Object of the Month

Flint knife, EGYPT


Flint and chert were used to make tools from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Dynastic period in Egypt. This flat finely ripple carved stone knife is from the Early Dynastic time period (3100-2686 BC). Lt. Col. Pitt-Rivers acquired the knife from Andrew MacCallum, an artist, who obtained it from Kom Ombo on the River Nile in 1874. Pitt-Rivers believed it had probably been a flint knife used by the Egyptians in embalming the dead, but we now know this is incorrect. This type of knife appears to have been ‘purely ceremonial’ and may have had a wooden handle.

Founding collection; 1884.140.82

Find this object in a new display of Archaeology in the Upper Gallery as part of the VERVE: Need / Make / Use project.