Winnowing scoop - ROM2018_16337_3


Winnowing scoop

Medium:Wood, carved
Geography: Valley of the Kings, Western Luxor, Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
31.6 × 13 × 2.9 cm
Object number: 906.6.9
Credit Line: Gift of Theodore M. Davis
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This right-handed winnowing scoop was once part of a pair.  Farm workers used them to lift grain from the threshing floor during harvest, and to toss it in the air so that dust and chaff would be blown away by the wind and the valuable kernels would fall back to the ground. This process is often shown in Theban tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty. In those images, the winnowers wear white scarves tied around their hair to keep it clean. The process, and the tool, changed little or not at all, over the long period of Ancient Egyptian history.

This winnowing scoop seems to have known heavy use, as the edge is quite worn from striking the ground.

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