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Egyptian Basalt Mace Head, Predynastic Period

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre AD 1000: Item # 806267
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This mint quality piece is an Egyptian black basalt mace-head that dates to the Predynastic Period, Nagada I/Nagada II, circa 4000-3500 B.C. This piece is approximately 2.75 inches high, and has a near perfect globular form. There is a bow drilled hole that runs through the center, and there is wear on the outer edges at each end of the hole. This may be due to the fact that a leather thong was attached through the central perforation, and could have produced wear to the outer edges of the hole at each end. A leather thong was preferred over a rigid shaft that was directly attached to the stone mace-head, because a rigid shaft may not have withstood the blows, as this weapon generated a tremendous amount of energy at the point of attack. This theory was elaborated by Winifred Needler in "Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in The Brooklyn Museum", Brooklyn, New York, 1984, p.145 and 259. The stone that this piece is made from, black basalt, is extremely dense and is one of the hardest stones to carve. The ancient Egyptians were able to carve some of their finest portrait busts from this stone, and in many cases it took years to do this and was a community effort for large scale works. The piece seen here was not easy to make, and is in itself is a work of art, although it is a weapon of war. There are nice cream colored calcite and light brown mineral deposits seen on the outer and inner surfaces of this piece, in addition to areas that have various degrees of wear. A nice weapon that is not often seen in black basalt. A custom stand is included and the piece can easily be removed, as it sits on top of the stand. Ex: Sotheby's Antiquities, Dec. 1995, no. 212. Ex: Private New York collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: