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Awl

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Tools

Egyptian workers, including artisans, farmers, and fishermen, required a wide variety of specialized tools.


Woodworkers employed axes that had copper or bronze blades lashed to wooden handles with leather.

Carpenters produced smooth surfaces with copper chisels, often with serrated edges.

Tanners used broad, flat knives to cut strips of leather for sandals, harnesses, and whips, which they then pierced with metal awls.

Field hands cut grain with curved sickles fitted with small flint blades.

Fishermen relied on metal hooks with tiny barbs, much like their modern-day equivalents.

Officials used siphons to inspect the liquid contents of vessels without breaking through the protective mud seals.
MEDIUM Bronze, wood
  • Place Excavated: Sawama, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 11/16 x 3 5/8 in. (1.7 x 9.2 cm) handle: 1 11/16 in. (4.3 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 14.633.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small bronze awl or borer set in short wooden handle. Condition: Handle split but intact; bronze slightly corroded.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
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