Archer's Thumb Ring



Tapering reddish-pink and white limestone archer's thumb ring found in tomb at Meroë. 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 20 mm. Marked with Garstang's Nubia Collection loan number "GN 124". Inside marked in pencil "Garstang Coll Mer 124". Some indistinct pencil numbers on the side. CONDITION NOTE 1998: Chipped, slightly cracked, worn, surface dirt, discolouration, adhesive residue.