|EGYPTIAN HOLLOW BASE POINTS|
TWO HOLLOW BASE POINTS LAYING ON A GERZEAN KNIFE
Hollow Base points were being made thousands of years ago in the area known today as Egypt. They date back to the beginning of the Neolithic phase in this region when simple agricultural village settlements first appear around 5300 B.C. People living during this period were growing wheat and barley and raising domesticated animals like goats, sheep and cattle. They lived in houses made of mud-daubed reeds or wattling or houses made of mud-brick. These projectile points were produced up until just before the unification of Egypt, when King "Menes" unites Upper and Lower Egypt with a strong centralized monarchy around 3100 B.C. and a period known as the Old Kingdom begins.
by Michael Allen Hoffman Ph.D
Hollow Base projectile points are roughly willow leaf shaped with a deep area hollowed out of their bases. They are generally finely pressure flaked on both faces and display thin biconvex cross-sections. The variation in size and weight suggests that most one tipped darts that were hurled with a throwing stick or atlatl, although, a few of the smaller specimens many have been actual arrowheads.
The eight points in this picture represent typical examples. The two at the lower right with squared off "ears" were apparently rechipped because of broken "ears" or they represent a style of their own. In fact, it is believed that Hollow Base points can be divided into regional variants but little systematic work has yet been done on this problem.
This Hollow Base point is extremely well made. I have not seen a better example anywhere. It "stands out" from most Hollow Base points because of it's very long delicate "ears" and fine pressure flaking along the edges. The surface is also not nearly so weathered as most examples that have smoothed or polished surfaces. If it was placed with a burial in a tomb or grave, that would be one explanation for its lack of "desert polish". This spear point is made of a tan colored chert of good quality and measures 3 1/16 inches long. The depth of the base is 1 11/16 inches.
by Michael Allen Hoffman Ph.D.
Hollow Base projectile points are characteristic of the Egyptian Neolithic through middle Predynastic periods (ca. 5300 - 3300 B.C.). They are found throughout the Egyptian Nile Valley and even in the Western Desert, but are best known from the Fayum Lake basin just south of Cairo. Because they are so widespread, they are excellent "horizon markers" and make it possible to date different cultures over a wide area. It is believed that they can be divided into regional variants but little systematic work has yet been done on this problem.
BASE PROJECTILE POINT---EGYPT
The Hollow Base point in this picture is made of an opaque yellow- orange chert and measures 1 7/8 inches long.
BASE PROJECTILE POINT---EGYPT
Hollow Base points have deeper concave bases than any other projectile point in the world. One or more of their fragile "ears" are usually found broken off. Complete examples are fairly rare. It seems as I f they were designed to break on impact. Either that is the explanation or they were just poorly designed. Which is hard to believe since they were made and in use for approximately 2,000 years!
Hollow Base points were hafted onto the ends of spear shafts by sliding
the point into grooves cut on either side of the shaft. Hafted examples
still exist in the museum at Cairo, Egypt.
Personal communications with Dr. Mike Hoffman.