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Wood: Technology

Felling of trees, taking the trunks and branches.
shown in tomb decoration
UC 16177, axe found at Abydos
All by-products were used (leaves for fodder, basketry and matting)
Further preparation by sawing. In earlier times trunks were cleaved along the grain.
shown in tomb decoration, traces of sawing on wooden planks
UC 63492, saw
Seasoning; drying of fresh wooden boards: stacking horizontally, spacers placed between
shown in tomb decoration

Woodworking techniques


UC 63495, saw
UC 63022, wooden handle of adze
to cut boards
to true and shape the wood
UC 63045, chisel
UC 18155, awl
for making grooves and holes
for boring holes

For putting different pieces of timber together a variety of joints were used
(click on the image to see the most important).

Woodworking in Acient Egypt: mitre joint

Veneer was either used for decoration or to hide poor quality wood and wood constructions. Inlay of bone, ivory and ebony were popular. Faience is also well attested.

box found at Gurob
inlays found at Elkab
box with inlays found at Lahun
UC 7914, box found at Gurob
UC 17820, inlays of box
UC 6741, box found at Lahun

Gypsum was very often applied to wood, especially to hide poor quality timber. Gesso (whiting and gum) was applied when paint or gilding was attached to the object.

box from Lahun
fragment found at Sedment
shabti box, unknown provenance
UC 7513, box found at Lahun
UC 16562, fragment of a box, found at Sedment
UC 38043, shabti box

Killen 2000: 353-371


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