Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Newberry, Percy E.
Beni Hasan (Band 3) — London, 1896

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The last four plates contain portions of scenes
relating to the manufacture and use of flint
knives. Plates vii. and viii. are facsimiles from
copies made by Mr. Carter and Mr. Brown in
1895. The work of the original paintings is
poor enough, but since they are the only scenes
of Hint-working hitherto recognized as such,
they are very interesting.

Unfortunately the representations are ex-
tremely limited in scope. The processes of
Hint-working were numerous and varied: the
blocks of material freshly extracted from the
limestone matrix were first roughly trimmed;
long flakes were then taken off the cores,
adapted by chipping to the different uses for
which they were required, and set in handles,
fitted to shafts, &c. Larger instruments, how-
ever, such as knives and spear-heads, were
usually reduced from a block, and not from
flakes. The fine implements which are found
associated with peculiar remains in certain
cemeteries between Gebelen and Abydos, were
ground to a smooth surface before being sub-
jected to the delicate chipping which brought
them to their exquisite finished state.1 But it
is doubtful whether this was the prevailing

1 Spurrell, Archaeological Journal, 1896, p. 46 ; see also
Petrib, Negadeh (forthcoming).

process in the time of the Xllth Dynasty.2
However that may be, of all the processes of
manufacture the only one illustrated in the
paintings is the final shaping of flint knives,
which, doubtless, were the most important
articles made in that material, and even within
this limitation the same attitudes are repeated.
Thus, while we admit that these scenes may
well have represented the subject sufficiently to
contemporary Egyptians, to the archaeologist
they are tantalizingly vague.

The illustrations on Pis. ix., x., are chiefly
from the south wall of Tomb 2. On the
monuments, flint knives are commonly figured
in the hands of butchers, and probably we have
in the tomb of Ameny as fine examples of this
subject as can be obtained anywhere. The
details given on PI. ix., x., were copied by
Mr. Blackden in 189J, and the rest by
Mr. Carter and Mr. Brown in 1895; they
illustrate the process of sharpening the instru-
ments as well as the actual employment of
them in slaughtering cattle and in cutting up
the carcases.

2 For specimens of flint knives from the end of the
Xllth Dynasty, see Petrie, Kahun, PI. xvi., Illahun,
Pis. vii., xiii., and the chapter by Mi. Spurrell, printed in
the latter memoir, p. 51 et seqq.