Archer's Thumb Ring



Glazed faience archer's thumb ring found in tomb at Meroë (no. M149). The material of the artefact suggests it served only as a funerary good. 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). Diameter of hole is 21 mm. Marked with Garstang's Nubia Collection loan number "GN 199". Some indistinct pencil marks on the base. CONDITION NOTE 1998: Very worn, surface loss, surface dirt.