About this object

Pottery wand or clapper used in magic in the shape of an arm with a hand at one end and a hole pierced at the other. There is a wavy design on one side of the arm. Same style as the model arms of the same period made of ivory which were probably used as clappers. Found in tomb E135 broken in two and is now mended together. Clappers or hand wands such as this one were used by dancers who clapped them together. They also had protective significance as the noise produced by clacking the wands together was believed to keep evil spirits away during critical moments such as childbirth or puberty rituals. Their protective power also accompanied the ritual renewal of the king’s vigour during the Heb Sed Festival and assisted in the rebirth of a deceased person into the afterlife.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date made
    1985 BC - 1773 BC (Dynasty 12) about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the General Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, The University of Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    10 mm x 20 mm x 145 mm
  • Note
    Described as the "arm of a clay doll" in the 1905 Annual Report.
  • Related people
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Fifty-Third Annual Report of the Committee of the Free Public Museums of the City of Liverpool for the Year Ending 31st December 1905

    Forbes, Henry Ogg

    Author: Forbes, Henry Ogg
    Publisher: Free Public Museums of the City of Liverpool
    Date: 1906

  • The Excavations at Esna 1905 - 1906

    Downes, Dorothy

    Author: Downes, Dorothy
    Publisher: Aris and Phillips Ltd
    Date: 1974
    Description: Publication of Professor John Garstang's excavations at Esna based on archives kept in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, the University of Liverpool. The book is based on a University of Liverpool Ph.D. manuscript by Dr Dorothy Downes who was a former Keeper of Archaeology at Liverpool Museum. The publication brings together Garstang's unpublished photographs, notebooks and individual tomb record cards made by his assistant, Mr Harold Jones. The book includes many objects from both Liverpool collections (World Museum and the Garstang Museum of Archaeology).


  • Liverpool Excavations at Esna 1905-1906

    Start date: 1905
    End date: 1905
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee and the Institute of Archaeology during 1905 - 1906. The cemetery is near 'Hagar Esna' about 4 km to the north west of Esna town, on the west bank of the Nile. Garstang inspected the site in 1904 and was convinced that it was important and unless excavation was undertaken as soon as possible very little would survive the systematic plundering which was flourishing at that time. The first season of work lasted from March to early May 1905 and was conducted by Garstang's assistant, Harold Jones, while Garstang was busy at the site of Hierakonpolis and at Dakke. A second season began in January 1906 and continued for 5 weeks working with 100 Egyptian workmen. again the work was mainly directed by Jones, while Garstang continued his work in Nubia, at Dakke and Koshtamneh. After leaving Esna Garstang and Jones moved on to concentrate on the excavation at Abydos. The Garstang Museum of Archaeology (Liverpool University) hold 110 glass negatives, antiquities and field notes from the excavations. BIBLIOGRAPHY: John Garstang, 'Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna and in Nubia'. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 8 (1907) pp. 132-148. Dorothy Downes, The excavations at Esna, 1905-1906. (Warminster, 1974).

  • An Exhibition of Egyptian Antiquities Recently Discovered in Egypt and Nubia by Mr John Garstang and Mr E. Harold Jones

    Start date: 1906-07-10
    End date: 1906-07-10
    Description: A 17 day exhibition of antiquities excavated between 1905-6 from sites including, Abydos, Esna, Hierakonpolis and Kostamneh. The event was held in what is now the World Cultures Gallery at World Museum. A 4 page exhibition catalogue was published by the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology. The exhibition was inaugrated July 10th, 1906, by the Right Hon. The Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.B., LL.D. and included antiquities belonging to the committee members of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology: Ralph Brocklebank, Esq., The Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. Brunner, Bart., M.P., F. C. Danson, Esq., J.P., Wm. Johnston Esq., Rev. W. MacGregor, M.A., John Rankin Esq., The Lady Amherst of Hackney, Theodore M. Davies Esq., Dr H. O. Forbes and Jesse Haworth Esq. The full title is taken from the exhibition catalogue:'An Exhibition of Egyptian Antiquities Recently Discovered in Egypt and Nubia by Mr John Garstang and Mr E. Harold Jones, Under the Patronage of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the University Institute of Archaeology'.


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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