Five boxes of fragments of arrows with iron points

Meroitic Period
mid-2nd–early 4th century

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe (Beg. West), Pyramid 122


L:17-59 cm; reed Length: ca. 33 cm; wooden spindle Length: ca. 5 cm; head Length: 3.5-4 cm.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, iron

Not On View


The Ancient World


Archery, spears, javelins

Fragments of arrows with iron points found in the quiver 24.963.1. The shaft is a reed with notched butt (strengthened with a thread, 0.5mm band). A narrow black strip on the side of each butt is the mark where perhaps a single feather has been glued on (decayed organic fibers, perhaps feathers in the end of cylinder quiver). The upper end of the shaft is hollow and contains a wooden spindle. The spindle is a long pointed piece of wood with pointed and sunk 3-4 cm in reed. The top end was cut off and in it was sunk the shank of the iron point to the depth of 1-1/2 cm. This thick end had a narrow ring collar (iron?) to hold the arrowhead. The head seems to have been further secured by a lump of some material (not resin or glue), which has swollen out of shape. The iron point consists of a two barbed broad leaf point with painted shank and in one case an assymetrical two barbed point. N.B. May be poisoned arrows.


From Meroe, west cemetery, tomb W. 122. 1922: excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1924: assigned to the MFA by the government of the Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition