Projectile points. Flint. Late 7000 to early 6000 BC. Fayoum Basin, Egypt. African Archaeology, Peterson Collection. UMMAA 6928.

Enoch E. Peterson was the director of the University’s early 20th century excavation at the Graeco-Roman town of Karanis in the Fayoum Basin in Egypt’s western desert. Peterson also made collections from nearby prehistoric sites. Materials from Karanis comprise the core of the Kelsey Museum’s archaeological collections, while the prehistoric artifacts came to Museum of Archaeological Anthropology (then known as the Museum of Anthropology). These small projectile points are included in the collection of more than 1200 prehistoric stone tools from the Fayoum. They belong to a stylistic tradition that was widespread across the Levant, the Negev, and northeast Africa in the late seventh to early sixth millennia BC; their spread was contemporary with the dispersal of domesticated plants and animals across the region. Hunting remained important, however, and the smallest of these points (less than two centimeters high) could have been used for hunting birds or other small animals.

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In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.