|55||THE STONE IMPLEMENTS OF KAHUN.|
dynasty pot found near it, thinks that the pot and the sickle belong to the same age, and it is also true that the serration of the flakes resembles rather some that were found at Gurob than those from Kahun of the Xllth dynasty.
The use of these sickles I have practically tried in England on various kinds of corn, with a carefully constructed model, which worked well. It works best when the heads of corn have been gathered in the hand and bent backwards, then swept just below the hand with the length of the armature by a rotary twist of the wrist to finish, a saw-like motion being thus imparted. It also cuts well, low down near the ground; but in either ease the motion must be to the person and slightly upwards. All attempts to cut downwards and away from the reaper proved complete failures, for various obvious reasons; these last were tried in consequence of the attitudes seen depicted in ancient paintings - apparently, too, the requirements of symmetry in the design was the sole cause why a large proportion of the reapers are represented working with the left hand.
90. The forms of sickles as represented in harvest scenes in tombs of the early dynasties are various ; some of the variations are obviously mere careless drawing, and some are apparently an attempt to represent sickles like those of Kahun in such a manner as would give a full view of the broadside of the sickle, at the same time exhibiting the implement in action. In reality when the corn stands before the spectator, the reaper would show his back, and the sickle be obscured ; or if seen, its horizontal position be represented by a mere line. But such natural views were never drawn, for it was necessary to show the orthodox side views of the man and his tool In early empire tombs, as at Gizeh and Sakkarah, the forms of some sickles are drawn as nearly like that of Kahun as the style of art permitted. Although sometimes the end of the handle projects some way beyond the hand, in well-executed examples a knob is clearly shewn. The ridge of teeth extended almost to the point, giving the blade a blunt termination; except in instances where a tip is present, when the termination of the row of teeth is marked by an abrupt decrease in the breadth of the blade ; the tip is rarely long.
The form of a sickle was taken for the symbol ma. This, in the early empire, was represented like the Kahun specimens (without however a very long tip), but always having a sharp "angle." In the tombs of Gizeh of the IVth dynasty the symbol sometimes shews the termination of the row of teeth by the sudden change in the width of the blade, as in the case of the teeth of an ox in the jaw. And in the tomb of Rahotep (early IVth dynasty) the wider part of the ma is painted with notch teeth in black, on the shallower edge which represents the projection of the flints. But Mr. F. L. Griffith has pointed out to me that arti in the Pyramid texts, which often have very realistic forms of hieroglyphs, is determined with a sign which is a simple rude picture of an animal's jaw, differing materially from that of ma. Therefore it is probable that the symbol ma in its earlier known form is really taken from a primitive sickle, in which the end of the row of teeth protruded clumsily.
The picture of the sickle and of ma are nearest alike in the earliest times, the great vertical compression which the symbol suffers in late times with the absence of the signs of teeth weakens its resemblance to a jaw. The determinative of arti in late examples, though like ma, is provided with decided separate teeth.
91. A stone implement not coming under any of
the above headings was found in the early town of
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