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Manchester Egyptian sling - measured! (Read 9296 times)
David Morningstar
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Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Mar 15th, 2012 at 10:29am
 
The other day I knocked out this, my first King Tut:

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I took it to the museum to compare it to the original from Lahun (a.k.a Kahun) which is 4000 years old. I texted my friend Mike who works at the museum and we ended up in the pub after work with the curator of Egyptology, he was very interested in my reproduction. We arranged another meeting  for today.

Today I met up with the curator, my mate Mike and a lady who was actually there to see a different woven piece, but back in the 1980's she and her weaving guild had tried and failed to make a replica of the sling, they couldnt get the curve into the pouch.

Mike opened the display case and we took measurements: the pouch is 2 inches wide, 6 inches long and the sling is 26" from the centre of the pouch to the retention loop. The loop is about 1 inch external diameter, a snug fit for an adult finger. We couldnt really handle it because of its extreme age, but with blue nitrile gloves I have touched it! Envy me, mortals! Muahahaha!!!!!

*Ahem*

Anyway, I took more pics and talked slinging with the curator, then we went outside and I showed off some slinging styles. This got some very funny looks from the passing public. It was eventually clear enough for one gentle shot against a loading bay door with a tennis ball.

I donated my King Tut to the curator in appreciation for his help, and he has added it to the collection list and will use it for hands-on education with the public.


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Mike the museum guy (He builds all their display cases and moves the exhibits around, he's a history nut so its his dream job), hiding behind Mike is Regina of the Lancashire weavers guild. Cameron the Egyptology curator is holding my sling, Lauren the redhead also works at the museum, plus a couple of museum visitors.

I discussed how the 'slingstones' are far too small to be used with a sling (they are clay and very light) so they are probably gaming pieces along with others that were found in that dig. I took along a proper slingstone to show them what their piece was capable of throwing.


Gold star award wining post

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« Last Edit: Mar 16th, 2012 at 9:58am by Curious Aardvark »  
 
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timpa
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #1 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 11:16am
 
Awesome!
I read just this book: Letters to the Pharaohs of Egypt. It is ordinary people's letters from 3500 years ago.
In one letter reads: "May God protect you arrows, spears and stones."
This was evidently intended sling stones.
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Morphy
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #2 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:51pm
 
That's great... I do envy you. So one question... did the pouch have the same cupped feature that the king tut sling has? Or was it woven flat?
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David Morningstar
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #3 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:52pm
 

From the museums official photo records, here is a hi-res picture of the original:

https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=8947DC47E1BCD800&id=8947DC47E1BCD800%21313

You can view and download the 3.7 meg image there.

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David Morningstar
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #4 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:54pm
 
Morphy wrote on Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:51pm:
That's great... I do envy you. So one question... did the pouch have the same cupped feature that the king tut sling has? Or was it woven flat?


It is cupped, made identically to the King Tut. The weaving is done with incredibly fine linen thread, there must be a hundred passes at least across the centre. The warp and retention cords are thicker twisted cords of many plies of this same thin thread.
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Morphy
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #5 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 2:01pm
 
I know the Egyptians were famed for their linen textiles. So I wonder if this very finely woven pouch was a product of their pride in workmanship or because it served an actual purpose. I tend to think it could be both. In my experience the more finely woven the pouch the more homogenous it is and the more it bends and flexes as one single piece as opposed to my other crude attempts at weaving courser pouches. The cupped pouch would also seem a superior design since it tends to hold stones more secure in my experience.

It's amazing to see workmanship from so long ago and get a sense of what the person was thinking when they were making it. That is assuming any of this is correct.
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #6 - Mar 15th, 2012 at 2:03pm
 
Jealous and happy for you. What a privilige.

You're going to have people here carfully studying the images you provided.
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #7 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 2:12am
 
2 words:GOOD JOB! Cheesy
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #8 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 9:55am
 
definitely deserves a gold star :0)

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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #9 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 11:23am
 
Excellent story ! Awesome !!!
Is it Manchester UK or another Manchester in the US ?
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Timothy Potter
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #10 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 12:44pm
 
That was a great opportunity, David, thanks for sharing it. It's always helpful to know more of the details of old slings when trying to figure how they were made. The photos of the pouch are great, too. Did you happen to notice if the strings for the cords were woven through the pouch like in my tutorial, or if they were attached in a different way?

Also, from looking at the photo of the pouch, It looks like you can count about 80 wefts, which means there would be about 160 passes of the weft at that part of the pouch.

-Timothy Potter
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David Morningstar
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #11 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 12:53pm
 

Manchester UK.

Its tricky to see whats going on at the ends of the pouch because of the binding, the hi-rez photo is your best bet. I might be imagining things but is there a splice in the retention cord?
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Timothy Potter
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #12 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 1:15pm
 
It looks like there is some type of splice in both cords. For most of the length of the cords the two plies are slightly different colors. Right by the pouch I can only see one color, and it seems like the darker color is somehow spliced in a few inches from the pouch, but it's hard to make out exactly what is going on. I wonder if the some of the wefts form one ply and the warps from the other, and then one or the other of them is replaced with the slightly darker material. I suppose it's also possible that the sling was broken and repaired, but the pouch looks so good for its age that I don't think the sling saw much use, and I don't know why only one ply would fail on both cords at about the same place.

-Timothy Potter
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« Last Edit: Mar 16th, 2012 at 3:52pm by Timothy Potter »  

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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #13 - Mar 16th, 2012 at 11:11pm
 
It looks to me like the whipping on the retention cord, up by the pouch is spliced into the main cord.  There also seems to be a knot a couple of inches down the cord, either to tie off the whipping strand or to shorten the cord a little.  I have a few slings that I mis-measured, or wanted to re-size, that have a knot in a very similar location.

Changing tack slightly, how likely do you think it is that the king himself was at all skilled with that sling?  I have trouble imagining slinging as a hobby of the uber-wealthy.
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Re: Manchester Egyptian sling - measured!
Reply #14 - Mar 17th, 2012 at 3:34pm
 
I don't know, blood sports like hunting have been a part of the upper classes of the cultures I know about. The ancient Roman citizenry had a sport that was basically amateur bullfighting against a wild boar... using only a knife. Shocked
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
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