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Mechanical and Technical Processes. Materials    129

the word Adobe^ which passed in-
to English from South American
Spanish, and which means, ac-
cording to the Concise Oxford
Dictionary, 'unburnt sun-dried
brick'. It passed into the Spanish
through the Arabic-speaking con-
querors of Spain, being a tran-
scription of Tub (singular Tuba),
which is the colloquial Arabic
word for this material, derived
from the Coptic Tcowfie (Toobe)
and the ancient Egyptian db.t
which had the same pronuncia-
tion as the Coptic.

The art of basketry antedates
that of weaving. Mats and bas-
kets were made from the fibres
and leaves of date-palms, from
dom-palms, from grasses and
from other plant stems. Bas-
ketry is known from neolithic
times, and by the time of the
New Kingdom baskets are found
made of differently coloured
grasses in a great variety of forms.
Mats are equally ancient and by
the Third Dynasty they are
found represented on the walls
of the Step Pyramid galleries,
translated into stone and faience
(Fig. 5). The subject of basketry
has received so little study from
experts that any statement on

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