A bifacial Dynastic knife from Fayum

early dynastic knife aggsbach katzman

With the introduction of farming and herding in Egypt, and successful development of a Neolithic economy in the lower Nile Valley, the economic foundation of the Pharaonic state was laid. Several communities in Upper and Lower Egypt became more dependent on farming in the 4th millennium BC but only in the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt did social and economic complexity follow the successful adaptation of a Neolithic lifestyle. By the mid-4th millennium BC Naqada culture began to spread northward through various mechanisms that are incompletely understood, and by the late 4th millennium it had replaced the Buto-Ma’adi culture in northern Egypt.

The marginal desert plains of the Fayum Depression have been well known for the surface scatter of beautifully-made flint tools. Such tools had been collected and sold at antiquities markets by local people since the 19th century French and British antiquarians and early archaeologists had been started to collect flint tools on the north side of Lake Qarun in a rather scholarly manner. De Morgan, Reygasse and Seymour de Ricci are amongst French antiquarians who were active in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, and many of their collections are presently housed in the leading museums of the western world (British Museum, National Antiquities Museum of Saint- Germain en Laye, Pitt-Rivers Museum and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York).

The dynastic knife (similar to specimens from Naqada, 4th Dynasty) , that is shown here is from a very early collection from the Fayum area and anticipates a modern knife design, that remains still actual.

Stone tools from Egypt:


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About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome! About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University. Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.
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2 Responses to A bifacial Dynastic knife from Fayum

  1. Ursula says:

    There are some stone tools more in a new set

    Thanks for your very interesting blog


  2. Katzman says:

    Seeing these artefacts in their own context on the surface of a deserted landscape has its special charme…

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