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W962 Throwstick from Amarna


This item is made from faience and measures 4.4 x 4 x 1.8cm. On the left side one can see the cartouche of Akhenaten, on the right part of a faience wedjet eye. The reverse also has part of a cartouche.  

It is a model throwstick or boomerang.

It is assumed that this is the item referenced in Pendlebury (1951, 91) as object 31/556 from the Main City: ‘Two fragments of faience throwing-stick, one with part of the king’s name (Wellcome)’. The number 31/556 was associated with the artefact by a the Egypt Centre’s first curator, Kate Bosse-Griffiths prior to 1997. No illustration is given in the Pendelbury volume but this item is said to have gone to Wellcome, the source of most of the Swansea material. However, there is no excavation number on the artefact. So we cannot be sure this is W962 and 31/556. 

A remarkably similar (though not identical) item is referenced and illustrated in Stevens (2006, 119, fig. II.3.30) as 24/625, again from the Main City. This too has the cartouche of Akhenaten on the left and the wedjet eye on the right, divided by two parallel lines.  

Stevens (2006, 118-120) discusses other model throwsticks found at Amarna and their symbolism. She has identified over 20 fragments of model throwsticks from Amarna. Wood and faience throwsticks are often found in New Kingdom royal tombs and seem to have been used as regenerative items. However, those from private tombs are not usually of faience. Faience examples have however been found as votive deposits and within temples. They are rarely found in domestic contexts. For more information on throwsticks click here.

Further Reading

Pendlebury J.D.S. 1951. The City of Akhenaten Part III, Text. Egypt Exploration Society: London. 

Stevens, A. 2006. Private Religion at Amarna. The Material Evidence. Archaeopress: Oxford.

Other Amarna items