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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

138 Mechanical and Technical Processes. Materials
have been found in the remains of the coffin in the Step
Pyramid. Hinges, at least by the Eighteenth Dynasty, differ
little from those used to-day. Tenons and mortises are known
from the Third Dynasty, and their use reached a high perfection
since broad planks were unobtainable from the native timber
such as sycamore fig. A technique obviously learned from Asia
was that of chariot-building, where a vehicle of the utmost
lightness consistent with strength and stability was required.
The double spokes and the joints between the spokes and the
rims were of a quality entirely their own.
The carpenters5 tools were the simple chisel, the deep and
narrow mortise-chisel, the axe, the adze, the awl (used as a
borer in conjunction with a bow), a club-like hammer, the
mallet, the scraper, the saw, the square, the plumb-rule and the
cubit measure, the last measuring about 20-6 inches, divided
into 7 palms and 28 digits. The chisels vary little in form
throughout the dynasties, and the dates of axe and adze blades,
in the absence of other definite evidence, can be only partially
estimated by their shape. The adze did the work now done by
the plane, a tool unknown until Roman times, and with it even
to-day native carpenters can achieve astoundingly delicate and
accurate work. Although ancient saws, apart from models, are
very rarely found, it is certain that the cut was made by the
pulling and not the pushing stroke. The adze-blades were bound
on to wooden hafts by interlaced leather thongs, probably of
donkey-hide applied wet. The Cairo Museum has an unsur-
passed collection of carpenters' and other tools (Figs. 13 and 14).
The art of boat-building developed early, and even in pre-
dynastic times we find crude representations of boats of very con-
siderable size, though the details are somewhat obscure. In the
reign of King Sneferu of the Third Dynasty there is a record of a
boat 100 cubits (172 feet) long having been constructed. By the
Twelfth Dynasty a pyramid chamber, of one block of quartzite,
was transported by water to Hawara by King Amenemhet IIIa