What Tools Did Craftsmen Use In Ancient Egypt

Near the banks of the Nile, craftsmanship in Egypt has a long, proud history. From the predynastic period to the Roman occupation of the Pharaonic civilization, craftsmen in Egypt have been producing works of art, pottery and other materials for centuries. The technology of their tools has evolved over time, but many of the materials and techniques used by ancient craftsmen remain employed by modern artisans.

The building blocks of Egypt’s artisanship were materials such as stone, clay, sand and papyrus. Since the dawn of the predynastic civilization, axes, awls, mallets and mauls have been used to shape these substances into tools and objects to suit people’s needs. Egyptian craftsmen also used methods of grinding and polishing to brighten and define the raw materials they employed.

Egypt’s craftspeople had a variety of tools available during the Old, Middle and New Kingdom periods. For example, during the Middle Kingdom, bronze saws and adzes emerged as alternatives to the traditional stone and flint implements. In addition, they used tools like hammers and chisels to work on hard stones such as granite or basalt. By the New Kingdom period, the tools of the craftspeople had been fully formed and could be employed to create almost anything, from furniture and statues to tiny jewelry items.

One of the most technically advanced tools used by the ancient Egyptian artisans was the potter’s wheel. This physical tool enabled craftspeople to fashion earthenware vessels to perfectly round and even shapes. This allowed them to have a much greater degree of control over their creations than hand-shaping. It also allowed them to craft larger and more durable works than what was possible with the traditional forming and shaping methods at the time.

While the potter’s wheel was one of the most sophisticated items used by the Egyptian craftsmen, it was not the only one. Ancient Egyptians also employed tools to cut, shape, engrave and finish their works, and they used tools like plumb bobs and levels for architectural work. Finally, sandpaper was used to create a smooth surface on their pottery and to remove smaller scratches and blemishes.

All of these tools helped the ancient Egyptian craftsmen to make incredible works of art that still stand in awe to this day. Pharaohs, gods, heroes and other figures are immortalized in the relics of their culture, and these tools enabled their inventors to construct these monuments to their faith and artistry.

Sculpture Tools

Sculpting is a long-practiced craft and there is ample evidence of the tools used by ancient Egyptian sculptors. They had access to a variety of specialized tools to carve into hard materials like stone. People made tools from flint, obsidian and bronze, in addition to many organic materials. Sculptors had representations of human arms, so they could place the chisels at natural angles to make carving more efficient. Ancient Egyptians used various saws, blades, and chisels to shape their stone sculptures.

The Egyptians used a wooden maul to pound out the rough form of a statue, a chisel to give it shape and a flat steel tool to refine the surface. They then added finer details with other tools including a pointed bronze tool and a curved one called a hook chisel, which had slightly different variations for left or right handed sculptors. Additionally, the Egyptians had tools such as leather-covered rasps and small-toothed rasps for finer details.

No matter what type of materials they were working with, the skill of the Egyptian sculptors was completely based on the tools used. They had a great amount of refinement and were actually able to achieve a great degree of accuracy with the tools they had.

Ancient Egyptian craftsmen had access to many of the same tools that modern day builders have, and this allowed them to build incredible monuments, homes, and other works of art. By using hammers, chisels, saws, and other tools, the Egyptians were able to construct some of the most impressive structures the world has ever seen, many of which are still standing today.

Metal Working Tools

The Egyptians of the ancient world were among the first cultures to use metalworking techniques in their creations. They employed a variety of tools in order to work with their metals of copper, gold and silver. These included wedge-shaped chisels called ‘shoulder-blades’, gravers and files, for opening and widening out metalwork; and osseous crochets for cutting and removing parts of articles and jewels.

The ancient Egyptians had a variety of anvils, or obelisks, to assist in metalworking. Large standing anvils had a long bar to which the metalworker could fix the parts of their work as they cut and shaped them. These anvils were often carved with hieroglyphs, the written language of ancient Egypt. Smaller anvils could be held in the hands of the craftsmen to assist with smaller-scale metalworking operations, such as engraving and filing.

Ancient Egyptians also employed tools like awls and drills for the purpose of boring holes. Awls look similar to modern-day screwdrivers, yet were useful for drilling and piercing metals. The Egyptians also used tongs for holding parts during manufacturing, as well as measuring devices like compasses and rules to help with fabrications.

By using all of these tools in combination, the ancient Egyptians were able to create intricate pieces of metal jewelry and art. Not only did they create a variety of pieces from ornaments to mirrors, but they were also able to fabricate tools for their own use.

The metals the Egyptians worked with were also advanced for their time. The Egyptians invented methods for pouring, heating, rolling, and forging. As a result, Egyptian metalworking technology was adopted by other ancient cultures which helped to spread the use of iron throughout the world.

Glass Working Tools

Ancient Egypt was an incredibly industrious civilization and one of its primary accomplishments was the production of glass. The materials used by ancient Egyptians to make glass were very similar to those in use today. They used an alchemy of sand, ashes, and rocks to create the material for glass vessels.

To form the glass, ancient Egyptians utilized a variety of tools. Ancient Egyptians would have used large hammer-stones to crush the raw glass material. They would then have placed the powdered glass in a kiln and melted it until it became a molten liquid. To shape the glass, workers would have likely used a number of tools including a blowpipe, tongs, and paddles or spatulas.

Once the shape of the item was formed, ancient Egyptians used tools such as the dreasting tool, grozing pliers and marver to refine it. Dreasting tools, which were shaped like an iron rod, were used to cut or shave off excess glass, while grozing pliers were used to pinch and shape the glass. Finally, the marver was used to create a glossy finish and to smooth out the edges.

By using these tools, the ancient Egyptians were able to create a variety of beautiful and intricate glass vessels. From small vessels like goblets and jars, to larger pieces such as mirrors and lampshades, Egyptian glass workers were able to craft near perfection in their craft.

Jewelry Making Tools

The production of jewelry in Ancient Egypt was centered around some of the most advanced and specialized tools used by this ancient culture. These included special tools like small saws and gravers to cut and engrave different kinds of stones, and a wide range of other tools to work softer materials like gold and silver.

Jewelry making is an art form that requires precise techniques to create stunning works. A skilled artisan would have likely used a mix of tools such as hammers, punches, stamps and chisels to meticulously craft beautiful pieces from gold, silver, bronze and other metals. An engraving tool, such as a chisel, was also used to inscribe symbols and patterns on the metal.

To create the more intricate pieces of jewelry, Egyptian workers made small saws that were crafted from bronze. Workers were also able to form and manipulate metal pieces with tongs and other tools of heat. In order to add precious stones to the pieces, Egyptian artisans would have used drills to make holes, and hammered wedges into the metals in order to add the stones.

Jewelry making was a specialized craft implemented in Ancient Egypt and evidence of the Egyptian legacy in jewelry making is still present today. Jewelry makers used a variety of tools and techniques in order to create incredibly intricate works of art. From precious metals like gold and silver, to semi-precious stones like turquoise and lapis lazuli, the Egyptian artisans had an array of materials to work with and tools to make it happen.

Clarence Norwood

Clarence E. Norwood is an author and scholar specializing in the history and archaeology of ancient peoples. He has written extensively on the civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. He has authored numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the evolution of the alphabet, the rise of the ancient nations, and the impact of ancient cultures and religions on modern society. He has also conducted archaeological field research in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Leave a Comment