Barbed arrowhead

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Predynastic case
Object Type
Implements and utensils, Warfare, hunting and fishing equipment, Arrow, Arrowhead
Predynastic Period
Stone/minerals (Flint)
Length: 43mm | Width: 23mm | Depth: 5mm
Number of Elements

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This type of arrowhead is sometimes called a Fayum Point, or a concave based arrowhead or a hollow based arrowhead. Most of the examples in the Egypt Centre have one of the wings broken off. The type is bifacially made and the 'wings' or barbs, resulting from the depth of the hollow base, vary in length. Similarly, the size of the projectile varies greatly so that some have been assumed to be spear heads. Most have curved lateral edges though some are straight giving a more triangular appearance to the outline. Several are serrated (Caton-Thompson and Gardner 1934, 28; Holmes 1989, 416). They are not confined to Egypt, and probably also had symbolic importance, perhaps as a status marker.


Brunton, G. 1928. Qau and Badari II, London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt. Brunton, G. Mostagedda and the Tasian Culture. London. Brunton, G. and Caton-Thompson, G. 1928. The Badarian Civilization and Predynastic Remains near Badari. London. Caton-Thompson, G. and Gardner, E.W. 1934. The Desert Fayum. London: The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Gilbert, G.P. (2004), Weapons, Warriors and Warfare in Early Egypt. BAR International Series 1208. Oxford. pp50-51.