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Obviously, a cheese platter

Actually, no. I have no idea what this is. It’s called the Schist Disk or the Disc of Sabu.

It was found in in 1936 by Egyptologist Brian Walter Emery in the tomb of Prince Sabu, son of Adjuib Pharaoh, governor of the First Dynasty. That was, like, 5,000 years ago. It’s made of schist, a metamorphic rock that’s shaped over time in linear layers (it can be split along those lines, hence the name).

Schist is described as hard but brittle, so probably not a wheel. This thing is about two feet wide, and nobody can work out how the hell they made it. It’s not an unusual material and not absolutely unique in shape, but it would have been extremely difficult to work with this precision with the tools they had.

To give you an idea of the era we’re talking, there were also flint knives in the tomb.

I think it was made in some kind of grinding or sanding action, but it’s awfully precise. I wondered if it made a sound when spun around. This guy thinks it was an incense burner. This is the original link, gived my by Uncle B.

And yes, Lavendergirl takes it with Tom Sizemore. See you back here Friday! Or before. You can come before, you just can’t pick anyone in the Dead Pool.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 7, 2023, 9:06 pm

Fascinating…. the schist disc led me down a rabbit hole, and I stumbled across this video – ‘how did the Egyptians drill perfectly round holes through solid granite?’

While not directly on point with the schist disc, it is a good reminder that things we believe must have been impossible for the ancients were absolutely doable using the technologies available to them.

We are no smarter than the ancients; we simply have better tools. I first learned this from American author James Thurber in a piece titled (?) in which he asked, essentially “why are we always so amazed that someone 5,000 years ago could draw a duck that looks like a duck?”

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 7, 2023, 9:53 pm

Now I’m confused after reading the article.

It continues to confound craftsmen after two centuries?
It’s over 5000 years old.
It was discovered in 1936.

2 centuries of time to think about it? Or just because we happened to stumble over the line on January 31 1999 after finding it in 1936?
Not the same Mr Writerperson.

So many questions!

Why would they make such a thing?
Uh, why do people collect Jackson Pollock art?
Why does he paint it?

Why is there only one?
Why didn’t Da Vinci paint more than one Mona Lisa?
Been there, done that.

It can’t be a wheel because they didn’t have wheels, how did they even think of it!
Because no one ever noticed the sun was this round thingie in the sky that looks sort of like, you know, a wheel and that clever craftsman, there was probably ONLY ONE, liked the angled thingies. Maybe it was to hold the bread like thing they used to make their tidy little sandwich like things.
Only one!
Hardly likely there was a factory in Saqqara cranking these things out and selling them to passersby.

They didn’t have the technology!
To build the pyramids either, right?

Now let’s talk about the Antikythera mechanism and declare they couldn’t have made that either.

The list goes on and on of things that they can’t have done, And puzzling out why they did them.

Imagine them finding a hula-hoop.
Think they’d ever guess what it was used for?
Or a Frisbee?

This thing though, obviously it’s a charcuterie tray for special occasions in the after life. You don’t want to serve Amun-Ra finger foods off of mundane wooden platters when he stops by for a visit now do you?

Comment from Mitch
Time: March 7, 2023, 11:42 pm

Oh, yeah. DEEP rabbit hole in the ancient Egypt stuff. There are VERY old vessels made out of granite to super high tolerances we’d struggle to match today. But at some point there was a massive loss of knowledge and things made later are much poorer quality. Stuff is a lot older than a lot of archeologists will acknowledge. Not to get all Ancient Aliens Guy on you because I know weasels aren’t into “woo-woo” but I can’t help but think there’s some kind of woo going on.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 8, 2023, 12:36 am

It’s the anchor for an ordinary Northumbrian spokeshaver’s coracle which would have been painted in contrasting stripes of telephone black and white-white. (If anybody gets that reference I will be amazed and delighted. If it’s Uncle Badger I’ll still be delighted but perhaps slightly less amazed.)

It’s either that or a space alien sex toy.

Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: March 8, 2023, 8:18 am

Reality Bytes. Disk was pieced back together because “found broke.”


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 8, 2023, 1:25 pm

So! Another airbrushed fantasy photo.
Scratches and cracks and imperfections hazed out, smoothed and lightly blurred by the hands of a master then touched up by a mater photographer.

Schistdisk Kardashian.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 8, 2023, 6:02 pm

I love a bit of woo now and again, Mitch. It’s just, you start following the woo and it eventually will take you to stupid places.

Don’t get me started on Stonehenge, ExpressoBold.

Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: March 8, 2023, 7:48 pm


Is it not so close to a roadway that a visitor can practically do a drive-by photo op?

Was it pieced back into original conformation by cranes and other heavy lifting equipment?

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 9, 2023, 1:27 am

It’s got a very 1950s design vibe. If it showed up on Antiques Roadshow as an abstract sculpture, I’d believe it.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 11, 2023, 10:41 pm

hubcaps of the gods

Comment from lauraw
Time: March 15, 2023, 10:21 pm

Looks like it should be used for feeding long fibers through and by spinning the disc, winding them around…something. In the center, there. I’d like to see what the other side of it looks like. Flat, or what?

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