About this object

Highly polished tapering diorite archer's thumb ring found in a tomb. Originally recorded as a 'staff head' but since Garstang's excavations archaeologists have identified that these stone rings were worn by archers to protect the thumb whilst stretching the bowstring. In the excavation of cemeteries such rings have been found on the thumbs of skeletons. They have also been represented on figures wearing them as thumb-guards in a temple relief carving (Temple of Apedemak at Musawwaret es-Sufra).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon
  • Culture
    Meroitic
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Sudan: Meroë
  • Date made
    100 BC - 400 AD
  • Materials
    Diorite
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Professor John Garstang, 1949
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Sudan: Meroë
  • Date collected
    1910
  • Measurements
    45 mm x 49 mm
  • Note
    Compare with: Michel Baud, ‘La métallurgie Méroïique: fer et bronze’, in Méroé un empire sur le Nil (Paris, 2010), pl. 173;
    Steffen Wenig, Africa in Antiquity. The Arts of Ancient Nubia and the Sudan volume 2 (The Brooklyn Museum, 1978), p. 275 (cat. no. 217);
    Derek Welsby, 'The Kingdom of Kush' (London, 1998), p. 42.
  • Related people

Ownership

Previous owners

  • John Burges Eustace Garstang

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1949
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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