 45

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Raw material

Number

Percentage

Mined flint

371

91.36

Transparent flint

14

3.56

Hornstone

1

0.25

Petrified wood

1

0.25

Unclassifiable

18

4.58

Total:

393

100.00

Figure 21. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different raw materials.

Type of blanks

Number

Percentage

Primary

0

0.00

Secondary

12

3.05

Tertiary

370

94.15

Unclassifiable

11

2.80

Total:

393

100.00

Figure 22. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Absolute and percentage frequencies of different types of blanks.

Blade fragment

Number

Percentage

Central fragment

257

65.42

Distal fragment

25

6.36

Central and proximal fragment.

15

3.81

Central and distal fragment

6

1,52

Whole piece

10

2.54

Unidentifiable

64

16.28

Total:

393

100.00

Figure 23. Kom el-Hisn. Sickle blades. Different sections for blades used for sickle production.

Sickle blades were most frequently manufactured on central fragments of blades, much more rarely on distal fragments, even more rarely on central and proximal and finally central and distal fragments of blades. Likewise, complete blades were rarely used (Figure 23).

51.00 per cent of sickle blades were finished with denticulate retouch. Occasionally, only use retouch is noticeable. 16.00 per cent of sickle blades are serrated. 55.00 per cent specimens show irregular retouch, while the remaining 45.00 per cent regular, sometimes really fine retouch. Unlike flat retouch, steep retouch is frequent. Sickle sheen is visible to the naked eye in the case of 61.00 per cent of specimens, invariably on the retouched edge or edges; among these specimens, 66.00 per cent are smoothed only along one edge, on the ventral or dorsal side. Eight per cent of pieces display sickle sheen only on one side, while six per cent on both edges.

Half-products of sickle blades (Figure 90:7-10) This category numbers 44 pieces. It comprises 25 complete, regular quality blades removed from single platform cores using pressure technology (par pression). The longest one measures 92mm in length, 19mm in width and 4mm in thickness. Moreover, identified were 408 fragments of such blades, intentionally broken to produce sickle blades, still unsharpened, that is to say unretouched along the edges, which would turn them into proper sickle blades. Neither do they exhibit any sickle sheen at the edges.

Almost all sickle blades were made on tertiary blades; only some (5.85 per cent) were produced on secondary blades (Figure 22). 91.36 per cent of these implements were fashioned from mined flint, 3.56 per cent from transparent flint, 0.5 per cent from hornstone, 0.25 per cent from petrified wood; in 4.58 per cent of cases raw material was unclassifiable (Figure 21).

The majority of these are central fragments, less numerous are proximal fragments and the least frequent are distal 46

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites ends. By definition, half-products of sickle blades are made from identical raw materials as ready and exploited sickle blades.

one was made on a secondary blade and has an oblique truncation, steeply retouched on the left side of the distal end (Figure 87:5-6).

Flat scrapers (Figure 88:4)

Burins (Figure 88:2)

Two specimens were registered. The first is manufactured on a flat, regular, semi-circular tertiary flake of mined flint. All its edges are trimmed with regular, obverse retouch (Figure 88:4). The other one, produced on a large, regular secondary flake also from mined flint is finished with regular, semi-steep retouch at the distal end, in the central part of the left edge.

Three specimens were registered. One is a dihedral angle burin made on a flake covered with cortex. The burin point was made by directing three burin blows on the left side of the proximal end (Figure 88:2). The second one is a double dihedral angle burin fashioned on a fragment of a bifacial tool (a knife?), from mined flint. The third specimen is unidentifiable.

End scrapers (Figure 91: 1)

Striking at Kom el-Hisn is a considerable amount of flint artefacts burnt in fire, with the number of burnt tools virtually equal to burnt pieces of debitage. This accounts for a high percentage of specimens unclassifiable in terms of raw materials or location of retouch.

Investigations at the site uncovered one end scraper, made on a large, massive tertiary blade from mined flint. A semi-circular scraping edge, featuring steep obverse retouch, was set on the distal end. Both lateral edges were finished with irregular retouch on the ventral and dorsal side. Markedly polished, the scraping edge is heavily used.

The comparison of the percentage frequency of a few types of retouched tools at selected sites is provided in the table (Figure 24).

Borers (Figure 87:4)

There is no doubt that most important in the Kom el-Hisn tool-kit were sickle blades. Necessary for their production were simple, very regular, fairly thin, yet strong blades, removed by dint of highly specialised technology. Blades were knapped off regular, well-prepared single platform cores. A large amount of pointed butts in the debitage and characteristic ‘extensive’ bulbs of blades attest to the use of soft, perhaps bone hammer, or more likely, pressure technique. The uniform nature of the blades, their proportions, length, width, and thickness speak of excellent craftsmanship and specialisation of flint knappers. Removed blades – blanks for sickle blades, analogously to the sites in Dakhla, were intentionally broken and their edges sharpened with retouch, then mounted already as sickle inserts in a wooden haft. Some of the known hafts are up to 55cm in length (Emery 1938). The binder used for keeping inserts in place is present on some sickle blades to this day. Triangular sickle blades were set as the first and last pieces in a series of inserts in a wooden frame, as shown in sickles from the tomb of Hemaka of dynasty I, discovered in Saqqara (Emery 1938) (Figure 42: 4). Another technology was used for the production of bifacial tools, in the case of Kom el-Hisn merely knives.

Two borers were identified at the site. The first is made from mined flint. Its sting, located at the distal end, was shaped with stepped, obverse retouch. The left edge features fine obverse retouch (Figure 87:4). The other specimen was made from mined flint. Notches (Figure 87:3) Four specimens were found at Kom el-Hisn. A double piece, made on a large, massive tertiary blade from mined flint has two notches located on the left side, finished with steep retouch. Its both ends are retouched analogously to truncated blades (Figure 87:3). The other notch was produced on a very massive secondary flake from transparent flint. Its butt is facetted and its two notches are steeply retouched on the dorsal side – one on the right side and the other at the distal end. The third specimen with a notch retouched on the dorsal side was made on a flake from mined flint. Retouched blades (Figure 91:3) Five specimens were registered, all of them tertiary blades; four were made from mined flint and one from transparent flint. Three were retouched along the left edge on the dorsal side. The distal end of the fourth blade was retouched along one edge on the dorsal side, and along the other edge on the ventral side (Figure 91:3). The fifth specimen features fine, alternating retouch along one edge.

Given the minor amount of cores, debitage, i.e., ordinary flakes and blades, characteristic chipping debris, chips or chunks, and very few specimens of primary and secondary debitage or bifacial trimming flakes at Kom el-Hisn, it is highly reasonable to conclude that virtually all flint was knapped somewhere off-site, in workshops, which could have operated nearby the settlement site (although, as of yet, none have been registered), or, more likely, somewhere else, probably in the vicinity of the major centres of power.

Truncated blades (Figure 87:5-6) Two truncated blades were recovered from the site, both of mined flint. One was made on a tertiary blade, with a truncation steeply retouched on the left edge. The other

Standardised blades were therefore brought to the site, while their breaking, retouching and framing was done 47

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Tool type

Helwan

Elephantine

Giza

Ibrahim Awad

Ain Asil

Ain el-Gazzareen

Kom el-Hisn

Bifacial knives

1.24

9.44

22.26

3.01

1.06

3.90

9.45

Scrapers

16.96

15.06

15.63

0.00

51.00

19.53

0.44

End scrapers

3.30

3.61

4.84

1.20

no data

6.01

0.23

Segmented blades

6.12

8.03

11.06

33.13

6.08

15.79

76.69

Bitruncated rect. blades

0.83

25.70

1.60/ 6.44

4.22

0.00

0.00

0.00

Retouched blades and flakes

54.13

25.50

12.90

no data

7.25

31.42

1.10

Figure 24. Comparison of percentages of different tool types from selected sites. Percentages based on the total number of tools (Helwan, Elephantine, Giza, Ibrahim Awad and Ain Asil according to Hikade 2005. For Ain el-Gazzareen and Kom el-Hisn see this volume

already on site in individual households, as evidenced, just like in Ain el-Gazzareen, by the occurrence in all dwellings of half-products of sickle blades, worn out or discarded sickle blades. For some reason or other, the provision of ready half-products of sickle blades was severely limited for the inhabitants of Kom el-Hisn compared to the residents of Ain el-Gazzareen. Note that the number of sickle blades with traces of sickle sheen along both edges, which evidences their re-use at Kom el-Hisn, is almost twice as high (39.84 per cent) as at Ain el-Gazzareen (23.7 per cent). It is evident that farmers from Kom el-Hisn somehow conserved these implements.

Raw material

Percentage

1. Mined flint

24.08

2. Pebble flint

19.89

Either 1 or 2

55.71

Carnelian

0.29

Quartzite

0.03

Total:

100 (n=4668)

Figure 25. Elephantine. Northern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)

The foregoing observations bear a testimony to the fact that not only half-products of sickle blades but practically almost all, if not all flint artefacts registered at this site were brought from outside, this situation stemming perhaps from the difficulties in procuring raw material, so numerous and readily available in the Dakhla Oasis. Flint was perhaps traded in the Delta, or, more likely, allocated by the central government.

VI, which is further confirmed by numerous finds of stone quernstones at the site. 4.3. Elephantine Flint artefacts from Elephantine were long-published and while there is apparently nothing new in the lithic inventory, the comprehensive publication of all inventories attributable to the 3rd millennium BC (Hikade 2013) permits the publicisation of these rich materials to be considered as a newness.

Remarkable is an insignificant amount of other retouched tools. Kom el-Hisn did not yield any metal items, and flint was undeniably the essential source of raw material for the manufacture of tools. The question therefore arises, unanswerable at the moment, why, then, various types of flint tools and specimens representing them are so sparse.

An important source for the knowledge of toolmaking, notably in the Old Kingdom and to a lesser extent the Archaic Period, numerous flint inventories were produced by excavations carried out on Elephantine since 1969 by a German expedition of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Located at the southern tip of Egypt, the site represents flint materials from this area, lying c. 840km away from Kom el-Hisn and about 450km from the Western Desert sites. Just like in the case of Ain Asil, I shall not refer here the materials in detail, because they were fully analysed in T. Hikade’s work (2013). Here, I shall discuss the main features of flint knapping at the site. Hikade divided the Elephantine inventories into two groups, that is to say the older one, from the northern part of the site (North of the Khnum Temple), comprising some materials from the Archaic Period (Satet Temple), and especially from dynasties III and IV; and the younger assemblage

The Western and Eastern Deserts are replete with sources of different varieties of the so-called mined flint, which was used for making tools at Kom el-Hisn (Aston et al. 2000; Hikade 2000a; Kopp 2006; Negro, Cammelli 1910). It is nevertheless possible in the case of Kom el-Hisn that these materials were procured in deposits of pebbles and gravels lying near sites such as Khatatba and Abu Roash on the western edge of the Delta. The closest known sources of obsidian are located in Ethiopia, from where it arrived to Egypt via the Eastern Desert. The lithic industry recovered at Kom el-Hisn speaks of the major role of agriculture in the lives of the inhabitants of the settlement throughout the reign of dynasties V and 48

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites from the southern part of the island (South of the Khnum Temple), dating back to the times of Dynasties V-VI and the early First Intermediate Period. The development of settlement on the island over the centuries understandably caused some interweaving of chronological levels, but generally, this division makes it possible to distinguish artefact assemblages within the proposed chronological frameworks. Listed below is their characteristics according to T. Hikade (2013).

The debitage constitutes approximately 40.00 per cent of the assemblage, while cores and their fragments three per cent. Most numerous are multiplatform cores for flakes (0.49 per cent of the entire debitage). Other types of cores occur in negligible amounts. The quantity of blades (25.16 per cent) clearly outnumbers the number of flakes (16.30 per cent). Bladelets represent 1.74 per cent of the assemblage. By contrast, in the area of East Town, blades three times outnumber the amount of flakes. Several of these blades are evidently standardised specimens, most likely supplied from outside. Core trimming flakes account for 0.58 per cent of the inventory. Some massive large blades used for the production of bi-truncated regular blade tools (rasor blades) were also found. The types of debitage are presented in a table (Figure 26).

Inventories of the northern group (North of the Khnum Temple) The group of the inventories yielded 4668 specimens. The types of exploited raw materials are given in Figure 25.

Number

Percentage

9

0.19

464

9.94

Fragments of tabular nodules

9

0.19

Single striking platform cores for flakes

4

0.09

Single striking platform cores for flakes/blades

2

0.04

Multiple striking platform cores for flakes

23

0.49

Multiple striking platform cores for flakes/blades

2

0.04

Multiple striking platform cores for blades

3

0.06

Multiple striking platform cores for bladelets

1

0.02

Core caps

24

0.51

Crested blades

5

0.11

Core rejuvenation pieces

17

0.36

Non-distinct core fragments

80

1.72

Chips

901

19.30

Shattered pieces

953

20.42

Flakes

761

16.30

Bifacial thinning flakes

27

0.58

Irregular bladelets

39

0.84

Irregular blades

326

6.99

Irregular large blades

182

3.90

Regular bladelets

42

0.90

Regular blades

360

7.71

Regular large blades

306

6.56

Bifacial tools

128

2.74

Total

4668

100

Nodules Pebble & nodule fragments

Figure 26. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)

49

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Tool type

Number

Percentage

Pebbles and nodules fragments with retouching

46

4.09

Flakes with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

44

3.91

Bladelets with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

7

0.62

Blades with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

65

5.78

Large blades with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

70

6.23

Projectile points on blades

1

0.09

194

17.25

Backed blades on flakes

3

0.27

Blades with right notch

2

0.18

Blades with left notch

2

0.18

Blades with bilateral notches

3

0.27

Borers

50

4.45

Crescent drills

1

0.09

Crescent-shaped tools

2

0.18

Burins

12

1.07

Endscrapers

55

4.90

Sidescrapers

138

12.27

2

0.18

Bi-truncated, regular blade tools

303

26.96

Knives

88

7.83

Axes

6

0.53

Picks

1

0.09

Chopping tools

2

0.18

Ambiguous bifacial tools

27

2.40

1124

100

Sickle blades

Triangular scrapers

Total

Figure 27. Elephantine. Northern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013).

Among 1124 retouched tools, which is equal approximately to one quarter of all specimens from the northern group, most numerous are bi-truncated regular blade tools. Sickle blades constitute the second largest group. The number of scrapers exceeds the amount of end scrapers, and bifacial knives occur in considerable amounts. Borers are fairly abundant. There are some, albeit scarce, axes, chopping tools and a single pick. The retouched tools are presented below in a table (Figure 27). There is a clear dominance of blades over flakes, the former mostly imported. A relatively small number of cores or characteristic lithic waste indicate that flint was rarely worked on Elephantine (Hikade 2013).

Raw material

Percentage

1.Mined flint

7.64

2. Pebble flint

24.49

Either 1 or 2

67.16

Obsidian

0.01

Rock crystal

0.01

Carnelian

0.56

Quartzite

0.13

Total:

100 (n=5822)

Figure 28. Elephantine. Southern Group. Types of raw material (according to Hikade 2013)

50

Flint Assemblages from Recently Investigated Old Kingdom Sites Debitage is almost twice more numerous than in the northern area, equalling to almost 74 per cent of all flint artefacts in Area XII. Cores and their fragments represent merely from three per cent to 5.6 per cent in different areas. Most numerous are single platform cores for bladelets (0.93 per cent of the debitage), probably on account of the fact that in House 156a in Area XXX archaeologists working at the site unearthed a workshop producing microdrills from such cores. Relatively numerous are multiplatform cores for flakes as well for blades and flakes. A substantial number of multiplatform cores attest to the occasional heavy exploitation of cores. The number of blades exceeds

Inventories of the southern group (South of the Khnum Temple). The southern group of sites yielded slightly more lithic materials than the northern group, namely 5812 pieces. Types of lithic raw materials exploited in this group are given in a table (Figure 28). The table shows a marked decrease of mined flint in younger inventories and an increase in the amount of pebbles collected from the surface in the area. Crystal and obsidian are present in tiny amounts.

Number

Percentage

Nodules

2

0.03

Pebbles

1

0.02

205

3.52

Fragments of tabular nodules

2

0.03

Single striking platform cores for flakes

4

0.06

Single striking platform cores for flakes/blades

6

0.10

Single striking cores for blades

1

0.02

Single platform cores for bladelets

54

0.93

Multiple striking platform cores for flakes

7

0.12

Multiple striking platform cores for flakes/blades

6

0.10

Multiple striking platform cores for bladelets

24

0.42

Core caps

12

0.21

Crested blades

15

0.26

Core rejuvenation pieces

11

0.19

Non-distinct core fragments

188

3.23

Chips

1760

30.22

Shattered pieces

1768

30.36

Burin spalls

14

0.24

Flakes

532

9.14

Bifacial thinning flakes

47

0.81

Irregular bladelets

159

2.73

Irregular blades

216

3.71

Irregular large blades

96

1.65

Regular bladelets

85

1.46

Regular blades

381

6.54

Regular large blades

67

1.15

Bifacial tools

160

2.75

Total:

5823

100

Pebble & nodule fragments

Figure 29. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of debitage types (according to Hikade 2013)

51

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Tool type

Number

Percentage

Flakes with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

93

12.24

Bladelets with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

25

3.29

Blades with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

39

5.13

Large blades with simple dorsal and/or ventral retouching

34

4.47

Projectile points on blades

1

0.13

Sickle blades

163

21.45

Borers

29

3.82

Crescent drills borers

6

0.79

Crescent-shaped tools

1

0.13

Microdrills

109

14.34

Burins

15

1.97

Endscrapers

14

1.84

Sidescrapers

39

5.13

Triangular scrapers

4

0.53

Bi-truncated, regular blade tools

26

3.42

Knifes

116

15.26

Axes

4

0.53

Miscellaneous bifacial tools

7

0.92

Ambiguous bifacial tools

35

4.61

Total:

760

100

Figure 30. Elephantine. Southern Group. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types (according to Hikade 2013).

the amount of flakes, the ratio of blades to flakes being 1.4: 1. Several of these blades are standardised imported specimens, used for the manufacture of bi-truncated, regular blade tools. The assemblage contains also bladelets (4.19 per cent). Note that the above number of blades and flakes is a mean amount from the entire region. Again, characteristic chipping debris produced in the course of preparing and repairing cores are scarce (0.66 per cent).

workshop uncovered in House 156a; retouched blades; and scrapers. The assemblage yielded also a slightly reduced amount of ordinary borers, while the number of bi-truncated regular blade tools decreased almost eightfold compared to the older, northern inventories. The quantity of end scrapers and scrapers markedly decreased in the group under study. Excavations produced also few arrowheads, a number comparable to that of the northern group.

An analysis of debitage from the southern group has again demonstrated that flint was rarely worked on site.

The flint industry is generally alike throughout both areas. The difference lies in the increasing frequency of working flint on site. While during the earlier dynasties the inhabitants of Elephantine received ready-made sickle blades, manufactured in outside workshops, in later periods imported were only half-products of sickle blades to be finished on site. With time, the amount of scrapers decreased, while bi-truncated, regular blade tools ceased to be used at all. At the same time, the quantity of bifacial knives increased (Hikade 2013).

Debitage types are presented in Figure 29. Seven hundred and sixty retouched tools were identified in the southern group (Figure 30). Amongst them most numerous were sickle blades, followed by bifacial knives, twice more frequent than in the northern group; retouched flakes, again three times more numerous than in the north; microdrills, exceptionally numerous here due to the

52

Chapter 5 Comparison of Flint Assemblages Dated to the Old Kingdom: Sites from Dakhla Oasis, Kom el Hisn and Elephantine Recent research at several settlement sites in different regions of Egypt has yielded rich inventories of flint artefacts dating from the late dynasties of the Old Kingdom. Functioning in different environments and landscapes, the settlements include, starting from the north, Kom el-Hisn from western Delta, Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen from the Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert and Elephantine from the Nile valley, on the border with Nubia. In addition to the two mentioned settlement sites of considerable size, investigations in Dakhla, produced also archaeological record from accompanying watch-posts and a temple. Flint inventories from the Dakhla Oasis were compared in minute details earlier in the book. The technology, and largely typology of lithic materials recovered from all of these types of sites are similar enough to treat them as a whole. Therefore, I shall hereafter refer to the group of sites from the Dakhla Oasis as ‘Dakhla’. As regards Elephantine, taken into account were mainly younger inventories, dating back to the late dynasties of the Old Kingdom and the early First Intermediate Period, situated south of the Khnum Temple, since they correspond better in terms of chronology to the settlement at Kom el-Hisn and Dakhla.

products were imported to Kom el-Hisn is evidenced by an almost complete absence of cores, so numerous in Ain elGazzareen, and an almost exclusive presence of imported mined flint at Kom el-Hisn. On the other hand, except for imported blanks for sickle blades and sickle blades, imported flint is entirely absent in Ain el-Gazzareen. Both Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil have given massive sickle inserts in both varieties, unregistered at Kom el-Hisn. The question therefore arises whether the inhabitants of the two settlement sites from Dakhla and Kom el-Hisn from the Delta practiced different economic activities, which seems improbable, or if they were able to do without many types of flint tools and somehow replace them? If that is the case, those people are certain not to have used metal items, since they are unaccounted for at Kom el-Hisn. Given that flint inventories of Ain Asil and Ain el-Gazzareen from the Dakhla Oasis are alike, the difference between them and Kom el-Hisn is not accidental, having arisen from important causes, unresolved as of yet. In all three settlement sites under study, the types of rocks other than the above-mentioned two types of raw flint were virtually unexploited. Obsidian, quartzite, petrified wood or carnelian are found in minute quantities, the only exception being a significant amount of chalcedony in inventories from the Dakhla watch-posts.

While a group of Dakhla sites exhibits considerable similarity, there are wide differences between inventories from distant sites. People from Dakhla and Elephantine procured raw material in the same way, collecting local nodules scattered on the surface, in the case of Dakhla also tabular flint, and importing mined flint. In contrast, the inhabitants of Kom el-Hisn only imported mined flint, which is not surprising given the total absence of any kind of pebbles in the Delta.

All three sites are also alike inasmuch as they all exhibit an evident, heavy dependency on the supply of standardised products distributed by the state administration. In Dakhla and on Elephantine, raw material was roughed out offsite; with an easy access to nodular or tabular flint, of admittedly inferior quality, simple, expedient tools of everyday use were produced ad hoc within a household. By contrast, manufacturing implements for immediate use is unreadable in the archaeological record from Kom el-Hisn, where such tools are, indeed, rare. At the same time, all these inventories contain numerous sickle blades, finishing and mounted in hafts in particular dwellings at all sites.

It is remarkable that flint inventories from different, contemporaneous, well-researched Old Kingdom settlement sites estimated at Dynasty VI differ in the type of flint tools. Inventories from two large settlement sites similar in terms of economy, i.e., Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil in the Dakhla Oasis and Kom el-Hisn in the Western Delta provide an ample example. They yielded sickle blades and bifacial knives. Nevertheless, while a multitude of small implements, most likely produced by inhabitants for immediate use, were found at Ain el-Gazzareen, they are virtually absent at Kom el-Hisn. Perhaps access to raw flint was of some significance in this case. Even if not of the highest quality, flint was readily available in Ain el-Gazzareen. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Kom el-Hisn, a settlement site located on the gezira (a sandgravel mound), surrounded by thick layers of aggregated silts, had no opportunities of procuring raw flint and were dependent on the external supply. That only finished

The difference between flint inventories from Dakhla and Elephantine lies in the use of blanks. The most common type among a great number of cores in Dakhla are multiplatform cores for flakes, basically never prepared for processing. Flakes are, correspondingly, an almost exclusive blank material. They are often very crude specimens, fashioned into simple tools. Quality blades found on these sites, detached from excellent quality raw material using pressure technique, which were used as blanks for the manufacture of sickle blades, come exclusively from import. Frequently used, notably in 53

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Kom el-Hisn

Dakhla

Elephantine

Nodular flint from vicinity

absent

XXX

XXX

Tabular flint

absent

XXX

X

Mined flint

XXX

XXX

XXX

X

X

X

XXX

XXX

XXX

X

XXX

XXX

Supply of tools from the outside workshops

XXX

XXX

XXX

Finishing tools on site

XXX

XXX

XXX

Blade technology

absent

absent

XX

Flake technology

X

XXX

XX

Core preparation

absent

absent

XX

XXX

XXX

XXX

absent

XXX

absent

XXX

XX

XXX

Scrapers

X

XXX

XX

End-scrapers

X

XX

XXX

Borers

X

XX

X

Mikcroperforators

absent

X

XXX

Scaled pieces

absent

X

absent

X

XXX

XXX

Crescent-shaped borers

absent

X

X

Arrow heads

absent

X

X

Axes

absent

absent

X

Hoes

absent

X

absent

Chopping tools

absent

absent

X

Other raw materials Primary production out of the settlement Production of ordinary (ad hoc) tools

Sickle blades Massive rectangular sickle inserts Bifacial knifes

Retouched blades and flakes

Figure 31. Comparison of flint inventories from Kom el-Hisn, the Dakhla Oasis and Elephantine. XXX – very frequent, XX – frequent, X – scarce. (Elephantine according to Hikade 2013)

Elephantine. Contrariwise, bifacial knives, often found at Kom el-Hisn and on Elephantine, are scarce in Dakhla. Interestingly, while particularly Kom el-Hisn yielded merely fragments of knives, the Dakhla inventories contain mostly complete, yet heavily re-worked (exhausted) specimens. Dakhla and less so Elephantine gave a great variety of types of scrapers. In contrast, such implements are almost absent at Kom el-Hisn. Analogously, end scrapers, also quite popular in Dakhla and on Elephantine, occur at Kom el-Hisn in negligible amounts. Borers are scarce on all three sites. None microperforators were found at Kom el-Hisn and merely a few were identified in Dakhla. Elephantine stands in marked contrast to the foregoing sites, largely due to the discovery of a workshop which produced microdrills necessary for making beads.

Ain el-Gazzareen, was tabular flint, never shaped into cores, but ‘carved’ into necessary tools by coring. Blades clearly predominate in the assemblages from Elephantine. Although most of them, as in Dakhla, were supplied from outside, the presence of cores for blades and bladelets indicates that blade technology was well known to the people of Elephantine and the preparation of cores for processing was fairly extensively practiced. On all three compared sites, sickle blades typically constituted a very important part of the inventory. It is remarkable that at both sites from the Dakhla Oasis, sickle blades are accompanied by rectangular massive sickle inserts, admittedly occurring in smaller quantities. They are nevertheless entirely absent at Kom el-Hisn and on 54

Comparison of Flint Assemblages Dated to the Old Kingdom

Tool type

Seth Hill

Bee’s Lookout

Bifacial knives

0.00

0.00

Scrapers

15.00

30.76

Endscrapers

6.20

0.00

Segmented blades

0.00

0.00

Bitruncated ret. blades

0.00

0.00

Retouched balades and flakes

27.50

12.30

Figure 32. The percentage frequencies of major types of flint tool from watch-posts Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout. Compare to Figure 25.

Bi-truncated regular blade tools, absent in Dakhla and Kom el-Hisn, are still present in minute quantities in the southern group of assemblages on Elephantine, they may nevertheless come from levels earlier than those attributable to Dynasties V and VI. Scaled pieces were recovered only from Ain el-Gazzareen. Retouched blades and flakes, present in substantial amounts in Dakhla, frequent on Elephantine, are almost non-present at Kom el-Hisn.

As previously stated, there is a significant difference in the technology of blank production between the sites from Dakhla and Elephantine, inasmuch as people living in the former exploited flint using almost exclusively flake technology, while in the assemblage of the latter notable is a strong preference for blades. The question therefore arises about the reasons underlying the discrepancy. My hypothesis is that assemblages reflect two different local traditions. Upon colonising the Western Desert, thus also Dakhla, during the reign of Dynasties V and VI, Egyptians encountered a group of local pastors of the so-called Sheikh Muftah culture (McDonald 1991, 2000; Riemer 2011a). There is no doubt whatsoever that the shepherds used the flake technology. Having survived the invasion ‘of the Egyptians’, they succumbed to acculturation, yet introduced their flake tradition into everyday life of the settlements, thereby producing those unquestionably flake inventories recovered by archaeologists from the oasis. In contrast, the population of Elephantine had its roots on the border of Upper Egypt and Nubia. The preceding Predynastic period saw the popularity of blade technology in Upper Egypt (Holmes 1989). Here, the tradition of working flint was preserved as well, bringing into the Pharaonic period a liking for blades.

Such tools as crescent-shaped borers and arrowheads were found in limited quantities in Dakhla and on Elephantine, which yielded also few massive chopping tools, axes and picks. Ain el-Gazzareen in Dakhla yielded two massive hoes. The above-mentioned similarities and differences are illustrated in the table (Figure 31). All inventories discussed above belonged to the agricultural population of the same type. This also applies to sites functioning in the Dakhla Oasis (excluding watch-posts and the temple); their location in the desert notwithstanding, they nevertheless functioned in a large oasis with a sufficient supply of water.

It is difficult to account for other differences for the time being.

It is evident that most of the observed discrepancies between the settlement sites arose from the difference in the environment and resources. A lack of access to raw flint in the Nile Delta accounts for the absence of several types of tools at Kom el-Hisn. By contrast, an easy access to nodular and tabular flint in Dakhla encouraged profligacy in the management of raw material, which is particularly evident at Ain el-Gazzareen.

The foraging remarks are further complemented by the following table (Figure 32), which provides the percentage frequencies of major types of flint tools at relatively rich assemblages from watch-posts Seth Hill and Bee’s Lookout. Compare to Figure 25.

55

Chapter 6 El Kharafish

El Kharafish is, the richest thus far investigated site of the Sheikh Muftah culture, as defined by M. McDonald (1991, 1993, 2001) following the archaeological prospection in the Dakhla Oasis. The site of El Kharafish was excavated in 2002 by H. Riemer on behalf of the ACACIA Project of the University of Cologne. The following description is based on H. Riemer’s publications (Riemer 2011a, 2011b and Riemer et al. 2008). El Kharafish is located about 25km north of the Dakhla Oasis, on the Egyptian Limestone Plateau, about 5km north of its southern edge, falling with a steep escarpment into the Dakhla depression. A concentration of flint artefacts and pottery was deposited on a small fossil dune (02/5-1). Flint artefacts and a number of products made from organic materials, along with animal bones were preserved inside a small rock shelter located above, adjacent to the dune (02/5-2). Both of these zones were thoroughly excavated.

occurs both as nodular and tabular variety. By far the most abundant is pale brown to yellowish brown red flint, glassy to fine-grained texture, translucent, nodular or tabular. Quartzitic sandstone, quartz and silicified limestone were found in minute amounts. Approximately 95 per cent of artefacts were made from local materials found in natural outcrops near the sites. Analogously to other sites from the period in the Dakhla Oasis and its vicinity, Middle Palaeolithic artefacts scattered on the surface were treated as sources of raw material, picked up and re-used (such artefacts are referred to as double patinated). The key, representative excavation trench at El Kharafish produced more than 68,476 flint artefacts in total, including 0.24 per cent of cores, 0.56 per cent of retouched tools and 99.19 per cent of debitage. Correspondingly to flint inventories from other sites from Dakhla, be it Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil or watch-posts, the lithic assemblage from El Kharafish is typified by the opportunistic technology. The same applies to other sites of this culture known from the Dakhla Oasis (McDonald 2001). The technology has nothing in common with the earlier technologies characteristic for the beginning of the Holocene in southern Egypt, with the Beshendi culture of the Dakhla Oasis, known from the site of Djara or Fayum.

El Kharafish is a seasonal base camp; a place where a groups of shepherds and hunters stayed while wandering in the area of today’s Western Desert. They lived on hunting gazelles, birds and poor breeding of cattle and goats and inhabited the camp in early spring. Two radiocarbon dates are believed to be related to the Sheikh Muftah culture, namely 4720 ± 80 bp (B 23690) and 4310 ± 80 bp (Gd 4492) (McDonald 2001); inventories of Sheikh Muftah type were are thought to co-occur with the Old Kingdom materials estimated at dynasties V and VI.

Present at El Kharafish are all fundamental phases of lithic reduction, from untreated nodules through early phases of core exploitation, the detachment of blanks to finished tools. The inventory resembles that of Ain el-Gazzareen, inasmuch as flintwork was very primitive. There is no evidence whatsoever of core preparation, and the cores themselves, small and medium in size, irregular, with one or several platforms (Figure 92: 1-4), were typically used for removing flakes, which constitute virtually the only type of debitage. These mostly irregular flakes were then fashioned into tools.

Two settlement phases were identified at El Kharafish: an older phase, dating back to circa 3000 cal. BC, which corresponds to the period of dynasty I, and a younger period, for which a date 2800 cal. BC was obtained, albeit the materials attributable to this phase contain pottery typical for dynasty IV, which rather suggests the years circa 2600-2500 BC. The presence of ‘Egyptian’ pottery most likely testifies to the exchange between the indigenous Sheikh Muftah people and newly arrived ‘Egyptians’ from the Dakhla Oasis. A red polished cup dated to dynasty VI or the early First Intermediate Period was found lying on the surface of the site; it may nevertheless evidence a later brief stay, non-related to the Sheikh Muftah settlement.

A variety of scrapes constitute the largest group (see the table below), representing 55.6 per cent of retouched tools (Figures 93: 1-7; 94: 1-2); among them most common are sidescrapers and circular scrapers, amounting to 23.0 per cent each. The abundance of borers (23.3 per cent) (Figure 94: 3-9) stems perhaps from the fact that they were used in the mass production of the so-called Clayton rings found at the site. Denticulates (Figure 95: 4-5) represent 8.9 per cent, notches (Figure 95: 6-7) 4.2 per cent; knives (Figure 96: 4-6) account merely for one per cent and are heavily damaged and modified by extensive use. It is likely that once broken, they served as scrapers. The inventory contains also scaled pieces (one per cent),

Here, El Kharafish lithic industry is characterised on the basis of the richest inventory recovered in the course of regular excavations from the area called the ‘dune camp site’. Raw material for the manufacture of tools included flint in different varieties of grey and brown hue, greenish and reddish, also of varying degrees of transparency. Flint 56

El Kharafish

Tool types on 02/5-1

Number

Percentage

Arrow heads

2

0.6

Simple perforators

73

23.3

End scrapers (steep, convex retouch)

1

0.3

End scrapers (steep, concave retouch)

4

1.3

Lateral scrapers (steep, convex retouch)

12

3.8

Lateral scrapers (steep, concave retouch)

13

4.2

Sidescrapers (invasive retouch)

72

23.0

Circular scrapers (invasive retouch)

72

23.0

Denticulated pieces

28

8.9

Notched pieces

13

4.1

Knives

3

1.0

Scaled pieces

3

1.0

Blades with edge retouch (sickle blades?)

1

0.3

Truncated pieces

1

0.3

Roughouts

15

4.5

Total scrapers

174

55.6

Total:

313

100.0

Figure 33. El Kharafish 02/5-1. Absolute and percentage frequencies of tool types. (according to Riemer 2011b)

retouched blades (0.3 per cent) and truncated pieces (0.3 per cent). Two bifacially retouched arrowheads (Figure 96: 1-2) equal to 0.6 per cent of retouched tools, while the third arrow of Ounan point type (Figure 96: 3), found on the surface, represent, in my opinion a disturbance from older periods, and as such it was excluded from the analysis of El Kharafish inventory. Other retouched tools included a single truncated blade (?) (Figure 96:8), one retouched blade (figure 96:7), perhaps a sickle blade, and 15 roughouts, i.e., unfinished tools and as such difficult to identify.

The frequency of particular tool types in the representative inventory from El Kharafish 02/5-1 is given in the table above (Figure 33). The flint inventory of El Kharafish shares broadly similar characteristics with well-researched inventories of ‘Egyptian’ settlement from Dakhla such as Ain elGazzareen, Ain Asil or watch-posts. Their in-depth comparison is provided below.

57

Chapter 7 Three Lithic Complexes

In his attempt to draw comparisons between the Predynastic flintwork of Egypt and the Levant in the Predynastic period, S. Rosen (2014) defines various lithic complexes characteristic of the area at the time in question. Likewise, flint materials attributable to the period discussed in this book make it possible to distinguish three distinct lithic complexes prevailing in Egypt throughout the first six dynasties. They vary in typology, i.e., the presence of various groups of flint artefacts, technology and use of different châines operatoires necessary for their production; a variety of raw materials selected for production further points toward the diversity of existing lithic complexes.

pieces, denticulates and scaled pieces. Retouched flakes, more rarely blades, should also be grouped here. Easy to make, they were manufactured almost exclusively on flakes, sometimes chunks, from a worse quality of flint, typically found on the surface in a more or less distant neighbourhood, sometimes weathered and internally cracked. Usually irregular multiplatform cores very roughly shaped or unprepared and the resultant shapes and sizes of tools were accidental and exhibit a wide variety, lacking any standardisation. As noted earlier, the communities of the Western Desert occasionally used Middle Palaeolithic (Figures 81:3; 85:3) artefacts profusely scattered on the surface. The above-mentioned types of tools were manufactured by ordinary people from any raw material they managed to find, and discarded after use.

The first lithic complex – highly specialized production The first lithic complex comprises tools manufactured by highly specialised flintknappers, working in organised workshops within the framework of a centralised administrative system. Made from excellent raw materials procured largely from different types of mines and supplied by miners-specialists, these products were generally much standardised. They include regular quality blades detached from well-prepared, slender single platform cores using pressure technology, which were used as blanks for the mass-production of sickle blades; the preponderance of bifacial knives, particularly from the Archaic Period; bifacially retouched arrowheads; bi-truncated regular blade tools; both varieties of massive rectangular sickle inserts; last but not least, flint animal sculptures and bracelets manufactured using pressure technique. Flint burning was occasionally practiced as part of the production process. Standardised axes should also perhaps be grouped within this complex.

The third lithic complex – heavy duty tools This complex includes heavy-duty tools for architectural work, such as pebble tools, i.e., massive products in the type of the Lower Palaeolithic choppers or chopping tools made of large pebbles with uni- or bifacially sharpened working edges, along with massive hammers. As well as being of service in working or smoothing the surfaces of sandstone, limestone and even granite blocks, these tools were put to use while carving out stone sculptures. This complex comprises also massive picks, indispensible in flint mines and hoes. It is perhaps reasonable to include also crescent-shaped borers widely used for the manufacture of stone vessels. The production of the foregoing implements did not require highly specialised craftsmen or special skills. It is likely that some workshops were established in the vicinity of building sites of large architectural structures such as pyramids, mastabas, temples or near mines, where these tools were mass produced for the tasks undertaken nearby. At any rate, unlike the products of the first lithic complex, these tools were not subject to central distribution.

The second lithic complex – ad hoc production The second lithic complex comprises expedient implements, produced ad hoc, such as scrapers, rabots, end scrapers, burins, perforators, borers, notches, strangled

58

Chapter 8 The Importance of Flint Tools in the Culture of Early Dynasties of Egypt

hard volcanic rocks than chisels made of other rocks or metal, as evidenced by recent experiments (Stocks 2003). Similar massive chisel-and axe-like implements were put to use in opencast flint mines at Wadi el-Sheikh on the Eastern Desert and for carving burial chambers in Thebes. Although G. Weisberger (1987) dates the mines at Wadi el-Sheikh to the Middle Kingdom, he nevertheless supposes that they could have been exploited as early as in the Old Kingdom. Such tools as borers, perforators, denticulates and numerous ordinary blades and flakes with naturally sharp edges, sometimes further fragmentarily retouched were put to use for manifold unrecognised daily life activities. Finally, flint was a material of choice for making some ornaments such as bracelets or figurines, e.g., crocodiles and hippos (Friedman 2000).

8.1. Economic importance I have already pointed out that flint was used in Egypt for a long time, even in parallel with metals, down to the end of the Pharaonic period. In the Archaic Period, as well as in the Old Kingdom, flint tools still played a major role in the contemporary economy, beliefs, or was of service in the army. This raw material fulfilled also a social certain function. The role of flint tools in economic activity was manifold. It is perhaps most evident in agriculture, which could not function without sickles. All sickles were equipped with flint inserts of different types and varieties. Their profusion at settlement sites stands as a clear testimony of their universal usage, while heavy sickle sheen evidences an intense and prolonged exploitation (See Appendix).

The function of bi-truncated regular blade tools, very common particularly in the Archaic Period has remained an unsolved mystery. These highly standardised tools, found both in tombs and at settlement sites, were supplied together with half-products of sickle blades and bifacial knives, by specialised workshops.

Also often extensively, long used and particular important in everyday life were different types of flint knives. Knives, sickles and sundry other types of flint tools were put to use in every conceivable kind of daily economyrelated activities. For example, axes and different types of scrapers, chisels, scaled pieces (as wedges for splitting wood), notched tools or burins were employed in woodworking. For butchering animals and cutting the carcass indispensible were flint knives (Figure 40), some scrapers and probably also ordinary blades, sometimes untrimmed by any additional retouch. Scrapers and end scrapers were put to use in scraping and tanning leather , but also for cutting (see Appendix). Flint arrowheads served as an important element of armament and were likely use in hunting (Hikade 2001). The fact that a bow constituted an important element of the equipment is confirmed both by grave goods, e.g., from the mastaba of Hemaka, an official of Dynasty I (Emery 1938), as well as by depictions, such as a Sixth Dynasty representation of a warrior carved in sandstone at a watch-post in the Dakhla Oasis. Different types of arrows attest to their different use. A special type of crescent-shaped borer was fashioned in order to facilitate the manufacture of vessels mainly from soft rocks such as gypsum or Egyptian travertine (alabaster) (Ciałowicz 2011; Lauer, Debono 1950). Hieroglyphs on the walls of temples or mastabas or inscriptions on rocks in deserts commemorating the marches of the Egyptian dignitaries (Harkuf in the Western Desert) were engraved with flint implements. Flint tools were also used to make sculptures. Heavy-duty flint tools were essential in architectural works, helping workers to smooth the surface of blocks of sandstone or limestone in order for them to perfectly adhere to one another or to create a smooth surface of a building. Flint chisels were more effective in working

8.2. Ritual importance Of extensive use in practical activities of everyday life, flint played also an important role in ritual ceremonies, starting from the Predynastic period, throughout the Pharaonic period until the 1st century BC (Midant-Reynes 1984). Well-known is the role of flint bifacial knives, especially the fishtail type, in performing a ritual called ‘the Opening of the Mouth’ wpt-r (upet-er). Such knives were found in tombs of officials and in royal contexts. It is more than likely than a knife bearing the name of Khufu, found in Giza, was used in rituals performed during the funeral or in the course of worship after the pharaoh’s death. The role of the knife was to cut the umbilical cord of a new-born child to open his/her sublunary life or allow the soul of the dead to be-reanimated in the afterlife. The ceremony of ‘the opening of the Mouth’ is known from the Pyramid Texts of Dynasties V and VI (Roth 1992). Flint knives were also used to make animal sacrifices. Bifacial knives were abundantly represented in the inventory recovered from the so-called ‘slaughterhouse’ in the Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir, and in the storage rooms of the temple. Several specimens are certain to have been recurrently repaired and re-sharpened (Vachála, Svoboda 1989). A. Šejnarová (2006) supposes that re-sharpening of knives could have been a magical act in itself – the purifying of a sacrificial knife. Using bifacial knives for butchering animals, including animal sacrifice, is vividly illustrated in paintings on the walls of mastabas, for example, the 59

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt figures, as is B. Midant-Reynes (1998) that longue durée of some flint tools resulted not only from the practical benefits of this material, but also, to some extent, from the inner conviction of the traditional ritual prestige which accompanied those artefacts, primarily bifacial knives.

Ptahhotep’s mastaba in Saqqara (Davies 1901) (Figure 40). B. Adams and K. Ciałowicz also are of the opinion that the knives of Dynasty I were used for sacrifices. In their view, it is likely that blades with retouched ends, found mainly in temple contexts, were somehow related to sacrificial ceremonies (Adams, Ciałowicz 1997). Furthermore, knives could have possibly in circumcision or mummification (Aston 2000; Sudhoff 1911).

8.3. Prestige As well as performing ritual-related functions, some flint knives played an important role in the social structure of the early Egyptian dynasties. Luxurious and expensive products, they acted as a symbol of the high status of their owner. A nice bifacial knife of pharaoh Djer of Dynasty I, probably from Umm el Qaab at Abydos (Hikade 2003a) provides a good example. It is a finely manufactured specimen, 37cm in length, typical of the Archaic Period. Its handle was wrapped in a gold sheet, which bears Djer’s serekh. A similar knife with a handle framed with a thin gold sheet was found in the Archaic tomb in Gebelein (Quibel 1901). Such knives, albeit without the golden wrapping, come from rich tombs of the then elite in Abydos, Saqqara, Giza, Tarkhan and Naga ed Der.

A ritual importance of bifacial knives is further attested to by the discovery of six specimens deposited, probably ritually, in a rock crevice in the area of the Temple of Satet on Elephantine along with some figurines (Kaiser et al. 1977). One of the knives, made sometime during Dynasty III, was noticeably broken prior to the deposition. Other knives date back to roughly 100 years later, therefore a broken knife was used for about a century (Hikade 2013). A more precise chronology of the find is undeterminable. Noteworthy is in this context an earlier find, namely a deposit of two bifacial knives along with two gold figurines found at the Eastern Kom at Tell el-Farkha in central-eastern Delta, dating back to the late (IIIB) phase of the Naqada culture (Ciałowicz 2012).

Two strands of flintwork, namely ’the domestic’ and ‘the luxurious’, occurring alongside at settlement sides of the period indubitably testify to the existence of social differentiation (Briois, Midant-Reynes 2008).

T. Hikade (2013) is probably right when he claims that animal representations made of flint were sacrificial

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Chapter 9 The Cognitive Potential of Flint Materials

institutions, but also for ordinary farmers. More gifted flint knappers were probably employed in royal residences. Raw material was supplied by other specialists, i.e., ‘miners’, procuring from outcast pits high quality raw material in the form of flint nodules that were roughly worked near the extraction sites in order to reduce their weight for transport.

9.1. Centralised rule It has already been noted that flint inventories from settlement sites dating back as far as the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom, if produced of high quality mined flint, are frequently marked by the lack of cores or characteristic chipping debris of this raw material. It was also observed that certain types of tools were made from a different, good quality raw material as compared to most of the inventory. These observations helped to draw interesting conclusions regarding the organisation of flint tool production in the two earliest periods of Pharaonic Egypt.

Indispensable for the manufacture of these products was the knowledge of appropriate application of various techniques such as the ability to assess the quality of raw material; using different types of hammerstones and fabricators; knowledge of the sequence of procedures during lithic reduction; knowledge of the technology, such as pressure technology for obtaining quality blades, pressure retouching technique or the ability to heat raw flint to facilitate processing. The experience, talent, imagination and a steady hand were probably highly valued.

From Dynasty I onwards, next to simple flint tools made by inhabitants, excavations at settlement sites uncover high-quality standardised items made of mined flint such as for example sickle blades or quality blades for their production. However, the inventories are marked by the absence of characteristic cores and debitage of this kind of flint that would have had to remain if the flintwork had been done at the site. It follows that sickle blades and some tools such as bifacial knives, bi-truncated regular blade tools (so called razor blades), bifacially retouched arrowheads and high quality blanks, mainly quality blades, were produced elsewhere in special workshops, outside the settlement site, and delivered to the users within the context of a certain system.

Nowhere else in the Middle East was the system so centralised and controlled as in Archaic Egypt. Likewise, in the Old Kingdom the centralisation was the fundamental principle of rule, having been based on the fixed hierarchy of offices. All performed activities were strictly noted by literate officials from the beginning of the Archaic Period. They were also responsible for the redistribution, not only grains and other goods, but also mass-standardised flint products (Wilkinson 2000).

For example, neither cores nor debitage were recovered from the fifth-dynasty Pyramid Complex of Raneferef in Abusir (Svoboda 2006) or from Kom el-Hisn in the western Nile Delta, estimated to come from Dynasty VI. Their inventories contain ready-made bifacial knives and blanks for sickle blades. Although excavations at Ain el-Gazzareen in the Dakhla Oasis, also a Sixth Dynasty settlement site, produced quite a lot of cores, they were nevertheless unsuitable for detaching appropriate blanks. The preponderance of bifacial knives and blanks for sickle blades must have been supplied from the outside.

The centralisation was established sometime throughout Dynasties I-II, when, following the unification of Egypt, the state became powerful, and survived down to the eclipse of the Old Kingdom (Wetering 2012). According to T. Hikade (2013), the appearance of a considerable quantity of blades from mined flint, manufactured in external workshops, noticeable throughout Dynasties III-IV on Elephantine, implies the increased interest of the central government in the island, and its inclusion, since the early Old Kingdom, into the general system of distribution. Since Dynasty III, the rule was centred in the capital city of Memphis.

The establishment of specialised workshops at least as early as in the late Predynastic period/early Archaic Period has been confirmed by research at such sites as Tell el Farkha (Kabaciński 2003), Adaima (Briois, Midant-Reynes 2008) or the complex of flint mining sites and workshops at Wadi el-Sheikh, which functioned from prehistoric periods, at least down to the end of the Middle Kingdom, where quality blades were mass-produced as blanks for sickle inserts (Negro, Cammelli 2010)

It has been already stated that most researchers now incline to the hypothesis that more sophisticated tools were produced by highly qualified specialists working somewhere outside settlements (Hikade 2000a; Kabaciński 2012; Newberry 1893; Svoboda 2006; Tillmann, 1999; Wilkinson, 2000). (Figure 97). Judging by a substantial amount of high quality flint artefacts from East Karnak, such specialised workshops must have stayed active well into the New Kingdom. R.

Such workshops functioned throughout the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom. They mass-produced standardised products for royal estates, temples and other state 61

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt (Riemer et al. 2005); and up to 35 kilometers north of the city, already on the surface of the limestone plateau, wherein discovered and excavated was El Kharafish 02/5, the richest known archaeological site of the Sheikh Muftah culture (Riemer 2011b).

Miller (1983) speculates that they were located outside the city, perhaps near the limestone cliffs where flint was mined. Although such workshop sites are undoubtedly much more numerous, they have remained undiscovered as of yet. This in all probability stems from the fact that they were located outside the settlements, or somewhere in the peripheries, thus in locations rarely subject to archaeological prospection. The workshops are bound to be found sooner or later.

The carriers of this culture were shepherds practicing a nomadic lifestyle. Throughout the earlier phase, their links with the Nile valley were negligible. Few imported vessels dating from Naqada III/ Dynasty I found in Dakhla evince the first such contacts (Hope 1999). Egyptian influence is further manifested as the presence of the Egyptian pottery attributed to Dynasty IV next to Sheikh Muftah potsherds at the site of El Kharafish (Riemer 2011b), not necessarily proving the personal presence of ‘Egyptians’ from the Nile valley, since these vessels could have reached El Kharafish by exchange. Full, face-to-face meeting of both cultures occurred once already highly civilised and well-organised Egyptians from the Nile valley encroached into the Dakhla Oasis sometime during Dynasty V.

T. Hikade (2013) is of the opinion that the distribution system of standardised, formal tools, made of high quality mined flint, more demanding in terms of production, was favourable for the then Egyptians, especially those who lived away from outcrops of good raw material. They were not able to make such implements from small cobbles, the only source of stone available On the other hand, seven small flint workshops, estimated at the Early Dynastic Period, were unearthed at the Central Kom at the settlement site of Tell el-Farkha; they massproduced small borers on blades (Kabaciński 2012). Flint knappers, unnecessarily highly qualified, manufactured implements to satisfy local needs (supposedly the production of beads). Likewise, a microdrill workshop was uncovered on Elephantine, in House 156a, Area XXX (Hikade 2013). The role and tasks of such workshops were nonetheless at variance with that of workshops massproducing standardised tools. A microdrill workshop had solely one purpose and that was fashion implements necessary for the production of beads. Since making a microdrill did not require particular craftsmanship and was manageable for everyone, there was no need for such workshops to employ qualified flint knappers.

The question now arises how the relations played out between indigenous, nomadic herdsmen of the Sheikh Muftah culture, Neolithic in terms of the way of living, and the newcomers from the territory upon the Nile, already highly civilised, having the knowledge of writing, wellorganised administration, the army, and experimenting with metallurgy. Were the shepherds expelled from the oasis by force, exterminated, or did they remain in place and became subjected to acculturation? Were the inhabitants of the sixth-dynasty settlement sites, such as Ain el-Gazzareen and Ain Asil, only settlers from the areas upon the Nile, or was it a local population subordinate to the ‘Egyptians’? Investigations at such sites as the settlement of Ain elGazzareen or the fortress of Ain Asil have shown them to have been purely Egyptian, as attested to by architecture, sacral structures and ceramics. The purposes, principles of operation and interconnectedness of ‘Egyptian’ settlement locations have been well-recognised, all of these being elements of a culture entirely strange to the communities of Sheikh Muftah. Is it possible that the autochthonous population vanished from the oasis, having been exterminated or driven beyond its borders? Auspiciously, the study of flint inventories of both cultures can provide an insight into this issue to some extent.

9.2. Acculturation Observation of events that took place in the Dakhla Oasis in the Old Kingdom provides a very interesting example to illustrate the possibility. The base for such ascertainment provided studies of the rich flint assemblage excavated in Ain el Gazzareen, El Kharafish as well as at other sites discovered in the oasis. M. McDonald’s explorations of the late prehistoric settlement in the Oasis have shown that the youngest segment of the period saw the development of the local Sheikh Muftah culture, which took its name after the eponymous village – the first to yield the remains of the culture (McDonald 1999, 2001).

Upon irrupting into Dakhla and conquering its previous inhabitants, Egyptian colonists established their ‘upon Nilelike’ settlements, recreating their organisation, economic fundamentals and crafts. They brought in the technologies they were familiar with, such as pottery production. It is, however, highly unlikely that they introduced changes in the production of flint tools, which were in addition, similar to the lithic industry of the previous post-Neolithic culture.

At variance with the culture of the inhabitants of the Nile valley, the Sheikh Muftah culture spanned the time from the Predynastic period down to the end of the Old Kingdom. Its sites are located along the edges of the then oasis, where McDonald discovered about seventy of them, mostly in its eastern part; also on today’s desert, up to seventy kilometers south of the Dakhla capital, Mut

A lithic analysis of Sheikh Muftah and ‘Egyptian’ materials from Dakhla sites has shown a marked similarity (see 62

The Cognitive Potential of Flint Materials Figure 34). A comparison between the richest and most representative inventory of the Sheikh Muftah culture yielded by the site of El Kharafish (Riemer 2011a, 2011b; Riemer et al. 2008) and the rich, excavated inventory from the site of Ain el-Gazzareen, located circa thirty kilometers southwest of Kharafish, revealed many points of similarity between both assemblages, which manifest themselves primarily in the same technological approach to flintworking. Both communities exploited the same raw materials, but with large quantities of nodular flint concretions scattered immediately next to the site, this variety of flint was understandably more commonly used at El Kharafish. Other flint varieties make up only 1.5 per cent of the assemblage. As noted by McDonald (1985), also tabular flint played a major role at other sites of the Sheikh Muftah culture. Generally, the lithic technology was alike in both cases, that is to say very primitive. Just like at El Kharafish, so too at Ain el-Gazzareen there was very little core shaping. The irregularity of the vast majority of the cores prevents their classification into any of usual categories depending on the number of striking platforms and processing methods. These are almost exclusively cores for flakes, mostly worked with a hard hammer. Flakes clearly outnumber other categories in the assemblage (80.00 per cent). At both compared sites blades are extremely scarce (amounting to two per cent of the assemblage at El Kharafish); those made from local raw materials were apparently formed by accident (Riemer et al. 2008). In both cases, implements were made not only on flakes, but also chunks.

presence of sickle blades and knives at Ain el-Gazzareen is unsurprising, given that its inhabitants dwelt afterwards in an utterly Egyptian world. There is no doubt that sickle blades along with blanks for their production were imported into Ain el-Gazzareen along with arrowheads covered with very precise, fine bifacial retouching and at the very least most of the bifacial knives. These three artefact types are not representative of the local lithic production and were supplied from specialised external workshops. The foregoing similarities between the lithic industry of the Sheikh Muftah culture and flintwork at Ain elGazzareen are equally relevant to the flint inventory from Ain Asil. The flint assemblages from the last both large sites are alike. The above remarks corroborate the supposition that the lithic technology of the post-Neolithic population of the Sheikh Muftah culture, i.e., the indigenous inhabitants of the oasis, largely survived amongst the inhabitants of colonial ‘Egyptian’ settlements dating to Dynasty VI. This would imply that the native population had not been expelled from the oasis, but remained there to gradually become acculturated by adopting the imposed new way of living. Antony Mills (2012) reported a discovery of a deposit of living occupation debris with coals, rubble of stones and Sheikh Muftah type pottery, at Ain el-Gazzareen. The find can be read to demonstrate a kind of a mutual relationship of both cultural groups, either their symbiosis in the village or, alternatively, a temporary victory of Sheikh Muftah people and their short-term reign at the settlement site. M. McDonald (1986) notices that some sites of the Sheikh Muftah culture yielded mixed pottery of the Sheikh Muftah type and typically ‘Egyptian’ pottery. In the light of the above remarks, the first hypothesis seems more likely.

Characteristic for both assemblages is the ad hoc production for immediate use. Both at El Kharafish and Ain el-Gazzareen, most popular were various scrapers. The preponderance of drills at El Kharafish, fairly common also in Ain el-Gazzareen, is explained by H. Riemer (2011a) by their usage for drilling perforations in enigmatic, the socalled Clayton rings, profuse at El Kharafish.

Colin Hope (1999) perceives the continuation of the tradition prevailing prior to the colonisation of Dakhla in the ceramic tradition. This issue is probably going to be resolved before long owing to the application of DNA analysis.

The similarities and differences in the use of flint are demonstrated in the table below In general, the materials at both sites exhibit a similarity in the approach to flintworking, unexplainable in terms of prodigality in flint management, resulting from an easy access to the raw material, which could still be worked otherwise.

Given that flint inventories recovered from watch-posts surrounding the oasis are marked by typological and technological characteristics resembling the traditional ‘pre-Egyptian’ lithic industry of Sheikh Muftah, it is reasonable to conjecture, on the premise that the above presuppositions are accurate, that the guards were also of the local descend, albeit they had already succumbed to acculturation (or coercion?), as indicated by their employment in the service of governors of Ain Asil.

There are some obvious differences between lithic assemblages from both sites. Ain el-Gazzareen yielded a considerable number of sickle inserts, both massive elements and sickle blades, rather unsurprisingly given the tasks undertaken at the site. In contrast, excavations at a pastoral Kharafish produced only a single sickle blade. Likewise, fairly common at Ain el-Gazzareeen, bifacial knives are negligible at El Kharafish. Given that they are extremely worn, it can be assumed that obtaining such a knife must have been fairly challenging. Besides, the camp at El Kharafish functioned prior to the mass-settlement of the newcomers from the Nile valley. At the same time, the

Analogously to pottery analysis, flint studies provide insights into such issues as the continuation of population, the movement of human groups and acculturation. Observation of events that took place in the Dakhla Oasis in the Old Kingdom provides a very interesting example to illustrate the possibility. The base for such ascertainment 63

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Ain el-Gazzareen.

El Kharafish

Raw material: nodular and tabular flint

Raw material: nodular flint

Almost total lack of blades

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Vast preponderance of flakes

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Cores: very primitive working. Lack of preparation

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Ad hoc production

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Flakes used for tool production, but also chunks and even cores

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Unfamiliarity with sophisticated techniques, such as bifacial retouch or ‘par pression’

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

Very numerous scrapers

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

A small number of end scrapers

As at Ain el-Gazzareen

A small number of borers

A considerable amount of borers (for piercing Clayton rings

Numerous sickle blades

Merely one sickle blade

Bifacial knives represent 3.90 per cent of the assemblage

Almost total lack of knives. Extremely exhausted

A small number of perforators

A lot of perforators

Figure 34. Similarities and differences between flint inventories from the sites of Ain el-Gazzareen and El Kharafish (according to H. Riemer 2011a)

provided studies of the rich flint assemblage excavated at the site Ain el Gazzareen as well as at other sites discovered in the oasis.

Mutual contacts are well proved for Predynastic period (Mączyńska 2013). They were primarily focused on the exchange of goods of interest to both parties. The times and duration of these contacts varied, depending on the demand and political relations. The inhabitants of the Nile valley established their earliest contacts with the area of Palestine, where from copper, bitumen, salt, resins, sulphur and sundry food products were imported in exchange for corn and gold. According to T. Wilkinson (2000), the direct influence of Egypt in Palestine was two-phased. The first phase falls to the early Naqada II, and the second, more interesting for us, to Dynasty I and the very early Dynasty II. A number of sites are known in Palestine with the marked Egyptian influence, also discernible in lithic materials. The route of exchange with Palestine runs from the eastern Delta, through the northern Sinai, along the Mediterranean Sea.

The encounter between Egyptian invaders from the reign of Dynasty I with the residents of Lower Nubia had a different character. The entire local population of the socalled A Group was displaced and the area was deserted until the end of the Old Kingdom (Bard 1999a). 9.3. External contacts Before I proceed with exploring the role of flint implements in the contacts of the early Egyptian civilisation with neighbouring areas, it is necessary to adumbrate mutual relations in this field. In line with the current state of research, areas of mutual interest relating primarily to commercial activities (military actions will not be discussed herein), throughout the periods under study, included mainly Palestine and Lebanon in the east and Lower Nubia in the south; and to a small extent Ethiopia.

The data on the external relations of Egypt based on lithic analysis has thus far been obtained mainly for the areas of Palestine, for the reasons listed below and to some extent owing to the fact that Palestine is the best-studied area in the Middle East in terms of Chalcolithic and Bronze Age settlement. Palestine yielded a considerable amount of sites with flint inventories marked by lithic typology and technology characteristic of Egypt. A good example is the site Tel ’En Besor in southern Palestine, where layer III, dating to Naqada III and the early Dynasty I, in addition to classically Palestinian flint implements, produced also clearly Egyptian elements, i.e., bifacial knives, Egyptian type sickle blades and crescent-shaped borers typical for Egypt. Some of these artefacts were imported, while others were most likely fashioned on site from local flint, in Egyptian style and technology (Gophna, Friedmann,

Long-standing Egyptian-Palestine contacts are attested to by the classic site of the Natufian culture located at the base of the Delta in Helwan, which evidences the personal presence of a group of people of the Middle Eastern descent (Debono 1948). As well as being manifested in the archaeological record, subsequent mutual contacts are evidenced in written sources, inscriptions and iconography at mastabas’ walls, on the sarcophagi, or engraved on rocks. 64

The Cognitive Potential of Flint Materials 1995; Wilkinson 2000; Yeivin 1995). An assemblage of flint implements from Tel Erani, attributable to the same period, is similar – Egyptian type flint artefacts differ in terms of raw material from Palestinian lithic finds (Gophna, Friedmann 1995). The occurrence of Egyptian pottery and flint at Tel Lod (Braun, Van den Brink 2008) speak of the contacts with the Nile valley (Braun 2004). Similar finds include Tel Harif and other sites, mostly from southern Palestine (Braun 2004; Braun, Van den Brink 2008).

The areas of Lower Nubia were also to some extent within the orbit of the Egyptian state, albeit military interventions rather than trade expedition were organised to the region. A fortress in Buhen near the second cataract, dated at least to Dynasty IV, perhaps even Dynasty II, provides a symptomatic example of the presence of the Egyptians in Lower Nubia (Wilkinson 2000). Unfortunately, there is no data available on flint implements, assuredly put to use at the site. Their technology and typology would supposedly evidence the personal presence of the Egyptians, as it happened in Palestine.

The conclusions drawn from the analysis of lithic inventories is confirmed by the co-occurrence of numerous finds of typical Egyptian pottery at the foregoing sites.

As to the west, Egypt and Libya were linked only by episodes of warfare.

Such evident Egyptian elements lend credence to the hypothesis of the permanent physical presence of the Egyptians in southern Palestine in the early Archaic Period. The colonisation of this area was likely furthered by the Egyptian state. The presence of sickle blades of the Egyptian type demonstrates that Egyptians who settled in the area tilled the lands in person (Rosen 1988; Sowada 2009); they dwelt in in large Egyptian centres in the type of colonies, which survived circa 200 years (Andelkowić 1995; Gophna 1996; Van den Brink, Braun 2000). Given the complete lack of arrowheads in the inventories yielded by these sites, it can be assumed that the relationships between the local people and the settlers from Egypt was characterised by peacefulness (Wilkinson 2000). Egyptian centres in Palestine were probably also intermediate stops in the long-distance trade with more distant areas of SyroPalestine.

Neither Nubia, nor either desert yielded any finds of flint artefacts that could attest to the contacts with Egypt, even though such contacts are undisputable to have existed. A bifacial knife found at Knossos in Crete bears a testimony to the wide-ranging distribution of Egyptian flint tools. G. Cadogan (1996) widely dates this partly broken specimen, to the Predynastic period until the end of the Middle Kingdom. Although the analysis of flint inventories has furnished relatively extensive data on the mutual relations of Egypt and Palestine, it is worthy of note that in other regions the pursuit of the evidence of contacts through lithic materials has not produced desired results. This phenomenon is easily explained: given that all these areas are rich in raw flint, people exploited it and fashioned into requisite tools or weapons since time immemorial, fully satisfying their own neeeds. There was no reason whatsoever to import flint implements. The abundance of Egyptian style artefacts at a number of Palestinian sites, where there was no shortage of flint, does not reflect trade or exchange, but bespeaks of the settlement of native Egyptians in the area, who brought their own toolkits, their knowledge of working flint and their technical habits they employed while shaping necessary flint implements. In all likelihood, no other areas were settled by Egyptian population. Contacts with Palestine lasted longer, also throughout the Old Kingdom, yet they are not readable in flint inventories of this time, since permanent Egyptian centres in Palestine ceased to exist.

In the second half of Dynasty I, Egypt’s relations with Palestine tend to abate (Wilkinson 2000). Egyptians turned their interest to Byblos (today Jebeil) in Lebanon to import mostly cedar (Bard 1999b). These contacts, as with the entire eastern Mediterranean basin, continued throughout the period of the Old Kingdom by sea. The issue of contacts with the Great Rift Valley via today’s Eritrea and Ethiopia is still open to debate. It was perhaps the region that housed the mythical Punt – a source of gold and other precious materials and objects. It is known that this region purveyed at least some obsidian to Egypt, via the Red Sea and wadi in the Eastern Desert (Bavay et al. 2000).

65

Chapter 10 Continued Interest in Flint

It is a well-known fact and one that I have already brought attention to that in Egypt and Mesopotamia alike flint has a very long history of use for making tools for multiple purposes. After Dynasty VI, flint implements are still in use until the Saite period during Dynasty XXVI (Miller 1983; Rzepka et al. 2012/2013; Stocks 2003) and the Roman Period (Hikade 2004a). Admittedly, although following the Old Kingdom the amount of tools in use decreased and the quality of flint working somewhat deteriorated, producing lithic implements still played an important role. Lithic materials estimated at the First Intermediate Period were found, e.g., at the site of Ain Asil in the Dakhla Oasis (kind information of Clara Juthe) or on Elephantine (Hikade 2013). Most data on flint inventories from the Middle Kingdom was furnished by Polish researchers, who conducted excavation in the vicinity of the Qasr el Sagha temple in the Fayum depression in the 1970s and 1980s (Ginter et al 1980). Comprising pebble tools, as well as knives, crescent-shaped borers, blades and flakes, extensive flint inventories attributable to the period were thoroughly examined and published in compliance with modern standards (Dagnan-Ginter et al. 1984; Ginter 1983, 1985; Śliwa 1983). Bifacial knives and slender blades from Kahun are dated to Dynasty XII (Petrie 1890). This, and later, periods, still saw the intensive exploitation of extensive flint quarries at Wadi el-Sheikh, where uncovered were large workshops producing blades, picks, hoe-like and axe-like tools, measuring up to more than fifty centimetres in length (Figure 98) (Negro, Cammelli 2010; Seton Karr 1905).

also found at New Kingdom sites of Deir el-Medina and Gurob. In Western Thebes, on the left bank of the Nile, archaeologists discovered quarries of flint nodules and flint workshops at the mine dated to the same period (Debono 1971; Seton Karr 1905). Flint artefacts uncovered at Karnak, at the site of East Karnak, in the temple of Aton attributable to the Middle- and New Kingdom testify to a still high level of flint working (Miller 1983). Numerous lithic implements dating to the New Kingdom (Tillmann 1986, 1992), the Ptolemaic Period (Ciałowicz 1999; Conard 2000; Midant-Reynes 1981; Negro, Cammelli 2010; Tillmann 1999 Stocks 2003; Tillmann 1999) and even the Roman period (Hikade 2004a) were also found at Qantir/Piramesse in the eastern Delta.

Similar specimens were also found in the vicinity of the tombs at Thebes (Seton Karr 1905). Throughout the Pharaonic period, flint was also mined from outcrops in Abu Roash near Giza (Tillmann 1999). From Tell el Amarna of the New Kingdom’s Dynasty XVIII recovered were flint artefacts such as burins, perforators, sickle blades, picks and geometric microliths used as arrowheads. Flints were

There are assuredly many more archaeological sites attributable to the late stages of Pharaonic Egypt, where lithic artefacts lie buried, awaiting discovery. There is no reason whatsoever why sites of a later date were to significantly differ from settlement sites or graves from the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom in this respect. Flint implements just need to be noticed.

A large corpus of information on the importance of flint in the Middle Kingdom is also contained in iconographic and written sources. Wall paintings in the tombs from the era of Sesostris I of Dynasty XII show craftsmen shaping bifacial knives. The paintings from tombs 2 and 15 from Beni Hassan, also of Dynasty XII, precisely illustrate the production of bifacial knives, their fashioning and sharpening, the position of working craftsmen and requisite tools (Griffith 1896). It is therefore unquestionable that this period witnessed an unceasing functioning of workshops that employed professional, specialised flint knappers. It is worthy of note that in extant written documents from Tell el-Amarna of Dynasty XVIII, flints are listed as diplomatic gifts for Babylonia.

66

Chapter 11 Conclusions

This book has attempted to recapitulate the state of current knowledge about the mode of production, use and importance of flint tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Hitherto conducted studies of available materials have enabled a more comprehensive insight into the issue, the formulation of some conclusions, the diagnosis of the state of research and a proposition as regards its further desired direction. The evidence has fully validated the claim of a small group of researchers who proclaimed an important role of flint tools in the life of Egyptians of the first six dynasties.

organised administration at the early stages of development of the Egyptian state. It has indisputably shown that a large quantity of implements important for the then communities were produced and supplied by specialised, well-organised centres. As well as having theoretical knowledge of the varieties of flint, its origin and degree of usefulness, the specialists employed in the workshops were skilled in the production methods. Ordinary Egyptians lacked such knowledge and craftsmanship and therefore more demanding implements were supplied within the system of central distribution.

Having discussed the technology of production and typology of flint tools on the basis of available materials, notably analysing in minute details well-researched rich flint inventories recovered from such sites as Kom el-Hisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine, I reconstructed stages in toolmaking, starting from the procurement of different varieties of raw flint, either by collecting nodules available at the surface, or mining. Subsequent phases of lithic implements production sequence were then thoroughly examined, from the roughing out a nodule at the mining site, through production procedures undertaken in specialised workshops or in particular dwellings, to their use and significance.

Flint can even be used to draw an understanding of political events. The analysis of flint assemblages from the settlement of Ain el-Gazzareen in the Dakhla Oasis and from the camps of post-Neolithic, indigenous peoples of the Sheikh Muftah culture from the same oasis, permits a conclusion that the elements of lithic technology, and generally the approach to flintwork, were brought into fully Egyptian settlements in the oasis, colonised during Dynasty V, from the camps of the ‘pre-Egyptian’ Sheikh Muftah culture. This shows that the local communities were neither exterminated nor expelled following the colonisation of the Oasis by people from the areas upon the Nile. Having survived at the site, the autochthonous population nevertheless gradually succumbed to acculturation.

Just like pottery analyses, so too the study of flint inventories offers researchers an ample opportunity to gain insights into issues more sophisticated than just typology and technology of toolmaking.

Research on the lithic industry complements to some degree the knowledge of early Egyptian foreign relations. Intense influence of Egyptians in Palestine in the early Archaic Period has been validated, just as their subsequent weakening and contacts, probably by sea, with the areas of Lebanon. Egypt, apparently, must have had contacts with today’s Eritrea and Ethiopia, which supplied obsidian in small amounts.

For a mulitiplicity of reasons, the importance of lithic implements was still profound at the time. They fulfilled a major role in the then economy, particularly as regards the primary source of income, namely agriculture, in which a sickle with flint inserts and hoes were essential tools. Smaller implements were used for a host of different activities of daily living such as cutting, scraping, sawing or piercing.

Some flint implements could have also gained a social significance. Luxury goods, such as some bifacial knives, often with a carved handle adorned in gold, constituted an external mark of power and prestige of their owners.

Even though the role of flint diminished over time, there is strong evidence to corroborate the claim that it remained in use. Paintings in the twelfth-dynasty tombs from Beni Hassan (the Middle Kingdom) depict in minute details a flint working workshop, while materials recovered from a number of sites, e.g., from the Fayum depression, further substantiate the assertion. That flint was still important in the New Kingdom is evidenced by flint inventories recovered from such sites as, e.g., Kahun, Gurob, Tell elAmarna and Deir el Medineh. The foregoing are simply examples, since obviously much more sites estimated at later periods, until the Saite or even Roman periods, yielded flint implements.

The analysis of lithic assemblages has provided additional arguments in support of the existence of a central, well-

These was a regrettable, widespread and fairly recent practice to neglect lithic materials from the moment of

Flint was also central to the conduct of some ritual ceremonies, such as the mouth opening ceremony, vital to Egyptian beliefs, perhaps also for mummification and circumcision. An important ceremonial attribute, flint is mentioned as such in different extant texts of the era.

67

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt therefore select the most representative section of a site, explore it meticulously as the model area, sifting the whole cultural layer through a sieve. This will largely allow us to reconstruct the stages in the lithic implement production sequence (châine operatoire), identify, evaluate and interpret the flint inventory of a given feature. It is equally important to estimate the chronology of the sample collection accurately. If these demands are met, it would be eventually possible to create a reliable, generic list of types that will help draw even far-reaching conclusions from lithic materials. The possibilities of interpretation and significance of flint artefacts would be much stronger in Egypt or any other country in the world, should microscopic traseological analysis, that is to say the examination and interpretation of use wear, be applied more frequently. This method gives a broader perspective on the issues discussed in this paper.

excavation, except for specimens of outstanding artistic merit, such as some bifacial knives. Therefore, the majority of artefacts was not recovered and consequently published. Smaller retouched tools, first of all, debitage, i.e., blades, flakes, and the so-called characteristic chipping debris, went unnoticed during excavations and still lie in heaps which were left once field research was finished, or, at best, forgotten in storage rooms. It is an obvious, yet unappreciated fact that without such lithic materials, the technology applied at a given site cannot be thoroughly and accurately examined or comprehended; neither can we compile a list of types of lithic implements for the periods under study that might act as a reference for the entire state. Studies of properly explored sites of Kom elHisn, Ain el-Gazzareen, Ain Asil and Elephantine, widelydiscussed in this book, offered such a rare opportunity. Merely bright spots in the darkness, they nevertheless shed some light on the issue of toolmaking, thought admittedly still insufficient.

This book has merely been the first attempt to provide a general overview of the issue of the production, use and importance of flint tools throughout the early history of ancient Egypt. The studies are still pioneering, yet they offer so much satisfaction that more researchers are bound to be attracted to this fascinating topic soon.

It will therefore come as no surprise that my research postulates the necessity to recover excavations flint inventories in their entirety. Given the vastness and richness of excavated Egyptian sites, this is admittedly an impracticable objective. Archaeologists should

68

Figures

Figure 35. Map of sites mentioned in the text. 1 Tell el Fara’in/Buto; 2 Kom el Hisn; 3 Tell el Iswid; 4 Tell Ibrahim Awad; 5 Tell el Farkha; 6 Abu Rawash; 7 Giza; 8 Abusir; 9 Heluan; 10 Dahshur; 11 Fayum; 12 Wadi Sheikh; 13 Beni Hassan; 14 Abydos; 15 Umm el Qaab; 16 Elefantyna; 17 Ain el Gazzareen; 18 Ain Asil; 19 Mut el Khorab; 20 Dakhla, strażnice w oazie; 21 Dakhla, strażnice poza oazą; 22 El Kharafish; 23 Gilf el Kebir.

69

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 36. Bifacial knife type 2 (Abydos, according to Hikade 1997).

70

Figures

Figure 37. Bifacial knife type „fish teil” type 1 (Abydos, tomb U-127, according to Hikade 1996).

71

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 38. 1- Bifacial knife type 3 (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 2- bifacial knife type 4 (according to Kromer 1978); 3-4 bifacial knifes worn by grainding (Abydos, according to Svoboda 2006)

72

Figures

Figure 39. Bifacial knife type 5 (Ain Asil VI dynasty, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)

Figure 40. Scene of dividing a cow’s carcass using bifacial knife. (Saqqara, mastaba of Ptahetep, V dynasty, according to Davies 1901).

73

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 41.1-9 Rectangular sickle blades 1-4 Kom el Hisn; 5-7 Ain el Gazzareen; 8-9 Ain Asil (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)

74

Figures

Figure 42. 1-3 half-finished sickle blades, 4 wooden sickle with visible row of sickle blades.

75

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 43. 1 Scene of harvesting by sickle with flint inserts (Tomb of Sennediem, XIX dynasty, according to Tristant 2009); 2 reconstruction of hafting sickle inserts based on traces of bitumite (Middle east, according to Cauvin 1973)

76

Figures

Figure 44. 1-5 masive rectangular sickle blades; 6-7 massive triangular sickle blades

77

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 45. 1-5,9 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) older phase (Saqqara, according to Macramallah 1940); 6-8, 10 bitruncated regular blade tools („rasor blades”) younger phase (Elephantine, according to Hikade 2002);

78

Figures

Figure 46. 1 massive scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 3 scraper with denticulated edge (Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998)

79

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 47. 1 flat scraper (Ain el Gazzareen); 2 triangular scraper (Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b; 3-5 end-scrapers (3-4 Ain el Gazzareen, 5 Ain Asil (according to Midant-Reynes 1998)

80

Figures

Figure 48. 1 crescent shaped drill (Tell el Fara’in/Buto (according to Schmidt 1986); 2-5 microperforators (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-8 notches (Ain el Gazzareen)

81

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 49. 1-2 nosed scrapers (Ain el Gazzareen); 3-5 tanged arrow heads (3,5 Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 bifacially retouched arrow heads (6 – Abydos, tomb of Djer, according to Hikade 2003; 7 – Ain el Gazzareen); 8 trapezoidal arrow head (Elephantine, according to Katthagen 1985)

82

Figures

Figure 50. 1-5 borers (Ain el Gazzareen); 6-7 denticulates (6 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 7 – Ain el Gazzareen)

83

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 51. 1,3 strangled pieces (1 – Ain Asil, according to Midant-Reynes 1998, 3 – Ain el Gazzareen); 2,4 scaled pieces (Ain el Gazzareen); 5-6 retouched flakes (Ain el Gazzareen);

84

Figures

Figure 52. 1-4 burins (Elephantine, according to Katthagen 1985); 5 backed piece (Helwan, according to Hikade 2005); 6-7 bracelets of flint (6 – Tell el Fara’in/Buto, according to Schmidt 1992b), 7 – Elephantine (according to Katthagen 1985)

85

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 53. Axe (Giza, afer Kromer 1978)

86

Figures

Figure 54. Hoe (Ain el Gazzareen)

87

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 55. Pebble tool (Dahshur)

88

Figures

Figure 56. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 cores

89

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 57. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 cores

90

Figures

Figure 58. Type list. 1 - bifacial knife; 2 – rectangular sickle blade; 3 – triangular sickle blade; 4 – half-finished sickle blade; 5 – massive rectangular sickle insert; 6 – massive triangular sickle insert; 7 – massive scraper; 8 – flat scraper; 9 – end-scraper; 10 – nosed scraper; 11 – rabot; 12 – crescent shaped drill; 13 – tanged arrow head; 14 – bifacially retouched arrow head; 15 – micro-perforator; 16 – borer; 17 – notch; 18 – denticulate tool; 19 – strangled piece; 20 – scaled piece; 21 – axe; 22 – hoe; 23 retouched blade; 24 – retouched flake.

91

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 59. Ain el Gazzareen, bifacial knife

92

Figures

Figure 60. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 bifacial knifes

93

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 61. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 worn bifacial knifes

94

Figures

Figure 62. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 fragments of bifacial knifes

95

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 63. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 worn bifacial knifes

96

Figures

Figure 64. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 rectanglar sickle blades

97

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 65. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 triangular sickle blades; 4-6 half-finished sickle blades; 7-8 massive rectangular sickle blades

98

Figures

Figure 66. Ain el Gazzarn, 1-8 massive rectangular sickle blades

99

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 67. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 massive triangular sickle blades

100

Figures

Figure 68. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 masive scrapers

101

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 69. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-2 flat scrapers

102

Figures

Figure 70. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 flat scrapers

103

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 71. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-5 end-scrapers

104

Figures

Figure 72. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-3 nosed scrapers.

105

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 73. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-4 rabots

106

Figures

Figure 74. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 crescent shaped drills; 2,5 tanged arrow heads; 3,6 bifacially retouched arrow heads, 7 retouched flake.

107

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 75. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-9 micro-perforators; 10-12 noches

108

Figures

Figure 76. Ain el Gazzareen, 1-8 borers

109

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 77. Ain el Gazareen, 1-6 denticulate tools

110

Figures

Figure 78. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,3 strangled pieces; 2,4-6 scaled pieces

111

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 79. Ain el Gazzareen, 1,4 retouched blades; 2,3,5 retouched flakes

112

Figures

Figure 80. Dakhla Oasis. Location of watch-posts. 1- Seth Hill; 2 – Bee’s Lookout; 3 – Nephtys Hill; 4 – Trigpoint Hill; 5 – Meidum Hill; 6 – Darb el Tawil; 7 – E-99/38, E-99/39; 8- El Kharafish

113

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 81. Seth Hill. 1-2 cores; 3 Double patinated Middle Palaeolithic levallois core.

114

Figures

Figure 82. Seth hill. 1 sickle blade; 2 massive triangular sickle blade; 3 flat scraper, 4 massive scraper

115

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 83. Seth Hill. 1 end scraper; 2-3 tanged arrow heads; 4 retouched flake; 5 microperforator; 6 borer ; 7 denticulated tool; 8 notch; 9 scaled piece. 1,6-7 and 9 are double patinated Midlle Palaeolithic tools.

116

Figures

Figure 84. Bee’s Lookout. Core of chalcedony.

117

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 85. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 cores; 3,5 flat scrapers; 4 massive scraper; 6 mikroperforator; 7 borer. Number 4 is double patinated Middle Palaeolithic tool.

118

Figures

Figure 86. Bee’s Lookout. 1-2 borers; 3 crescent shaped drill; 5 denticulated tool; 6 scaled piece; 4,7 retouched flakes.

119

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 87. Kom el Hisn. 1 core; 2 obsidian core; 3 notch; 4 borer; 5-6 truncations

120

Figures

Figure 88. Kom el Hisn. 1,3 fragments of bifacial knife; 2 – burin; 4 flat scraper

121

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 89. Kom el Hisn. 1-9 rectangular sickle blades

122

Figures

Figure 90. Kom el Hisn. 1-3 rectangular sickle blades; 4-6 triangular sickle blades, 7-10 half- finished sickle blades

123

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 91. Kom el Hisn. 1 end scraper; 2 retouched flake; 3 retouched blade.

124

Figures

Figure 92. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-4 cores (according to Riemer 2011a)

125

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 93. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 scrapers with flat retouch; 4-7 scrapers with steep retouch (according to Riemer 2011a)

126

Figures

Figure 94. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 scrapers made on Middle Palaeolithic double patinated flakes; 3-9 borers (according to Riemer 2011a)

127

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 95. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-3 perforators; 4-5 denticulated tools; 6-7 noches (according to Riemer 2011a)

128

Figures

Figure 96. El Kharafish 02/5. 1-2 bifacially retouched arrow heads; 3 Ounan point; 4-6 fragments of knifes; 7 retouched blade; 8 truncation (according to Riemer 2011a). 4,7 and 8 seem to be rather sickle blades.

129

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 97. Beni Hasan. XII dynasty Manufacture of flint knifes: a Tomb 2; b Tomb 15, (according to Griffith 1896)

130

Figures

Figure 98. Eastern Desert. 1-2 heavy duty tools (according to Seton Karr 1905)

Figure 99. Nodular flint

Figure 100. Tabular flint

131

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 101. Dahshur. Surface concentration of pebble flint

Figure 102. Naqlun. Layer containing pebble flints

132

Figures

Figure 104. Ain el Gazzareen. Cores

Figure 103. Ain el Gazzareen. Hammerstone of quartz

Figure 105. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacial knife

133

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 106. Dakhla Oasis. Rite of bifacial knife on sandstone rock.

Figure 107. Ain el Gazzareen. Rectangular and triangular sickle blades

Figure 108. Ain el Gazzareen. Half-products of sickle blades

134

Figures

Figure 109. Ain el Gazzaren. Massive rectangular sickle inserts

Figure 110. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts

135

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 111. Ain el Gazzareen. Massive scrapers

Figure 112. Ain el Gazzareen. Flat scrapers

136

Figures

Figure 113. Ain el Gazzareen. Nosed scrapers

Figure 114. Ain el Gazzareen. Crescent shaped drill

Figure 115. Ain el Gazzareen. Tanged arrow heads

137

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 118. Ain el Gazzareen. Borers

Figure 116. Ain el Gazzareen. Bifacially retouched arrow heads

Figure 119. Ain el Gazzaren. Denticulated pieces

Figure 117. Ain el Gazzareen. Microperforators

Figure 120. Ain el Gazzareen. Scaled pieces

138

Figures

Figure 121. Ain el Gazzareen. Strangled pieces

Figure 122. Dahshur. Pebble tool

139

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Figure 123. Stone construction on the wathpost

140

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Appendix Contribution to the Functional Identification of Flint Tools used during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. A Case Study of Kom el Hisn and Ain el Gazzareen Małgorzata Winiarska-Kabacińska placing emphasis on the interpretation of bifacial knives (Lucarini 2012). D. L. Holmes (1987), on the basis of experiments and observations of the artifacts from the Predynastic Naqadian sites, proved that the degree of both use-wear and post-depositional alterations created on artifacts depends on the kind of the raw material. Microwear analysis was also carried out on selected artifacts from the Holocene site of the Tree Shelter located in the Red Sea region (Kweakason 2008), and on lithic items from Tell el-Farcha, the Predynastic to Old Kingdom settlement situated in the eastern Nile Delta (Kabaciński, WiniarskaKabacińska 2014). In addition, use-wear examination involved selected objects from the so called “house of the knife” within the pyramid complex of Raneferef dating to the Old Kingdom (Šajnerowá 2006, Šajnerowá, Svoboda 2008). The above summary shows that the scale of usewear studies with regard to the Prehistoric and the Early Dynastic flint artefacts from the area of Egypt remains limited overall.

Introduction One of the important aspects of studies concerning stone and flint assemblages obtained from excavations is an attempt to identify the function of individual tools. This is possible with the application of microscopic analysis of microwear traces created on implements in the course of their use. Microscopic observations are aimed to record any alterations of edges and surfaces of the objects, visible both under low and high magnification. Their examination permits to determine the probable function of a given tool. The research on lithic assemblages from Egypt has a long history, covering different aspects of technology, typology or raw material, however, relatively few works have been published with regard to the function of tools. Initially, functional studies involved only the Paleolithic or Neolithic artefacts interpreted on the basis of ethnological analogies and partly on the intuition of individual researchers. Gradually also younger assemblages, dated to the Predynastic Period and the Old Kingdom, became the subject of functional research. In the latter case the situation seems to be slightly easier, as the analysis can be aided by iconographic sources, and the tools themselves are better preserved.

Below are presented the results of use-wear analysis carried out on selected artefacts from two sites: Kom elHisn and Ain el-Gazzareen. The former one, situated in the western part of the Nile Delta, in the location bordering the desert in antiquity, counts among the most important towns dating to the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. Excavations conducted by a team of researchers led by R. Wenke i R. Redding (Wenke et al. 1988) yielded a rich collection of artefacts whose analysis allowed the reconstruction of social and economic behaviour of Kom el-Hisn inhabitants.

Use-wear studies concerning Egyptian lithics have covered various research issues. The analysis of single objects (van Peer et al. 2008), as well as the whole assemblages from several Middle and Upper Pleistocene sites located in the central and lower part of the Nile Valley and in the area of the Red Sea Mountains, carried out by V. Rots (Rots et al. 2011) involved the aspects of production, use and hafting. The examination of selected Late Pleistocene artefacts from the southern Egyptian site of Qadan allowed H. J. Jensen to verify the hypothesis about early cultivation of cereals (Jensen et al. 1991). In addition, other assemblages from this site were the subject of broader microscopic observations (Becker, Wendorf 1993). On the basis of experiments and analysis of the artefacts from the Farafra and Fayoum, G. Lucarini (2006, 2008, 2014) discussed the significance of tools used for cutting and processing cereals, and their role in the development of agriculture in the Late Neolithic and the Predynastic periods in the oases of the Western Desert in Egypt. This author also gave a detailed account concerning the function of chert tools from two Predynastic sites - Hidden Valley/El-Bahr and Sheikh/Bir El-Obeiyid - located in the Farafra Oasis,

Ain El-Gazzareen is the second (after Ain Aseel) largest and important settlement of the Old Kingdom located in the western part of the Dakhleh Oasis. Excavations carried out at this site under the direction of A. J. Mills (Mills 2002, 2012) brought many discoveries that have enriched our knowledge about the activity of Egyptians in the Dakhleh Oasis at that time. 1. Research methods The analysis of macro- and microwear traces was carried out with the use of microscopes at magnifications ranging from several to several hundred times. The examination involved the recording of all alterations in the form of damage, rounding or polish. The results were interpreted according to the standard procedure applying in the use147

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt wear analysis (Semenov 1964; Tringham et al. 1974; Odell 1981; Keeley 1980; Moss 1983; Plisson 1985; van Gijn 1990, 2010).

Use-wear analysis carried out on the representative sample of flint artefacts from the site of Kom el-Hisn has corroborated preliminary findings by the researchers of his site (Wenke et al. 1988:28). The activities related to cutting cereals and other plants were common and constituted a major part of all the tasks undertaken by the community inhabiting Kom el-Hisn. The registered traces of use point towards extraordinary intensity of utilizing the implements. Notably, a considerable number of blades found at the site lacked macroscopically visible wear traces, which suggests that they were intended for the use as inserts mounted in hafts of tools serving for cutting plants. These half-products were provided to Kom El- Hisn from workshops situated outside the site.

In many cases the surfaces of the analysed lithic objects displayed post-depositional alterations caused mostly by the exposition to specific environmental conditions, but also by later excavation and storage practices. The presence of the alterations, however, did not rule out the possibility of conducting microscopic observations. The traces of polish and rounding preserved on the surfaces and edges of the artefacts were characteristic enough to permit their proper interpretation. 2. The characteristics of the inventories and the results of use-wear analysis

The second functionally distinct group of lithic artefacts from Kom el-Hisn consisted of implements (blades and bifacial knives) used for working - smoothing, drilling and scraping - hard inorganic material (Figure 6, 7). Undoubtedly, the above activities were performed as secondary to the primary function of the tools. The analysis of plant residues (Moens, Wetterstrom 1988) indicated the abundance of plants used as feed for animals, and additionally, cereal straw, weeds, reeds and sedges. On the basis of archaeobotanical analysis and the examination of animal bones (Wenke 1988, Lehner 2010:89), Kom el-Hisn has been described as a settlement specialised in rearing cattle intended for export to ritual or political centres (Wenke 1988, Lehner 2010:89). The inhabitants of this settlement cultivated cereals and other plants not only for their own consumption but also for the needs of animals they reared. In addition, plants were utilised as materials for manufacturing everyday objects, such as baskets, mats, or containers (Wendrich 2000). Also, they served as admixture in the production of mud bricks, and when mixed with dung - as fuel for domestic fireplaces.

Kom El Hisn Archaeological excavations carried out in the 1980s at the Old Kingdom settlement of Kom el-Hisn (Wenke et al. 1988), in addition to many other artefacts, yielded flint assemblages made in large part of raw material of Egyptian origin. Debitage recovered from the site was represented mainly by blades, particularly broken ones, while in the assemblage of retouched tools dominated blades with so called “harvesting polish”. The second largely represented group of flint items included bifacial knives. The microscopic examination involved forty-five selected artefacts. Apart from a single scraper, burin, and several bifacial knives, the analysed objects included different kinds of blades - broken along one or both sides, with retouch on broken edges, without retouch, with retouch along one or both edges, with denticulate retouch. In many cases one or both side edges of the blades displayed traces of polish, sometimes covering a large part of the artefact and clearly visible macroscopically, and in other instances taking up only the edge and thus less recognizable to the naked eye.

According to the use-wear analysis bifacial knives were multifunctional implements, however, their specific functions were not possible to identify on the basis of the examined assemblage. Possibly, apart from serving the function of harvesting tools, they were also used as implements for butchering animal carcasses intended for consumption; however, no distinct traces were recorded to confirm the above hypothesis. The absence of sufficient evidence may result from a small number of analysed tools. In addition, traces created by butchering preserve poorly and may be unreadable under microscope. This applies particularly to the artefacts recovered from the sites, which were exposed to the effects of extreme environmental conditions. Additional argument explaining the lack of butchering traces may be linked with the hypothesis that Kom el-Hisn was the settlement specialised in rearing cattle intended for export to other settlement centres of the Old Kingdom for ritual killing. On the other hand, the analysis of the bones of sheep, goats and pigs clearly indicates the local consumption of these animals. Undoubtedly, the above issue requires further detailed studies.

The microscopic analysis indicated that the majority of the examined blades with the presence of use-wear alterations served as implements for cutting cereals and other plants (Figure 1-4). All the blades displaying traces of use were identified as inserts mounted parallel to the haft, except for one specimen, which was inserted oblique to it. It is also apparent that inserts were sometimes rearranged in hafts (Figure 5). In several cases the transverse (Figure 1) or lateral edge was rounded, probably in the result of polishing or other kind of activity performed in inorganic material. The analysed blades displayed traces created by hafts in which they were mounted. Bifacial knives whose fragments were analysed served various functions. One of the examined items was used for cutting plants, while two others, with strongly rounded and abraded edges undoubtedly had contact with hard inorganic material. The only inspected specimen of burin did not display any wear traces. 148

Appendix Contribution to the Functional Identification of Flint Tools The results of use-wear studies confirm that the inhabitants of Kom el-Hisn were involved mostly with activities related to cutting plants, including cereals, and their further processing. Microscopic observations carried out on a smaller sample from another site located in the Nile Delta - Tell el-Farcha, dating to the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods have permitted the formulation of similar conclusions. Blades were imported to this settlement in the form of half-products, which were then worked at the site into inserts, mounted in hafts and used as implements for cutting plants, including cereals. The analysis of traces of use revealed the high proportion of non-cereal plants processed with the above tools (Winiarska-Kabacińska, Kabaciński 2014). The results of palaeobotanical analysis of the material from Tell el-Farcha (Kubiak-Martens 2012) correspond with the use-wear observations, pointing towards the diversity of utilized plants (including reeds). They were commonly used by the inhabitants of Tell elFarcha, serving as materials for manufacturing everyday items of different kinds or as an element of a diet. The functional analysis of lithic artefacts from this site did not indicate any tools with edges altered in the result of smoothing or drilling inorganic material. On the other hand, flint inventory was largely represented by perforators and drills (Kabaciński 2012, Kabaciński, Szejnoga 2007), which were used probably for manufacturing various items from inorganic material.

the tool. It can be assumed that the shape of the edge was linked with some kind of a specialized activity. Bifacial knives (Figure 10:8-9; 11:2, 4-5) were used mainly for cutting plants and other unspecified materials. However, some of them displayed characteristic alterations indicating their use for scraping (Figure 11:3), and others - for scraping and cutting (Figure 11:1) hard materials. Another piece was used for unspecified activities (Figure12:12). Massive rectangular sickle inserts served as elements of implements used for cutting plants (Figure12:5-11; 13:1-10). In the case of these items traces of polish were visible on the edge itself, and also beyond it, extending to the surface of the tool. This should be related to different ways of mounting in hafts, and with a specific activity the tool was used for. The distribution of wear traces and their character indicate that the inserts were mounted oblique or parallel to the axis of the haft, most probably several in one haft (forming a composite tool). Another group of implements used for cutting plants, including cereals (Figure13:11-17; 14:1-4) comprised massive triangular sickle inserts. These items were used as unhafted knives or as inserts mounted in a haft. Numerously represented lamellar sickle inserts displayed clearly visible traces of use (Figure14:5-12). Characteristic polish and its location on the working edges indicate evidently that these implements were mounted in sickles (hafts) used for cutting cereals and other plants.

Ain el-Gazzareen A rich collection of flint artefacts obtained from excavations led by Anthony Mills at Ain el-Gazzareen, comprised cores and debitage, as well as retouched tools. Use-wear analysis involved selected retouched implements (612 items) representing almost all types as distinguished by M. Kobusiewicz. The implements were manufactured locally, at the site, however, some of them were made of imported half-products (Kobusiewicz 2006).

The presence of very intensive traces on both side edges of some of the inserts is the evidence for their rearranging in a haft (Figure14:5-7). In all items of this group traces of polish run parallel to the working edge, revealing the angle at which the inserts were mounted in a haft. This points towards a purposeful selection of inserts of a specific shape suitable for mounting parallel to the haft. Also unfinished lamellar sickle inserts were used for cutting plants (Figure14:13-14).

Not all artefacts in the analysed sample displayed clear traces of use. In the majority of cases the alterations allowed the identification of activity performed by a given tool, however, the worked material was not recognised. Some of the artefacts did not have any characteristic traces indicating their use.

The bifacially retouched projectile point was used for drilling in soft material (Figure15:1), while groovers, with very intensive traces of abrasion on tips - for drilling in hard materials (Figure15:2-4). Double backed perforators (Figure15:5-6) and simple perforators (Figure15:7) served for drilling in hard material (stone?) as well, but they are characterised by smaller size and lesser abrasion than the tools described above.

Heavy duty scrapers were used for processing hide (Figure 8:1-2) and other materials (Figure 8:3, 4, 6). They also served the function of knives (Figure 8:5), similarly as another type of tools - flat scrapers (Figure 11:7-9; 12:1,4). Still other objects of this group were used for scraping (Figure 9:1-7; 11:6; 12:2-3) unspecified materials. In all the above cases wear traces covered the retouched edges of the tool.

The macroscopically observed specimen of tanged projectile points, denticulates, notches, retouched flakes and blades, and scaled pieces (Figure 15:8-9) did not display evident wear traces.

Both nosed scrapers (Figure 9:8-11) and end-scrapers (Figure10:1-7) were used mostly for processing hide, and, to a lesser extent, other materials. The traces of use on these implements were visible only on the retouched fragment of the edge that forms arched working part of

The results of the use-wear analysis have allowed the formulation of several conclusions. In general, in the analysed assemblage most of tools were used for cutting, 149

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt including both knives and inserts being elements of composite tools, e.g. sickles. Another large group of tools (classified as scrapers and end-scrapers) served for scraping different materials and drills for making perforations. From above it can be assumed that tools of various morphology were used for different tasks. The differentiation which is reflected in the types and forms of implements used for scraping and cutting seems to have resulted from a variety of activities for which they were employed. Large scrapers were multipurpose tools used to scrape different kinds of materials, while smaller endscrapers served as tools for processing hide. This relates particularly to nosed scrapers, whose pronounced arched front suggests some specialized activity. While scrapers may have been used unhafted or as elements of composite tools, knives undoubtedly were hafted. Those of larger size served probably as implements for processing animal carcasses, and also for cutting plants. Inserts, on the other hand, were mounted in the hafts of sickles, the implements used for cutting plants, including cereals (Figure16-18).

a larger scale, exceeding the needs of the community that inhabited the settlement and perhaps also for production of beer. Plants such as tamarisk served probably as fuel, and others, such as acacia may have been used as feed for domestic animals. As showed by the analysis of animal bones, cattle and goats were the animals important in the diet of the community and processed for consumption at the site. Ain el Gazzareen was a local settlement, whose inhabitants performed various activities, including ones reflected in microwear traces of the analysed flint tools. Summary The microscopic observations have allowed to determine the function of selected flint artefacts and to identify some specific tasks in which they were employed. The examined assemblages were obtained from two archaeological sites located in completely different cultural-environmental conditions, and characterized by typologically diverse inventories. However, in the case of both sites dominated activities were related to agriculture. The analysis of the assemblage obtained from Kom el-Hisn suggests that the inhabitants of this settlement placed more emphasis on the cultivation and processing of plants for the needs of cattle rearing, while the artefacts from Ain el-Gazzareen point towards the dominant role of activities associated with the production of food not only for the local needs, but possibly also for the needs of other settlements or caravans crossing the Dakhleh Oasis. Probably the tasks related to processing plants, including cereals, were performed at the two examined sites with slightly different tools. It seems that sickles were the most common implements used by the inhabitants of the two settlements. However, the analysis of inserts revealed differences regarding the size and shape of sickles used at Kom el-Hisn and Ain elGazzareen. In the case of the latter, the presence of various kinds of inserts with plant polish and intensive abrasion on the edges suggests the use of different tools in the processing of plants, including cereals. Other implements with identified wear traces were used by the inhabitants of the two settlements to perform everyday tasks.

In many cases the distribution of traces of polish on tools used for cutting cereals and other plants, perfectly visible also to the naked eye, indicates different ways of mounting the tools in hafts. Undoubtedly, some of the smaller inserts were mounted oblique to the axis of the haft - e.g. in sickles with a straight or bent wooden “handle”. Slightly larger items, with traces of use parallel to the working edge, were probably mounted singly or several in a haft. Large blades, also displaying traces parallel to the working edge, may have been mounted straight in bent sickles. The sickle’s hafts were made of wood, bones, as well as of animal mandibles (Murray 2000:521). Possibly, some of the artefacts with irregularly distributed traces and with damage on their working edges were mounted or nailed into wooden frames of a threshing sledge served for threshing grain, i.e. for separating cereals from their straw. It was originally equipped with flint teeth, and in later times with metal blades. In the Middle East threshing sledge was known already in the Neolithic Period, and used in that region until recently. Probably the tool was also used in ancient Egypt, however, it was mentioned only in records from younger periods (Murray 2000:524).

References Becker M., Wendorf F. 1993. A microwear study of a Late Pleistocene Qadan assemblage from southern Egypt, Journal of Field Archaeology 20(4): 389-398. Holmes D.L. 1987. Problems encountered in a high-power microwear study of some Egyptian predynastic lithic artefacts. In: G. De G. Sieveking, M. H. Newcomer (eds.) The human uses of flint and chert. Proceedings of the fourth international flint symposium held at Brighton Polytechnic 10-15 April 1983: 91-96. Cambridge University Press. Juel Jensen H., Schild R., Wendorf F., Close A.E. 1991. Understanding the Late Palaeolithic tools with lustrous edges from the Lower Nile Valley. Antiquity, 65: 122128. Kabaciński J. 2012. Selected aspects of lithic production. In: M. Chłodnicki, K. Ciałowicz, A. Mączyńska (eds.)

Drills from the analysed assemblage were used for drilling holes in various kinds of hard raw material (Figure 19), in the manufacturing of ornaments or everyday objects. Functional analysis of flint items has shown that the inhabitants of Ain el Gazzareen were intensively involved in many activities related to everyday life. The predominating tasks were associated with agriculture or food processing and acquiring plants for fuel or building purposes. Other important activity related to manufacturing items for everyday use. Archaeobotanical analysis revealed the presence of chaff and grains, particularly barley and, to a lesser extent, emmer wheat (Petmann et al. 2012). Barley grains were used for making bread, which was produced on 150

Appendix Contribution to the Functional Identification of Flint Tools Tell el-Farkha I. Excavations 1998-2011 : 323-344. Poznań. Kabaciński J., Szejnoga P. 2007. Early Dynastic Perforator Production Workshops. In M. Chłodnicki, K. M. Ciałowicz (eds.) Polish Excavations at Tell El Farkha (Ghazala) in the Nile Delta. Preliminary Report 20042005, Archeologia 57 (2006):.84-90. Kabaciński J., Winiarska-Kabacińska M. 2014. Between typology and function. Remarks on utilization of flint tools from Predynastic and Early Dynastic site of Tell el Farkha (Eastern Nile Delta). In M.Jucha (ed.) Studies in honour of Krzysztof Ciałowicz . In print. Keeley L.H. 1980. Experimental Determination of Stone Tool Uses: A Microwear Analysis. Chicago, London, University of Chicago Press. Kobusiewicz M. 2006. Stone knapping tradition in Old Kingdom Dakhleh. In K. Kroeper, M. Chłodnicki and M. Kobusiewicz (eds.) Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa, Studies in African Archaeology 9: 448-461. Kubiak-Martens L. 2012. Plant remains. In M. Chłodnicki, K. Ciałowicz and A. Mączyńska (eds). Tell el Farkha I. Excavations 1998-2011: 431-436. Poznań. Kweakason A. P. 2008. Microwear analysis of some artefacts from archaeological horizon 5. In P. M. Vermeersch (ed.) A Holocene Prehistoric Sequence in the Egyptian Red Sea Area: The Tree Shelter :63-72. Leuven, Leuven University Press. Lehner M. 2010. Villages and the Old Kingdom. In W. Wendrich (ed.) Egyptian Archaeology: 85-101. WileyBlackwell. Lucarini G. 2006. The use and exploitation of sorghum and wild plants in the Hidden Valley village (Farafra Oasis Egypt). In K. Kroeper, M. Kobusiewicz, M. Chłodnicki (eds.), Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa. In memory of Lech Krzyżaniak. Studies in African Archaeology 9 : 463-578. Poznań Archaeological Museum. 2008 Harvesting techniques in late Neolithic and Predynastic Egypt – contributions from experimental archaeology and ethnography. In B. MidantReynes and Y.Tristant (eds.) Egypt at its origins 2. Proceedings of the International Conference “Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt”, Toulouse (France), 5th-8th September 2005, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 172 : 443-462. 2012 Early Craftsmen of the Desert. Traces of Predynastic Lithic Technology at Farafra during the Mid-Holocene. In R.S.Bagnall, P.Davoli and C.A.Hope (eds.) The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sisxth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project : 87-98. Oxford, Oxbow Books. 2014 From Lake to Sand. The Archaeology of Farafra Oasis, Western Desert Egypt. In B. E. Barich, G. Lucarini, M. A. Hamdan, F. A. Hassan (eds.) Exploitation and Management of Wild Grasses at Hidden Valley, Farafra Oasis: 345-367 Firenze: All’Insegna Gilio.

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Mills A.J. 2002 Another Old Kingdom Site in the Dakhleh Oasis. In R. Friedman (ed.) Egypt and Nubia: 74-78. The British Museum Press. 2012 An Old Kingdom Trading Post at ‘Ain elGazzareen, Dakhleh Oasis. In R. S .Bagnall, P. Davoli and C.A.Hope (eds.) The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sisxth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project: 177-180. Oxford, Oxbow Books. Moens M-F., Wetterstrom, W. 1988 The agricultural economy of an Old Kingdom town in Egypt’s West Delta: insights from the plant remains. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 47(3): 159-173 Moss E. H. 1983. The functional analysis of flint implements. Pincevent and Pont d’Ambon: two case studies from the French Final Palaeolithic. British Archaeological Reports. International Series 177. Murray M.A. 2000. Cereal production and processing. In P. T. Nicholson and I.Shaw (eds.) Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology : 505-537. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Odell G. H. 1981. The mechanics of use-breakage of stone tools: some testable hypotheses. Journal of Field Archaeology, 8: 197-209. Petman A. J., Thanheiser U. and Churcher Ch. S. 2012. Provisions for the Journey Food Production in the ‘bakery’ area of ‘Ain el-Gazzareen, Dakhleh Oasis. In: R. S. Bagnall, P. Davoli and C.A. Hope (eds.) The Oasis Papers 6. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project: 209-229. Oxford, Oxbow Books Oxford. Plisson H. 1985. Études fonctionnelles des outillages préhistoriques par l’analyse des micro-usures. Recherche méthodologique et archéologique. Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Paris I. Rots V., Van Peer P. and Vermeersch P. M. 2011. Aspects of tool production, use, and hafting in Paleolithic assemblages from Northeast Africa, Journal of Human Evolution, 60: 637-664. Šajnerowá A. 2006. Micro-wear analysis of chert industry from Raneferef’s pyramid complex. In M. Verner (ed.), Abusir IX. The Pyramid complex of Raneferef. The Archaeology:510-512. Praha, Serifa. Šajnerowá A. and Svoboda J. 2008. Sacrificial stone knives from Abusir. In L. Longo and N. Skakun (eds.) ‘Prehistoric Technology’40 years later: Functional Studies and the Russian Legacy, British Archaeological Reports. International Series 1783: 327-331. Semenov S. A. 1964. Prehistoric Technology: An Experimental Study of the Oldest Tools and Artefacts from Traces of Manufacture and Wear. London, Cory, Adams and MacKay. Tringham R., Cooper, G., Odell, B. Voytek, A. and Whitman 1974. Experimentation in the formation of edge damage: a new approach to lithic analysis. Journal of Field Archaeology 1:171-196. Van Gijn A. L. 1990. The Wear and Tear of Flint: Principles of Functional Analysis Applied to Dutch Neolithic Assemblages, Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 22. University of Leiden, Leiden.

The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt 2010 Flint in focus. Lithic Biographies in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Leiden Van Peer P., Rots V., and Vermeersch P. M. 2008. A wasted effort at the quarry: wear analysis and interpretation of an MSA lanceolate point from Taramsa – 8, Egypt, Paleoanthropology : 234-250 Wendrich W. Z. 2000. Basketry. In P. T. Nicholson and I. Shaw (eds.) Ancient Egyptian Materials

and Technolog:255-267. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Wenke, R. J., Buck, P. E., Hamroush H. A., Kobusiewicz M., Kroeper K. and Redding R. W. 1988. Kom el-Hisn: Excavation of an Old Kingdom Settlement in the Egyptian Delta, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, vol. 25:5-34.

Appendix: Figure 1. Kom el-Hisn. Blade for smoothing non-organic material (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) and for plant cutting (b – microscopic photo, magnification 100x)

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Appendix: Figure 2. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with edge polish (a – microscopic photo, magnification 12x) used for cereal cutting (b, c – microscopic photos, magnification 100x)

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Appendix: Figure 3. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b - microscopic photo, magnification 100x)

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Appendix: Figure 4. Kom El-Hisn. Blade used for plant cutting (a - microscopic photo, magnification 12x, b - microscopic photo, magnification 100x)

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 5. Kom el-Hisn. Blade used for cereal cutting (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 100x)

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Appendix: Figure 6. Kom el-Hisn. Blade with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x).

Appendix: Figure 7. Kom el-Hisn. Bifacial knife with modified edges caused by hard material processing (microscopic photo, magnification 12x)

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Appendix: Figure 8. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 6 heavy duty scrapers

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Appendix: Figure 9. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 heavy duty scrapers; 8 - 11 nosed scrapers

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 10. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 7 end scrapers; 8 - 9 bifacial knifes

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Appendix: Figure 11. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 5 bifacial knifes; 6 - 9 flat scrapers

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 12. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 flat scrapers; 5 - 11 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 12 bifacial knife

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Appendix: Figure 13. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 10 massive rectangular sickle inserts; 11 - 17 massive triangular sickle inserts

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 14. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 - 4 massive triangular sickle inserts; 5 - 12 lamellar sickle inserts; 13 - 14 half-products of lamellar sickle inserts

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Appendix: Figure 15. Ain El-Gazzareen: 1 bifacially retouched projectile point; 2 - 4 groovers; 5 - 6 double backed perforators; 7 perforator; 8 - 9 scaled pieces

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 16. Ain el-Gazareen. Massive triangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x)

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Appendix: Figure 17. Ain el- Gazareen. Massive rectangular sickle inserts with traces of use-polish (a, b – microscopic photos, magnification 12x, c- microscopic photo of plant processing photo, magnification, pow. 200x)

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The Production, Use and Importance of Flint Tools in the Archaic Period and the Old Kingdom of Egypt

Appendix: Figure 18. Ain el-Gazareen, Lamellar sickle insert (microscopic photo, magnification 200x)

Appendix: Figure 19. Ain El-Gazzareen. Groovers and perforator with traces of boring hard material

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