Spearheads from the empty quarter

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Spearheads from the empty quarter

In the 1950's my father Robert Sinclair, worked as a surveyor for an American Oil company, Robert H Ray & Co. He traveled extensively, often following in the footsteps of his hero Thesiger. He collected objects that he found in the desert and sent them to the British Museum. These are the few that he kept for himself, found in the Empty Quarter, in Oman. He told me that they came from a "factory site" on the side of dry river wadi and that when he found them, they were just exactly as they had been left ten thousand years before. It must have been a very humbling experience. I sometimes wonder what became of those people who made and then abandoned these beautiful objects. I am a photographer and in a way I wish that my dad had recorded the site on film, rather than dismantle it for a museum. These objects remind me that human life is fleeting and constantly changing. My work is often about documenting the lives of people whose significance becomes apparent only as time passes.

My collection of arrowheads sit on my desk in a tin box I found on the beach by my house. They remind me of my dad, who I miss and make me think of him as a young man standing on the edge of history.

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Empty Quarter, Oman


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