Date Made/Found: 5300-3000 BC
Material and Medium: Flint
Dimensions: Overall: 50.8 x 63.5mm x 19 mm (2 x 2 1/2in.)
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: J1921.23
This is an Ancient Egyptian prehistoric flint scraper, found between Ballas and Naqada. In prehistoric Egypt, people made a variety of tools from flint, which could be flaked to give a sharp edge. They only began regularly making metal objects from around 4000 BC. In the Palaeolithic period, the most frequently made tool was a handaxe. Later, people shaped the flint flakes into a wide variety of tools, each suited to a particular task.
The British archaeologist Sir William Flinders Petrie discovered the site of Naqada in the late 1800s. His excavations there meant that archaeologists finally recognised there had been a prehistoric period in Egypt, before the development of written history. Petrie’s further research then enabled archaeologists to begin understanding this period.
Petrie found this scraper when he excavated around 2000 graves on the edge of the Western Desert. The graves contained bodies that had not been mummified. People only began deliberately mummifying dead bodies from around 4300 BC.
Weston Park Museum