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The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach (Read 592 times)
Teg
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The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Jan 10th, 2018 at 2:20pm
 
Many of you know that I have been working on the egyptian slings for several years now, with a special focus on the sling in Manchester Museum (Acc. No. 103). In 2015 I had the unique opportunity to investigate one of the Lahun slings in Manchester Museum (a huge thank you to David Colter and Campbell Price at this point!). The last years I invested some time into analyzing the pictures as well as experimenting with different reconstruction methods. The reconstructions are documented in the links below.

Now I put together a progress report about the current findings from the analysis. A low resolution version is attached to this post, a version with full resolution images can be downloaded from here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7xjyalnu8lwkye2/Report_Manchester_published_20180110_f... (~180 MB) and a full collection of all ~120 photographs is available upon request from me (Mail or PM).

The project itself has reached a point where it is near its final target: a full publication in a journal. A couple details remain however. First, I forgot to take some measurements and pictures of some details. Second, Id like to take another closer look at the pouch in person, especially at the twist direction of the threads. Also, I was unable to perform a reliable thread count from the pictures as their contrast is sometimes a bit questionable. There is still considerable room for interpretation which fabrication method was used (and most probably will always be).

So another personal visit to Manchester is most probably required. However, before I invest the time and money, Id like to discuss the current findings with other people, which is the reason why I released this progress report.

Im looking for any kind of input: Details in the photos that I may have missed or corrections of my observations, another idea for a reconstruction approach, methodology, general feedback and ideas,

What also remains to be done is a thorough literature and archive research for the exact circumstances under which this sling was found (i.e. its accurate historic context). I found the sling being mentioned in the original digging report, however no further details are given. A possible avenue would also be the look for other found items made with similar thread, from which one could infer something.

So here you go! Im looking forward to your feedback here or by Email/PM. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Teg / Thomas Gartmann

Links to past discussions:
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1505851909/0
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1360291032/0
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1305757185/0
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1331821760/0
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1094667990
Edited:

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1140984986/0


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« Last Edit: Feb 10th, 2018 at 12:32pm by Teg »  
 
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kicktheotter
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #1 - Jan 11th, 2018 at 4:09am
 
Amazing work. I really need to get back to attempting a woven pouch again. My first attempts were... questionable so I'll have to get back to practicing.
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Morphy
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #2 - Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am
 
Interesting. I read most of it. Although some of the weaving and twining portions went over my head.

I had a couple things come to mind reading this which may have little to do with the scope of this paper but maybe others are curious about as well.

So one would be do you know what quadrant of the sling pouch had the most wear and tear? Or was there any significant wear on the pouch at all? I was thinking it would be interesting to extrapolate if this was a left or right handed slinger.

Secondly, do we know the length of the other Egyptian slings? And do any of them have ammunition that can be reliably connected to them as sling ammunition? 55 cm (21 inches) is quite short. But there are other ancient works of art showing similarly short slings. It would be fascinating to find out that a sizable segment of slinging history was using slings shorter than what is typically considered ideal. And if such a trend existed it would beg the question as to why.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #3 - Jan 11th, 2018 at 12:14pm
 
shorter slings would be good for hunting, which is always going to be a close up job with a sling.

Bear in mind most of the historical slings we know are war or shepherd slings - which would need to be longer.

The balearic target slings are also pretty short, as they're rarely used for anything beyong 20 metres. Which would be about max for small animal hunting.
I've tried for the last 4 years to get them to shoot at 30 metres - they just refuse, make excuses and wimp out  Smiley
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Morphy
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #4 - Jan 11th, 2018 at 2:22pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 12:14pm:
shorter slings would be good for hunting, which is always going to be a close up job with a sling.

Bear in mind most of the historical slings we know are war or shepherd slings - which would need to be longer.

The balearic target slings are also pretty short, as they're rarely used for anything beyong 20 metres. Which would be about max for small animal hunting.
I've tried for the last 4 years to get them to shoot at 30 metres - they just refuse, make excuses and wimp out Smiley


Is this only in the competitions you have taken part in or do they never go out to 30 meters? That seems very odd to me, and really not utilizing the sling to its full capabilities.
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Teg
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #5 - Jan 12th, 2018 at 10:00am
 
Morphy wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am:
So one would be do you know what quadrant of the sling pouch had the most wear and tear? Or was there any significant wear on the pouch at all? I was thinking it would be interesting to extrapolate if this was a left or right handed slinger.


There is no damage that I could instantly assign to slinging related damage. To me, the pouch looks not very well used. But on the other hand the release cord seems to be pieced together, something I'd like to follow up on in the future. I could not have a good look at the inside as it is not possible to unfold it. From what I could see it is not damaged or abrased. The next time I'll bring a small dental mirror or similar along to have a better look.


Morphy wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am:
Secondly, do we know the length of the other Egyptian slings?

The other sling from Lahun (22nd dynasty, analysed by Burgess in 1958) is ~22 inch long, so a very similar length (both lengths measured without taking the pouch into account, so add another ~7 cm for total folded length). I'm not aware of any measurements of the tut slings.


Morphy wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am:
And do any of them have ammunition that can be reliably connected to them as sling ammunition?

Not that I know. The round balls are not mentioned in Petries report (Kahun, Gurob and Hawara, 1890), so I'm not sure in which relation they are to the sling. There are some founds of sling amunition, but not from the same place. See Wernick, Slings in the ancient middle east with reference to the egyptian material, ZS 2014 for a starting point.

Morphy wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am:
But there are other ancient works of art showing similarly short slings.
Which ones are you thinking about?


Morphy wrote on Jan 11th, 2018 at 8:51am:
It would be fascinating to find out that a sizable segment of slinging history was using slings shorter than what is typically considered ideal. And if such a trend existed it would beg the question as to why.

I would guess that hunting of waterfowl is quite a good assumption for Lahun as it was located close to the Faiyum Oasis.



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Morphy
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #6 - Jan 12th, 2018 at 10:52am
 
...

Here's the one that came to mind. I know I've seen others. So it makes me wonder about the average sling length.
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2018 at 1:20pm
 
The length of those slings is about finger tip to elbow, which makes sense if you are slinging in formation.    And the only way to mass your fires was to put your projectile guys close together.  Not just slings but archers, muskets, crossbows, matchlocks, pilla and the like.
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Re: The Kahun/el-Lahun sling: Analysis and Pointers for Reconstruction Approach
Reply #8 - Jan 12th, 2018 at 1:32pm
 
I agree. Short slings and light lead ammunition makes good sense tactically speaking. I imagine these guys were not using lead but they probably practiced quite a bit and were capable of throwing heavier stones far with short slings.

My main question is how prevalent was the short sling altogether in the slinging world. And by short I mean no longer than around 26 inches. Militarily of course it makes sense but I wonder if longer slings were the exception rather than the rule in most slinging activities.

My own preferences have changed dramatically over the years from 48 inches down to my preferred arm length sling @~ 24 inches.

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