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Metal: Smelting

Hearths were fired with charcoal. Temperatures of about 1000 C could be reached with the help of suitable tools. Blowpipes are already attested (in tomb scenes) from the Fourth Dynasty. From the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) dish and skin bellows are used.


Dish bellows - with the line on the left the 'dish' could be pulled up. With the feet and the weight of a body the 'dish' was pressed down to blow air into the fire.

After the metal was smelted it was casted (with a crucible) into open moulds.

crucibles from Buhen

There are not many excavated smelting furnaces. A possible smelting furnace of the Old Kingdom was found at Buhen

other smelting furnaces/hearths

In the Sety I temple at Thebes (Ptolemaic)
In Pi-Ramesse (Qantir) (Ramesside)



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