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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

132 Mechanical and Technical Processes. Materials
obviously been covered with a separate material, and those of
the Eighteenth Dynasty were clearly often painted before
firing, many, indeed most, of the shiny surfaces of Egyptian pots
were not always due to the application of a different material to
them, although red ochre is known to have been employed for
this purpose. Shiny surfaces can be made on suitable clays
when the pot is nearly but not quite dry, and the surfaces
thus treated often lead one to suppose erroneously that a 'slip'
has been added. Furthermore, a common error is the belief
that an unglazed pot will not hold liquid. As a matter of fact,
the porosity depends entirely on the nature of the clay used
and the way it is kneaded. A porous pot can, however, be made
watertight by glazing, or by coating it internally with pitch or
a similar substance. Egypt provides a great variety of clays,
and even during the predynastic period the pots show that clays
were exchanged between different districts and that the potters
were well acquainted with their natures.
Ropes of enormous size must have been made from pyramid
times onward for use in the hauling of large "monuments,
though the largest at present known, of rather doubtful dynastic
date, is one of palm-fibre of about 5 inches diameter. The
palm-ropes of ancient Egypt are precisely similar to those used
on the saqya wheels to-day. Other types of rope are found
made of flax-fibre, one of which dates back to the predynastic
period. A rope of halfa grass is known in the Sixth Dynasty
and one of flax in the First. A piece of rope of  inch
diameter of the Eleventh Dynasty, made of twisted flax
threads, compares favourably with the finest modern products.
Two rope-making scenes are depicted on the tombs, one in
the Fifth and one in the Eighteenth Dynasty.
The art of netting dates back to very ancient times, to judge
by the fishing and fowling scenes. The earliest net extant
which I have personally examined is of Twelfth Dynasty
date; its knots are precisely the same as those in modern