Pounding stone - ROM2018_16270_25


Pounding stone

Medium:Dolerite (diabase)
Geography: Luxor, Egypt
Date: c. 4000-3000 BC
Period: Predynastic Period
5.8 × 8 cm
Object number: 909.80.682
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt
Description The Ancient Egyptians seem to have preferred to use a stone pounder to a hammer with a handle for quarrying and dressing hard rocks such as granite.  Harrell et al. determined that the rounded form usually seen in Museums was the last stage in the use these rocks as active tools; they would have been more useful while still angular, compact and roughly rectangular. The rounded form was a product of the process of pounding, and, as the stones became more rounded, they became less useful and would have been discarded when they reached the elegant ‘museum’ shape of this artifact.  Harrell et al. also suggest, in answer to Petrie’s question of how human wrists could withstand the action of pounding with such a tool, that the stones were released just before impact on a downward throw, and caught on the rebound.
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