This is the best-preserved and most detailed example of a type of late Predynastic knife with rows of animals on both sides of the handle. There are 227 animals of 19 species covering this handle, and even the sides of its thumb rest (which is placed to be held by a right-handed person). The purpose of such knives and the significance of their decoration are not known. Most known examples seem to have belonged to men of the highest rank, but this example has the added mystery of having been found in an otherwise modest grave.
- Medium: Flint, elephant ivory
- Place Found: Tomb 32, Abu Zaidan, Egypt
- Dates: ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E.
- Period: Predynastic Period, Naqada III Period
- Dimensions: 2 3/8 x 13/16 x 9 1/8 in. (6 x 2.1 x 23.2 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 09.889.118
- Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Ritual Knife, ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E. Flint, elephant ivory, 2 3/8 x 13/16 x 9 1/8 in. (6 x 2.1 x 23.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 09.889.118. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Best (91%)