With nearly 5000 years of continuous occupation and stratigraphy, the island of Elephantine is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt. It was also the traditional southern frontier of ancient Egypt. The German Archeological Institute has, in close cooperation with the Swiss Institute for Architectural and Archaeological Research, been excavating on Elephantine Island since 1969.
In his volume on the lithic industries, Thomas Hikade analyzes more than 10000 lithic artifacts of the 3rd millennium BC (Early Dynastic to First Intermediate Period) excavated in more than 20 campaigns (1984–2004). He discusses the primary and the secondary industries of the site, presenting the stone tool assemblage from various parts of the settlement in detailed tables, charts, and line drawings. In some cases the analysis is so detailed as to cover the archaeological context of a single room of a house. The author also discusses the various raw materials used in the making of Egyptian stone tools, and he places the lithic industries of the 3rd millennium BC from Elephantine Island into the broader context of the Egyptian economic system. The study closes with a catalog of 465 selected objects of the entire collection, accompanied by drawings.