Unfinished macehead

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Predynastic case
Object Type
Implements and utensils, Warfare, hunting and fishing equipment, Mace
Predynastic Period to Middle Kingdom
Naqada II
Stone/minerals (Breccia)
Diameter (thickest): 61mm | Height: 66mm
Number of Elements

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An unfinished (no hole is present in the middle) pear shaped macehead in red breccia. Such maceheads usually date from the Naqada II Period (3500-3000 BC). However, larger examples become the archetypal weapon with which the king massacers his enemies and appear on iconography right up until the New Kingdom. They also occur occassional in court type burials of the Middle Kingdom (see Petrie Museum UC28070) including those of women (see Grajetski 'Tomb Treasures of the Late Middle Kingdom', 2014) See Needler, W. 'Predynastic and Archaic Egypt In The Brooklyn Museum' p 258-260 for information on similar items. The Naqada Period is named after the type site in Upper Egypt, just north of Thebes. See also Gilbert, G.P. 2004 'Weapons, warriors and warfare in Early Egypt' for information on maceheads.

Other Identity
W935b (previous number) | 377 (Boscawen number) | 328 (number on a small circular white label)
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 19–21 Dec 1906
Previous Owners
Robert de Rustafjaell (1859–1943) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 23 Oct 2022

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