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Dieter Arnold.
Building in Egypt; Pharaonic Stone Masonry (New York and Oxford 1991)

Tools and Their Application

(For educational purposes only. The file will be immediately removed if the author or publisher will claim their disagreement with this publication)


Cubit Rods Richard Lepsius — after a few less important predecessors — and Petrie were the first and last authors to study seriously the Egyptian cubit rod.1 Lepsius collected information about fourteen more or less complete cubits. Most of these examples were not actually used as tools, but as votives, or were made for the funerary equipment and therefore made of hard stone. Some, however, are of wood, the material actually used for cubit rods by architects.

Fig. 6.1 Modern replica of a wooden cubit rod in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

They resemble our yardsticks, being short (52.5 centimeters) and stout, with a quadrangular section and a fifth side produced by chamfering the front top edge (fig. 6.1). The front, the oblique, and the top faces were used for marking and numbering the single measurements. The rear and undersurface were often inscribed with the name of the owner. The measurements indicated consist of the 7 palms and digits and their subdivisions. Their lengths vary from 52.3 to 52.9 centimeters, reminding us that ancient measures were not so standardized as those of today and that such discrepancies have to be taken into account in our calculations of Egyptian buildings.

In the tomb of the architect Kha at Deir el-Medina,2 two cubits were found. One was gilded and inscribed—apparently not made for daily use but as an honorary royal gift to the esteemed architect. The other one of plain wood, could be folded in two parts by hinges and was probably used by its owner for actual work.

Another, more unusual cubit rod of "white wood" in the British Museum3 is 2 cubits long (1.0489 meters or 2 x 0.52445) and shows that Egyp╜tian architects had longer tools as well. In the settlement of Lisht North were found two primitive cubit rods made for daily use, one of them with marks for half- and quarter-cubits.

Apparently, stonemasons also used another measuring unit, the nby-rod, which might have been about 67 to 68 centimeters long, subdivided into seven spaces. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence for its application and exact dimension.4

Measuring Cords For measuring great distances, ropes were certainly used, the predecessors of modern measuring tapes.5 Since the number 100 is represented in hieroglyphs by a rope , one might suggest that measuring ropes of 100 cubits (52.5 meters) were used. Reisner once thought that the hieroglyph might represent a measuring cord, taking the end loops as handles and the side loops as tags marking the cubits.6 Such ropes are shown in statuary of the Eighteenth Dynasty, held by kneeling officials who present their tools to the god.7 These ropes were adorned with the ram head of Amun. In about eleven representations of the measuring of the wheat fields in Theban tombs,8 we see surveyors working with such ropes, which have knots, apparently indicating subdivisions, probably cubits (fig. 6.2).

Fig. 6.2 Surveying fields with ropes, as depicted in the Theban tomb of Menna.

Dorner rightly suggests, however, that such ropes could have been used for only rough measurements, such as for fields.9 A rope 52.5 meters long would have to be very thick, and the knots for its subdivision would have been so bulky that it could not have been used for accurate work. One might think, however, of different means of marking, such as the loops suggested by Reisner, fixed at a spot marked with red paint. By a practical test, Dorner also found that the length of a rope could be influenced by humidity, so the measuring tapes had to be treated with fat. Another interesting result of Dorner's calculations is that the famous base length of the pyramid of Cheops could have been achieved most accurately by using cubit rods 4 or 8 cubits long.

That ropes were actually used by builders is, however, shown by the method of producing the red leveling lines on the walls of buildings. The marks were made by dipping a cord into red ocher, stretching it over the surface, and lightly flinging it against the surface. Such cords were of course not necessarily measuring cords or ropes. A reel is preserved with a thin cord still attached and wound around a rotating axle (fig. 6.3).10

    Fig. 6.3 A sculptor's cord on a reel from a Middle Kingdom tomb at Deir el-Bahari. 
(MMA acc. no 22.2.72)

Plumbs Plumbs consist of a plumb bob, suspended from a peg or a stick, which could also be used to reel up the cord. Many plumb bobs got lost during the actual work and have been recovered. They vary in material, shape, and size. Petrie collected a great variety,11 with examples from the Third Dynasty on.

A more elaborate type of plumb was found in the tomb of the architect Senedjem at Deir el-Medina (fig. 6.4).12 The board was held vertically against the wall to be tested, and the plumb bob was attached to a wooden crossboard so that the cord, if in a vertical position, would touch a second cross board below, which was the same size as the first. Plumbs were also used to put a square level in position. The string was fixed at the top of the two legs of the square, and the tip of the plumb had to touch the center mark on the cross board.

    Fig. 6.4 A plumb, a square, and a square level from the tomb of Senedjem 
at Deir el-Medineh. (Cairo 27280, 27259, 27258)

Builders' Squares Egyptian builders and masons made use of the simple wooden device, the square, in order to lay off or check right angles, in building as well as dressing blocks. It is in principle the same instrument that is used today. Few squares have actually been found. The simplest version consists of two arms, connected at a right angle with pegs or with tongue and groove.13 One of the two legs could be strengthened by a footboard, which allowed the square to stand upright by itself (fig. 6.5).14

There may also have been squares with a third piece of wood connecting the two legs in the shape of an A, similar to the square levels. In the tomb of Rekhmira, a square is shown lying in a carpenter's workshop,15 reminding us that squares could be used by other craftsmen as well.

Square Levels ∙ The square level not only was the leveling instrument of Pharaonic Egypt, but was used in Roman and medieval building as well. It was only later superseded by the water level, which was known to the Romans but was used by them for only special purposes.16

The oldest Pharaonic plummet known dates only from the Middle King╜dom. One can be sure that it existed much earlier. Although the medieval building square levels could have several shapes,17 the Egyptian specimens seem always to have had two legs of equal length, connected at a right angle with a cross lath, so that the tool was in the shape of the letter A. The legs were made in a way to make it stand. Near the connecting corner of the two legs was suspended a plumb bob, which could coincide—when the level was standing horizontally—with a mark in the center of the cross lath.

The shape of this instrument appears frequently in the hieroglyphic sign used for words connected with the activities of that instrument, such as hh or sb.18 But only three examples of the instrument itself have been dis╜covered, two of them made for funerary purposes.19 They were found in the tomb of the architect Senedjem (Nineteenth Dynasty) at Deir el-Medina (fig. 6.6). The specimen no. 58 in Petrie's Tools and Weapons has a base of 45.6 centimeters and legs 32.8 centimeters long; no. 59 has a base of 46.6 centimeters and legs 32.8 centimeters long. A third example, excavated near the pyramid of Senwosret I at Lisht, which probably dates to the Twelfth Dynasty, has not been adequately published.20

The object occurs quite frequently in the shape of an amulet.21

Fig. 6.5 Modern replica of a builder's square 
from the Theban tomb of Mektira 
(MMA acc. no 20.3.90)
Fig. 6.6 Modern replica of a square level (MMA), probably 
representing Cairo 27258.

Boning Rods When dressing blocks, Egyptian masons used boning rods22 in order to obtain completely flat planes, as shown in the representation of the tomb of Rekhmira (fig. 6.7).23 Two people hold short pieces of wood; both pieces are the same length and arc connected to each other at their tops by a string. One man is moving a third rod of the same length over the block surface between the two other rods. If there still are protruding parts, the third rod would show above the line of the string. This kind of boning would probably have been done crosswise over all four corners. It would not have been sufficient, however, to level the stones. This task was probably done with the help of two level boards,24 a method used by masons even into this century.

Fig. 6.7 Reconstruction of the scene of men working with the boning rod 
and dressing a limestone block (chisel painted yellow) from the Theban 
tomb of Rekhmira. (MMA acc. no 31.6.23)
Fig. 6.8 Set of boning rods from the Hatshepsut temple at Deir el-Bahari.
(MMA acc. no. 23.3.169)

Numerous sets of boning rods have been found all over Egypt, from the Old Kingdom on, and are practically all identical (fig. 6.8).25 An L-shaped perforation is drilled into two rods, beginning at the top end and emerging on the side. The string is fed through the holes in the sides and tied so that on each rod it emerges at the hole in the lop. They are 10 to 13 centimeters long (fig. 6.9).

Fig. 6.9 Section through a set of boning rods.

Stocks has suggested that boning rods could also have been used for the exact fitting of blocks with oblique rising joints to measure the constant distance between the corner points.26 We have no actual evidence for this, and such measurements could have been carried out with any string of practical length or with other primitive instruments.

            CUTTING TOOLS

Fig. 6.10 Round bar chisels of the Eleventh and
Eighteenth Dynasties from Deir el-Bahari.
(MMA acc. nos, 30.8.115 and 27.3.12)

Metal Tools Egyptian metal tools27 consisted of essentially unalloyed copper, arsenical copper, tin bronze, and leaded tin bronze.28 A very high iron content is found occasionally and suggests that the tools were made from unrefined metal.29

The question of the date when iron tools came into general use in Egypt is much disputed.30 Specimens of early iron are reported from Predynastic dates on. Fragments supposedly of chisels from Saqqara are said to belong to the Fifth Dynasty, and pieces of a pickax found at Abusir and broken tools from Dahshur are said to be of the Sixth Dynasty. Since the circum╜stances of these finds are extremely vague, the dating of the tools may be questioned, and they could as well have been used by stonecutters of a much later period. A later date for these tools is also suggested by the fact that iron objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun were of poor quality and were considered to be so valuable that they were set in gold.

Only from the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty is there a gradual increase in the number of iron objects found in Egypt. In the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, iron became as common as bronze. At the same time, the first iron tools started to leave their traces on hard stones, and two tools of the seventh century b.c. are known to be of steel, their date being questioned, how╜ever.31 The next step was the introduction of Roman types of iron tools, which differ considerably from the traditional Pharaonic tools.32

This development clearly shows that the tools of the Pharaonic period, with which we are concerned, were made primarily of copper or bronze. The question that must be considered, then, is to what extent metal chisels were used in comparison with stone tools.

Metal chisels were used for stoneworking, and many have been found. It seems not coincidental that the number of preserved metal chisels increases with the beginnings of monumental stone building in the Third Dynasty. Copper chisels (perhaps models) from tombs are known since the First Dynasty.33 We have to suppose that they were used for woodworking. Some of the chisels from the Third Dynasty were certainly used for dressing stone, especially those from the Djoser precinct.

Fig. 6.11 Flat mortise chisel from
a foundation deposit of the
Mentuhotep temple at Deir
el-Bahari. (Luxor Museum)

The two main types used for dressing stone were the round bar chisel (Petrie's type D) (fig. 6.10) and the flat mortise chisel (Petrie's type B) (fig. 6.11). Both are represented by dozens of specimens, ranging from the reign of Djoser to the New Kingdom. They were held in the hand and struck with a wooden mallet. They had to be a "handy" size, and therefore ranged from 16 to 25 centimeters long. Some were rather short and stout; others more elongated.

The cutting edge of the round bar chisel is normally 1 to 2 centimeters wide, but sometimes more pointed, and it produces a cavity of correspond╜ing width. In one operation, the successive cavities follow one another in the same straight or slightly curved line. Successive equidistant parallel lines are then repeated in the same manner until the tool has passed over the whole surface. Traces of this tool are quite frequent.

The flat mortise chisel is pointed and was not meant for flattening a surface but for cutting into it — that is, for producing features like mortises, ledges, and corners. It was probably not driven at an angle but more vertically.

From Petrie's rich collection, we learn about the existence of many more chisel types.34 Most of them, however, were certainly not used for the production of building stones but for sculpting or for woodworking. Only one type might still belong to the tools of a stonecutter. It is the elongated, bare mortise chisel, which can be rather small—7 to 11 centimeters—or up to 52 centimeters long. The longer ones resemble a crowbar.35 Such chisels were used for cutting small and deep mortises and holes or areas difficult to reach. Mortise chisels could also have been used by carpenters.

Many chisels were not held in the bare hand but inserted into wooden handles. Since a heavy blow would have driven the chisel deep into the handle and thus broken it, such instruments could have been used only for cutting soft material or would not have been used with a mallet at all. It is unlikely that such chisels were frequently used by masons. In fact, in repre╜sentations they are shown in the hands of carpenters and leather workers.36

The list of examples in Table 6.1 is only a selection, with emphasis on the early representatives of each type.


W. C. Hayes, "Selective Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities from the Collection of Sayed Pasha Khashaba, Assiut" (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Typescript), pl. 45
Type Provenance Date Length (cm) Museum Publication
Round bar chisel
(Petrie's type D)
Djoser complex Djoser 22.5—25 Cairo Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid, 232—233, fig. 234, pl. 96 [3]
  Abusimbel (desert) Cheops 24 Cairo 68754 A. Rowc, ASAE 38
(1938): 391-393. pl. 59
  Pepy II pyramid Pepy II ? Cairo Jequier, Pepi II III, 48-49, fig. 47
  Deir el-Bahari Mentuhotep 19.5 MMA 27.3.12 BMMA 23, part 2
(February 1928); 14, fig. 15
  Kahun Twelfth Dynasty 14.6 University College, London 14240 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 20, pl. 22 [80]
Round bar chisel
(Petrie's type D)
Amarna Amarna 24 Ashmolean J. D. S. Pendlebury,
The City of Akhenaten III (London, 1951), 82, pl. 72 (101)
  Memphis Ramesses II 14.8 University College, London W. M. Flinders Petrie,
Memphis I
(London, 1909), pl. 28 [30]
  Deir el-Bahari Ramesses II 16.2 Royal Ontario Museum 907.18.26 Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari in (London, 1913), 18, pL 29 [7]
Flat mortise chisel
(Petrie's type B),
for levering pieces out
Beit Khallaf Djoser 17 ? Garstang, Bet Khallaf, pl.16
[13, 16-18, 23, 24, 30, 31]
  Djoser complex Djoser 17 ? Firth and Quibell, Step
Pyramid, 124—125, Fig.
11 [8],pl.93[3l
  ? Userkaf ? BM 66208-66209 Introductory Guide to the
Egyptian Collections
(catalogue of the British Museum)
(London, 1969), 2o8, fig- 77
  Pepy II pyramid Pepy II ? Cairo
54478-    54491
Jequier, Pepi II in, 48-49, fig- 47
  ? Sixth Dynasty 12.13 University College, London Petrie, Tools and Weapons,
20, pls. 21 [23], 22 [71]
  Mentuhotep temple Mentuhotep 18.8, 20.3, 20.5, 21 Luxor Museum Arnold, Mentuhotep III:
Die Königlichen Beigaben (Mainz, 1981), pls. 79, 87a
Ghurab New Kingdom ? ? CEAEM, Fig. 263b
Mortise chisel
(Petrie's type A),
for levering
pieces out from
distant parts
(only for
Beit Khallaf

Djoser complex



Garstang, Bet Khallaf,
pl.23 [1-5l

Lauer, Hist. Mon., 237-238, Fig. 66; Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid,
124-125, Fig. 11 [6-7],
pl. 93 [3l
Pepy II pyramid
? 52 Cairo CEAEM, Fig. 263a
  Pepy II pyramid Pepy II ? Cairo Jequier, Pepi II III, 48-49, fig. 47
Wide chisel
(Petrie's type C),
for sculptors (?)
Beit Khallaf

Asyut or Meir

Middle Kingdom


Garstang, Bet Khallaf, pls.
16 [27-28], 23 [27-28]
  ? Ahmose 18.5 University College, London Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 20, pl. 22 [68]

Stone Tools From the earliest times down to the New Kingdom and perhaps even later, stone tools played an important part in Pharaonic stoneworking (Table 6.2). Despite the existence of metal chisels since the Third Dynasty, stone tools certainly formed the majority. This is mainly because the harder stones could be cut only with stone tools, not just in the earlier periods but even in Saite times when hard stones for sculpture, sarcophagi, and naoi were again highly esteemed.


Type Provenance Date Size (cm) Museum Publication
Picks, axes, or
mauls with narrow
necks for handles
Djoser complex Djoser Up to 23 ? Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid, 128, pl. 93 [6]
  Meidum Snofru 21 University College, London Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl.58 [74-86]
  Giza Fourth or Fifth Dynasty 13-15 University College,
Petrie, Tools and Weapons,
pl.53 [75-77); Junker,
Giza ix, 18, pl. 6d;
Reisner, Mycerinus, 236
  Thebes, Mektira Eleventh Dynasty
30 MMA 20.3.190  
  Thebes, Mektira Eleventh Dynasty
? Cairo CEAEM, fig. 266
  Beni Hasan Middle Kingdom 18-25 University College,
Petrie, Tools and Weapons,
pl. 53 [83-86]
  Thebes Middle or New Kingdom 35-43 Cairo 14737,
14749, 34"8
H. H. Seaton-Karr,
ASAE 6 (1905): 176-179
  Deir el-Bahari Middle or New Kingdom 18.5-24 Cairo 64901-64906 Charles T. Currelly, Stone
(Cairo, 1913),
276, pl. 63
  Thebes New Kingdom ? ? Edouard Naville, The XIth
Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari

in (London, 1913), pl. 29[8]
Dolerite balls as pounders Djoser complex Djoser Diameter, 10,
maximum 40
? Firth and Quibell, Step
128, pl. 93 [7]
  Giza Fourth or Fifth Dynasty ? ? Junker, Giza IX, 19, pl. 6d; Giza X, 16
  Lisht Twelfth Dynasty Maximum 30 Lisht/Saqqara Unpublished
  Aswan New Kingdom 20-46 ? Engelbach, Aswan Obelisk,
11-12; CEAEM, fig. 266
Rammers (two-
handed pounders)
Saqqara Old Kingdom (?) ? ? Engelbach, Aswan Obelisk,
pl. 4 [2]; Engelbach,
Problem of the Obelisks,
fig. 10
  Mycerinus complex ? Height, 31 ? Reisner, Mycerinus, 236-237, pl.
236-237, pl. 20a-c

Fig. 6.12 Three limestone ax heads from Quma, Eighteenth Dynasty.
(MMA acc. nos. 09.183.5A-C)

Four main groups of tools can be established from the numerous objects found in nearly all Pharaonic construction, quarry, and mining sites: picks, pounders, two-handled rammers, and grinding stones.

The stone pick (ax or maul) (figs. 6.12-6.16) is an elongated implement of granite, chert, basalt, quartzite, or even hard, silicified limestone that is 30 to 50 centimeters long. It has a head more or less shaped, a contracted neck, and a pointed or wide cutting part. Representations (fig. 6.13),37 actual objects (fig. 6.14, 6.15),38 and particularly the existence of the con╜tracted neck indicate that the stone was not held in the hands but between two sticks attached to the stone at the neck with a leather strap. Most examples are only roughly shaped primitive tools, although others are more carefully made in regular shapes and even with smoothed surface.

Fig. 6.13 Sculptor dressing a statue with a stone hammer,
as depicted in the tomb of Ti.
Fig. 6.14 Quartzite ax with original handle from the tomb
of Mektira, Twenty-second to Twenty-sixth Dynasties,
and diorite ax head from the site of the pyramid of
Amenemhat I at Lisht, Middle or New Kingdom.
(MMA acc. nos. 20.3.190, and 15.3.832)

This heavy tool was very effective in rough work, such as excavating tunnels and shafts for tombs or breaking the separation trenches for build╜ing blocks in quarries. The curved line produced by wielding the ax can still be seen on many unfinished surfaces, even on the surface of unfinished walls, indicating that skilled workers using this bulky tool could achieve a certain degree of flatness on the stone. One may even suggest that the completely flat and densely picked ("hammer dressed") surfaces of hard stones such as basalt were produced with such picks (figs. 6.12, 6.14).39

Bronze picks, quite common in Minoan Crete and in later Mediterra╜nean cultures, seem not to have been used in Pharaonic Egypt.

Fig. 6.15 Gabbro hammer head from the site of the pyramid
of Amennemhat I at Lisht, Middle or New Kingdom.
(MMA acc. no. 22.1.819)

Pounders are roughly or completely spherical balls, mainly of dolerite (fig. 6.16). They have a diameter of 15 to 30 centimeters and weigh about 4 to 7 kilograms and could only be lifted with two hands. The largest one known to me has a diameter of 40 centimeters.40 They were found at most of the construction sites of the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Their ap╜pearance at the quarrying sites of the obelisks of the New Kingdom41attests that they were still in use. Pounding was the main method for work╜ing granite and perhaps other hard stones as well (not yet clarified).

Pounders could also be used with a helve. This is shown in ancient repre╜sentations42 as well as by the shape of the tools. Some have knobs for the leather strapping and are rather flat, resembling an ax.

Fig. 6.16 Dolerite pounders from the area of the pyramid of Amenemhat I at Lisht, Twelfth Dynasty.
(MMA acc. nos. 11.151.733-735)

Junker believed that these dolerite balls were actually used under heavy stones as rollers.43 This method seems to have worked, as Junker's suc╜cessful experiments proved. We may be sure that the Egyptians knew this method and made use of it. But it certainly was neither the only nor the main use of these dolerite balls. This is confirmed by their surfaces, which show clear marks of pounding, and also by the fact that they are found in areas that would not have provided the completely flat stone surface neces╜sary for rolling a heavy monument on stone balls.

From two preserved examples44 and a representation in the tomb of Ti,45 we know of the existence of a very heavy granite rammer with two handles (fig. 6.17), quite similar to a mighty ramming tool of wood, used in more recent times before the introduction of compressor rammers. Be╜cause pounding granite with dolerite balls leads to the gradual destruction of the tool, one wonders if such carefully made rammers were used for that kind of work at all. The tool may have been a kind of hammer, used, for example, to drive poles into the ground. This use might be suggested by the representation in the tomb of Ti, in which the rammer is used in shipbuilding, apparently to connect the boat timber with wedges. A devas╜tating force was produced by a dolerite rammer used by late Middle King╜dom tomb robbers at Lisht. It had four knobs around which ropes had to be slung for lifting the heavy stone, but two men were needed to do that (Fig. 6.17).

Fig. 6.17 Huge dolerite rammer found in the tomb of 
Metuhotep at Lisht, Middle to New Kingdom.

The final surface treatment of Pharaonic stone building was carried out with grinding stones.46 In general, one has to differentiate between the initial, rougher work of grinding and the second step of finer surface polishing. Grinding could be done with all kinds of stone; only the hard ones, such as alabaster, marble, granite, diorite, graywacke, and basalt, could be polished.

For the grinding of limestone and sandstone, grinders made of sand╜stone could be used. The treatment of harder stones required the use of abrasive sand. Even the grinder itself would probably be of a harder sub╜stance. The sand could be dry, but dampened sand would have produced less dust and cleaner work. The fine polishing was probably carried out without water.

Grinding stones of many different materials have been found. The most common ones are sandstone or quartzite. Some grinders were carefully shaped; some even have a handle and were used for special purposes, such as sculpting. The grinding of large surfaces, such as the walls of temples, was carried out with hand-sized rough sandstones, which when used ac╜quired a completely flat underside and were soon useless as tools. The remaining casing blocks of pyramids have been exposed to weathering so much that it is difficult to determine the degree to which they had original╜ly been smoothed. At the pyramid of Meidum, large areas of the casing have recently been unearthed in quasi-original condition. The surfaces had been only flattened with stone picks and possibly chisels.

Isler studied the procedure of grinding the surface of the Luxor obelisks. Because two of their faces swell out, he assumed that this lateral convexity was due to the grinding motions, which disregarded the effect of gravity against the edges and produced slightly curved planes.47 Grinding was also carried out after repairing a wall surface with patches or plaster in order to blend the repaired areas into their surroundings.

To achieve highly polished hard stone surfaces, several grinding and polishing phases with different grinders and grinding materials were nec╜essary. One may assume that sculptors and masons developed their special private formulas for the procedure.

Fig. 6.18 Wooden mallet, provenance
unknown. (MMA acc. no. 10.130.1013)

As discussed above, one would expect that stone chisels (flint, chert) were used for carrying out (the finer surface work on limestone and sandstone. The great number of crescent-shaped flint tools found in the Djoser com╜plex that probably date to the Third Dynasty is impressive. They were apparently used for cutting the fluting of columns.48 Flint chisels whose shape seems to be suited for finer work in stone have rarely been found,49 and their absence from the major construction sites of the Old and Middle Kingdoms is remarkable.50 Thus although we should exclude the use of metal tools for cutting hard stone, we remain unable to present the alter╜native stone tools.

MalletsSince the beginning of sculpting, the wooden mallet has been used by the sculptor to strike the chisel.51 The Egyptian version consists of a rounded handle cut from the same piece of wood as the head of the mallet (fig. 6.18). The head is more elongated than the modern instrument and quite frequently shows a rough, ring-shaped groove that could have been carved for a metal band, which prevented the mallet from splitting. Apparently no mallet has preserved such a band, however, and one might suggest that the groove was caused by the impact of the chisel. Examples from Pharaonic Egypt are known in great numbers, and the larger muse╜ums are in possession of dozens of them.52

The most common type of mallet head has a bell-shaped or half-circle-shaped section. The older examples known—from the First Dynasty to the end of the Old Kingdom from Deshasheh (fig. 6.19) and depicted in many sculptors' and shipbuilders' scenes of the Old Kingdom53—are more slender and elongated.

Fig. 6.19 Elongated wooden mallet from
Deshasheh, late Old Kingdom. 
(MMA acc. no. 37.4.65)

One mallet has even preserved the owner's marks +<&A a mixture of invented signs and the hieroglyph of the square level.54

Drilling Tools55 In prehistoric times, the Egyptian craftsmen had devel╜oped great skill in drilling hard stone for the manufacture of vessels.56 For a drilling tool, they used a forked axis that held a half-moon-shaped drill╜ing stone of sandstone or flint; the drilling stone moved with a bow, and the movement was aided by pending weights. Drilling in architecture spread with the increase of stone building from the Third Dynasty on. The main tool seems to have been a tube attached to a long wooden staff, again driven by bows.57 Since no actual drilling tube has ever been discovered in Egypt, the material used for the tubes remains unknown. The narrowness of the tubular-shaped slots and the greenish color of grains of quartz sand pre╜served in the drill hole of an unfinished alabaster vase suggest copper or bronze tubes. Wooden tubes are a possibility, but achieving a wall thickness of i to 5 millimeters in wood would have been difficult.

Shaw suggested that Minoan drills probably did not consist of bronze but of a section of reed or bamboo swiftly rotated with sand or emery and a lubricating agent such as water or oil.58 Bamboo was unknown to the Egyptians, however. Whether the Egyptians used loose (wet?) quartz sand, fixed points of emery, or even diamond has been investigated in the prac╜tical experiments of Gorelick and Gwiimeit. They found that the typical regular concentric lines on drilled cores of granite could he reproduced by a copper tube charged with emery only when used in a water slum or in olive oil. Concentric cutting lines were also present after drilling with cor╜undum and diamond. Sand and crushed quartz must therefore be ruled out as possibilities, since they do not produce concentric abrasion lines. when used either dry or wet.59 These preliminary findings raise questions as to which one of the abrasives—emery, corundum, or diamond—was used, and also whether it came from some unknown source in the Egyptian deserts or was imported.60 Drilling hard stone was carried out so fre╜quently, however, that one has to assume that the abrasive material was easily available in sufficient quantities. This requirement does not favor emery, corundum, or diamond.

Stones that were drilled for architectural purposes were alabaster, lime╜stone, sandstone, granite, basalt, amphibolitc, and diorite, which shows that the hardness of stone placed no limits on the ingenuity of the Egyptian builders. A decision to drill was probably economic, since the consumption of metal would have been considerable. This consideration prevented the Egyptians from using drilling in the production of stones—for example, in separating blocks from the bedrock in the quarry.

Fig. 6.20 Drill hole with stump of the drill core from
a Ramesside granite door jamb from the Asasif, 
diameter 7.5, depth 10.3 centimeters.
(MMA acc. no. 13.183.2) 

Petrie observed that in Deir el-Bersheh a rock platform had been dressed down by cutting it away with gigantic tube drills 45 centimeters in diame ter.61 Drilling had to be used, however, for producing holes for pivots, door bolts (fig. 6.20), round cramps, nails for the application of sheet metal, and the insertion of emblems.62 Alabaster and limestone slabs could be drilled with a pattern of round holes to produce "windows."63 The only larger-scale activity with drilling was probably the production of the inte╜rior of sarcophagi in the Third and Fourth Dynasties (Fig. 2.2Q).64 It was probably carried out- by a large number of closely set drill holes about 12 centimeters in diameter. The procedure had to be done in four to six steps because of the limited length of the drilling tubes and the need to break off the still-standing cores of stone.

Fig. 6.21 Limestone block with ten boring sockets from the mastaba of Perneb at Saqqara. 
(MMA acc. no. 14.7.146)

As noted, no actual drilling tubes have so far been observed. Their use is definitely attested by the traces of the tool left on the stone and the drilling cones found mainly in Old Kingdom sites.65 Unexplained are traces of drilling operations left on the rough surface of irregular limestone blocks in the enclosures of Djoser and Snofru (fig. 6.21).66 They mostly appear in irregular groups, some so close that they overlap. They look as if the stones had been under an object that was drilled in a way that the drilling tube completely penetrated the object and then reached the underlying stone. This underlying stone was apparently used for several drilling operations.

Fig. 6.22 Use of a saw to plane the joint between 
two casing blocks. 

Sawing Tools67 Lauer already suspected that the close joining of lime╜stone casing blocks could have been achieved as early as the Third Dynasty by a method of sawing with a copper blade drawn through the front edge of the joints (fig. 6.22).68 When the lower end of the joint was reached, the saw quite frequently cut into the foundation blocks, leaving a cutting line protruding an inch from the front line of the blocks. This method was certainly practiced for the casings of the Mastabat el-Fara'un (fig. 6.23) and of the pyramids of Unas and Senwosret I. We do not know the instrument that was used but suspect that it was a short, knifelike saw with a wooden handle.

Fig. 6.23 Curved sawing marks in the stepped top face of a casing block of the Mastabat el-Fara'un

Zuber confirms that the curved tool marks suggest the use of a saw, not a cable. Since the cut never exceeds a width of half a centimeter, the use of an instrument with teeth of flint set into a metal frame is ruled out.69 Sawing of softer stones was apparently not problematic and was carried out quite frequently; the sawing of harder rocks was, however, used only for special cases. The alabaster sarcophagus of Sekhemkhet (Third Dynasty) shows saw marks,70 as do the alabaster altars in the sun temple of Niuserra.71 Even harder stones could be completely cut by this method. The granite sarcophagus of Cheops72 and two others of the Fourth Dynasty (fig. 6.24)73 were definitely sawed, as were the granite portcullises of the Cheops Pyra╜mid74 and the basalt paving blocks in the mortuary temples of Cheops75 and Niuserra.76 Also the famous triads of Mycerinus made of graywacke show traces of sawing.77

Fig. 6.24 Cutting wood with a heavy saw (tombs of Beni Hassan), and
sawing the lid from the bottom of a granite sarcophagus.

Petrie estimated that the sawing blades used for the sarcophagus of Cheops must have been 2.4 meters long. They were probably toothless and used with sand as an abrasive. The experiments by Stocks78 add to Petrie's ideas that the sawing power was not exercised so much by the saw itself as by the quartz sand. Nevertheless, the loss of metal must have been consid╜erable and the method so expensive that it could have been carried out only on royal monuments.

Unfortunately, no saws of this size have been discovered in Egypt.79 But smaller examples, especially in the form of, tomb models (and intended to be used for sawing wood), are known from the Third Dynasty on.80 Sawing stone has remained a method common in stonework from Roman times81 until today.

Fig. 6.25 Knot of a rope from the tomb of Mentuhotep at Lisht. (Unpublished)


Ropes Handling building materials, especially stone, depends on the existence of ropes strong enough to permit all kinds of maneuvers (fig. 6.25). Unfortunately, our knowledge about ropes in ancient Egypt is re╜stricted because few specimens have been collected and even fewer have been properly studied.82 All examples known were made by the method of twisting and countertwisting fibers, each yarn being twisted in the same direction, and only very few were made by plaiting.83

As material of cordage, dom palm fibers (Hyphaene thebaica), reed, flax, grass, esparto grass, halfa grass (Desmostachya bipinnata), and papyrus (Cyperns papyrus) are mentioned. Ropes found with the boat of Cheops were made of half a grass.84

Naturally, ropes of a small diameter are more frequent, but we also know of thick ropes. Papyrus ropes found in 1942 and 1944 in the Tura caves, presumably of Ptolemaic or Roman date, had a circumference of 20.3 centimeters and a diameter of 6.35 centimeters. They consisted of three strands of a number of split and twisted papyrus culms.85 A rope made of five strands was recovered from the boat pit of Cheops.86 A "mammoth piece of cordage" of the Nineteenth Dynasty was found at Deir el-Bahari; it had a diameter of 6.8 centimeters.87

There is no question that the Egyptian builders made use of even stronger ropes for the movement of such heavy monuments as colossal statues and obelisks. We have only literary sources, however, for evidence of such ropes; references are made to high-quality ropes 1000 and even 1400 cubits (525—735 meters) in length88 to be used for the royal bark. Engelbach calculated:

As to the size of the ropes required for the rolling out of the obelisk, all we can do is to obtain a very rough idea as to it. If they spread the men out slightly fanwise, I do not see how they could have used more ilian 40 ropes. The strain per rope will be, as we have seen. 29 x 1170 40 = 6.-, tons per rope.

The rope used was probably the very best palm-rope, newly made. The safe load which can be put on coir rope, which is of about the same strength, is given by the formula: Load in cwts- (circumference in inches) divided bv 4. Substitut╜ing, we have 6.5 X 20 X 4 = C2 which gives the circumference of 22.8 inches (58 cm) and a diameter of 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm). If such a rope were used it would require handling loops on it.89'

In contrast to the reconstruction of such heavy ropes are the calculations for the ropes used for lowering the obelisk of Thutmosis III in front of Pylon VIII at Karnak, which was removed by Roman engineers in a.d. 330.90 The result of these calculations is that the ropes were about 85 to 90 meters long and had a circumference of 18 centimeters and a diameter of 5.7 centimeters, with a normal working strength of 6 to 7 tons and a breaking resistance of 20 tons. Such ropes were used in modern seafaring before the introduction of synthetic ropes.

Fig. 6.26 Series of very large lever sockets at a huge limestone
block in the mortuary temple of Mycelinus.

Levers The use of wooden levers to lift, shift, or turn over stone blocks was quite common in ancient Egypt.91 Instruments that can be identified as levers, however, are rarely recognized in excavations because they would usually have looked like ordinary beams with an obliquely chopped or chamfered end. There are a few examples,92 and even a bronze crowbar 67.2 centimeters long was discovered at Amarna.93

Levers have left unquestionable traces in the blocks themselves (figs. 4.10, 4.i i). These traces are in the shape of shift cuttings and lever holes, frequently seen either on the side face of the blocks that were lifted or pushed or on the top surface of blocks that had stones moved over them. Sometimes both occur together.94 There are also cases where the lever holes appear along the upper edge of a side surface just a few centimeters from the edge.95 Such holes helped to place the blocks exactly against their adjacent blocks.

Ordinary blocks with bigger dimensions, such as the casing blocks of the pyramid of Senwosret I, were provided with only one hole, which was positioned at the lower edge of one of the side faces. It was always hidden by the adjacent block so it could not be seen when the building was finished. Even in such a concealed place, however, it was often carefully patched with mortar and small stones after the placement of the block.96

Fig. 6.27 Series of ten lever sockets in the rock in front of the Chephren 
valley temple, probably for positioning a sphinx.

Larger blocks had to be moved with the help of more than one lever from one side. There are examples of blocks with up to seven lever holes along one side (fig. 6.26).97 The supposed sphinxes in front of the valley temple of Chephren are surrounded by nine sockets from the front and the short sides in order to push the monuments against the temple facade (fig. 6.27).98 The alabaster socle in the colonnade of Taharqa at Karnak was levered into place by two pairs of levers.99 In order to allow room for the operation, trenches had to be dug for each lever around the block. The pedestal of the colossus of Amenhotep III in front of Pylon X weighs 90 tons and was moved with two levers on each side. Judging from the sockets, the levers were 20 X 30 centimeters thick.100 A block from the entrance chapel of Senwosret I weighing 45 tons has three lever holes of 20 x 34, 27 X 27, and 22 x 25 centimeters.

Fig. 6.28 Lever sockets in portcullises and passage walls of a Twelfth 
Dynasty tomb at Lisht enable the closing of the corridor.

The use of such gigantic levers, which were pulled downward with fixed ropes by a group of about ten men each, was demonstrated when Legrain had the upper part of one of the Hatshepsut obelisks moved.101 Levers were also used for lifting. But did the Egyptian builders know how to raise blocks by rocking them up with the help of two supports near the center? Petrie calculated that by this method the fifty-six ceiling blocks of the crypt of Cheops weighing 54 tons each could be lifted by ten men with crossbars, since they would have to lift only 5 tons each time.102 Levers were also used to push portcullises out of their wall niches in order to close tomb passages. For this purpose, a system of lever sockets had been prepared (fig. 6.28).

Fig. 6.29 Model of a rocker from a foundation deposit of the Hatshepsut
temple, Deir el-Bahari. (MMA acc. no. 96.4.9)

Rockers In foundation deposits of the Eighteenth Dynasty are found little models of a wooden appliance that is usually called a rocker (Fig. 6.29).103 The model consists of two parallel boards with rounded under╜sides that are connected to each other by up to six cross sticks. Because no traces of the real instrument have ever been discovered and no representa╜tions of its use have been noticed, its original si/e and purpose are un╜known. Nevertheless, Egyptologists and others have speculated much on this instrument. There are two main theories.

The most common opinion is that rockers were large and could be used for "rocking up" a building block.104 Loaded with a block, the rocker would have been rocked back and forth, and shims would have been positioned under the raised runners alternating left and right. In this way, a rather small team of workmen would have been able to raise a block with moder╜ate effort and in good lime. This theory naturally appears in connection with pyramid building and may even be called the backbone of most such theories. In general, one assumes that the pyramid steps produced by the backing stones would have functioned as a staircase to rock up the material for the courses above. One has to keep in mind, however, that in actual work, it might not have been so easy. One has to visualize that the steps are—depending on the angle of the pyramids (that is, 50 to 60 degrees)— high rather than wide. Also, only for the first one to ten courses of a pyramid are the steps wider than 50 centimeters. This space on a steep pyramid is not sufficient for the safe handling of a rocker loaded with a block 50 x 70 X 100 centimeters, which is a weight of nearly i ton. Further╜more, at the end of each rocking maneuver, the rocker would have stood on a pile of wooden shims or beams the height of a pyramid step. The fall of a loaded rocker would have wiped out all working teams below. The loss of life and equipment might not have concerned the pyramid builders, but the interruption of work certainly would have. Fitchen, recognizing this problem, stressed the need to stabilize the pile of shims. He suggested vertical timbers fixed in sockets on the surface of the underlying block course. No such sockets on pyramid casings or core blocks have ever been noticed. Another basic question is whether a heavily loaded rocker stand╜ing on shims or wedges could still be rocked at all.

One might suggest, therefore, that rockers could have been used only on particularly wide and specially equipped steps—that is, on a staircase that was never provided by the pyramid itself, but only by masonry added at a lesser angle from outside the pyramid slope.

Fig. 6.30 The use of rockers as proposed in CEAEM, figs. 107-109

Engelbach presented another theory, based on tests with a model (Fig. 6.30).105 Arranged in a long line, many rockers would carry a whole course of wall blocks when they were dressed. The rockers would have permitted the stone masons to test, tit together, or move about the blocks, especially in cases where oblique joints had to be produced. Thus the whole course could have been assembled beforehand. Engelbach's theory is not convinc╜ing, however. The preparation of whole courses of blocks for larger proj╜ects—such as temple walls, pylons, and pyramids—on the ground in front of the building would have required too much organization to be really useful. Instead, one might follow Petrie's suggestion that "for shifting large building stones the Egyptians seem to have placed them on a cradle of wood, so that they could be readily twisted round, drawn along, or rocked up an inclined plane."106

Another possible interpretation of the model rockers is that they repre╜sent in a simplified way nothing other than ordinary sledges. This would explain why no real rockers have been discovered. Perhaps real rockers never existed.

Fig. 6.31 Pair of secamore rollers from Thebes (MMA acc. nos. 28.3.3, 4)

Rollers In Pharaonic Egypt as in technologically similar cultures,107 the use of wooden rollers was quite common (thev are even used today), and many rollers have been excavated in Egypt (fig. 6.31).108 They are short and have rounded ends, to prevent their catching. They have a diameter of about 10 centimeters, indicating the range of weights that could be moved by this method. Rollers are not easy to operate on uneven or soft ground, so clearly the most suitable surface would have been flat stone or a double row of beams arranged as tracks in the direction of movement.

Fig. 6.32 Placing a sarcophagus with rollers on guiding
beams, at the Middle Kingdom tombs of Qattah

Such skid poles were still found in position (or at least the grooves cut for them) in several places, mostly near or under sarcophagi (figs. 6.32, 6.33)109 or at the entrance of pyramid corridors, where they obviously served to roll the closing block into position (fig. 6.34).110 In the secondary tomb of the "Mastaha du nord" at Lisht, the closing blocks of the crypt ran on a pair of parallel poles that are still in position. In both cases, neither the sarcophagus nor the sealing stone could be pulled with ropes from the front but had to be pushed from behind, which was enormously simplified by the use of rollers. No skid poles or their grooves were noticed in other places, suggesting that the use of skid poles and rollers was restricted to work under such special conditions. But one would assume that building blocks were rolled in position whenever transport sledges had to be left behind—for example, on top of walls or pyramid stumps under construc╜tion. That blocks could also be moved on rollers in quarry caves is attested by the discovery of a limestone block in one of the Tura caves that was still resting on rollers. Unfortunately, the discovery was made under unfavora╜ble conditions and never recorded.111

Fig. 6.33 Moving the sarcophagus of Senwosret III from
the construction shaft into the burial chamber on rollers
and guidance beams.

There is a painting of a burial procession in which a coffin canopy stand╜ing on a sledge is pulled over rollers.112 This combination might occasion╜ally have eased transport problems, but was certainly not the rule. The handling of rollers may also have been depicted in the tomb of Rekhmira, but the damaged representation no longer shows if the rollers were put under building blocks or under a sledge.'113 For heavy monuments, such as obelisks and colossal statues, weighing hundreds of tons, the rollers would have been complete tree trunks of the hardest available wood. Otherwise, they would have soon been squashed, and the consumption of trees would have been enormous. In an actual experiment to move a block of 32 tons, which was carried out in 1979 in France (see n. 21, p. 102) trunks of oak 40 centimeters thick were used. During the operation, the block was con╜stantly rolling on four to six such trunks, arranged at close distances. Bronze rollers would have better sustained such weights. The only ones I know were found in the royal tombs of Tanis.114 They may have been exceptional.

Fig. 6.34 Grooves for the guidance beams for rolling in the 
closing block of the pyramid of Amenemhat III at Dashur.

Sledges To move heavy loads on sledges appears to us, who now use them only in snow, a hopelessly outdated technology. But the days when such sledges were still commonly used are not really so long ago. For example, we know that in the quarries of Carrara, heavy blocks of marble were lowered on a lizza in 1929.115 These sledges carried well over 25 tons. They were constructed of oak, holm-oak, or beech; were 6 to 12 meters long; and were pulled by as many as fourteen pairs of yoked oxen.

Fig. 6.35 Sledge found south of the pyramid complex of Senwosret III at Dashur.

Based on the great number of representations, the frequent use of the hieroglyph (from tm.t [sledge]), and a few objects found, sledges were the main instrument for moving heavy loads in Pharaonic Egypt, as in other countries of similar technological level.116 Three real sledges have been excavated in Egypt. The biggest one, 4.2 meters long, was buried near the pyramid of Senwosret III at Dahshur, apparently after having served for the transport of some heavy burial equipment (fig. 6.35).117 It consists of two runners with a diameter of 12×30 centimeters, connected by four crossbeams, attached with tongues and grooves. All the beams have slotted holes that could be used to fix ropes for securing the load or for pulling. But no hole for the main pulling rope at the front of the sledge is visible.

Fig. 6.36 Sledge for a shrine, from a deposit south of the 
pyramid of Senwosret I at Lisht. (MMA acc. no. 24.1.84)

A smaller sledge, made of cedar wood, was excavated south of the pyra╜mid of Senwosret I at Lisht (fig. 6.36).118 It is only 1.73 meters long and 0.78 meter wide and has only two crossbeams. An additional round pole attached in front of the front crossbeam was used for fixing the pulling ropes. A number of slots would have secured the object to be moved with the help of dowels. This sledge was made to carry a shrine or a similar object but was never used for real transport, since the undersides of its runners show no traces of wear. Remains of color indicate that the sledge was painted pink.119 Petrie excavated a portion of a large sledge for drag╜ging stones that was lying in the debris of the pyramid of Hawara and was made of reused boat timber.120

Fig. 6.37 Granite column on a sledge travelling
in a boat from Aswan to the pyramid temple of
Unas, as depicted in the Unas causeway.

Most of the Egyptian representations of sledges show the transport of funerary equipment, such as Ka statues, coffins, canopic boxes, and other shrines.121 They are pulled by men, oxen, or both. But there are also representations of the transport of building materials. The oldest scene, in the causeway of Unas (fig. 6.37)122 shows granite columns and architraves on their boat trip from Aswan to Saqqara. The architraves and the 6-meter-long columns are tied up on sledges, which would therefore have been about 7 meters long.

Fig. 6.38 Reconstruction of the sledge for 
transporting the colossus of Djehutihotep

Another famous transport scene is that in the tomb of Djehutihotep at Bersheh (fig. 6.38).123 It shows the seated alabaster figure of the monarch tied to a huge sledge, which is pulled by i 72 men walking in four columns. The ground immediately in front of the sledge is watered for ease in gliding. There are no indications of the use of rollers for road construction. The statue may have been 7 meters high and weighed about 58 tons. It is amazing that the four pulling ropes radiate from one point, since four ropes fixed to a draw bar might have been expected. To increase the number of men, as was necessary for large monuments, this draw bar would have projected on both sides of the sledge so that many more paral╜lel ropes could be pulled at the same time. To the side, a heavy beam with a side with teeth is carried. We may suppose that it was used to block a backward movement of the sledge when pulled over uneven ground.

Fig. 6.39 Transport of a block of limestone on a sledge, early New Kingdom, 
as depicted in rock relief from Ma'asara. (Cairo 62949)

From the New Kingdom, we know three important transport scenes with sledges. The first is a rock relief from the quarries ofMa'asara-Tura, which probably dates from the time of King Ahmose and is now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (fig. 6.39).124 It represents the hauling of a block, the size of which may be estimated to have been 1×1×3 meters (about 5 tons). It is on a sledge pulled by three pairs of yoked humpbacked oxen, guided by three drivers. The -first could be a Semite; the third, a Libyan. These people and the oxen may indicate the use of prisoners and booty of war from the early Eighteenth Dynasty onward.

Fig. 6.40 One of the obelisks of Hatshepsut on a sledge travelling 
by boat from Aswan to Thebes, as depicted in the Queen's
temple Deir el-Bahari.

The next example is provided by the obelisks of Queen Hatshepsut loaded on sledges traveling from Aswan to Thebes on huge boats (fig. 6.40).125 The sledges must have been about 31 meters long and would have been composed of complete tree trunks. The obelisks rest on crossbeams and are fixed with ropes. One of the obelisks weighs 320 tons.

In the building representations of the tomb of Rekhmira, apparently two scenes depict the hauling of blocks on sledges,126 but both scenes are much damaged. Besides the remains of foremen and the men pulling, one can still recognize three workmen giving additional help with levers from be╜hind the sledge. For that purpose, Egyptian (and Assyrian) sledges have a chamfered lower rear edge. In the upper of the two scenes, the workers are handling poles, which could indicate the use of additional rollers.

Fig. 6.41 A human-headed winged bull for the palace of Sennacherib
being dragged on a sledge, as depicted on a relief from his palace at Nineveh.

One should recall here the famous representations of the transport of winged bulls from the palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (about 700 b.c.) (fig. 6.41),'27 which show that in Mesopotamia, some 700 years later, exact╜ly the same transport methods were used. The Assyrian bulls are lying on huge wooden sledges (one bull is standing), which are being pulled over short rollers. From the front, prisoners of war are pulling on four heavy double ropes, to which they are attached by cords pulled over their shoul╜ders. From behind, others are helping with enormous levers, which are pulled down with ropes by several men at each rope. The levers are set on wedge-shaped fulcrums, which can be raised with additional wedges. Other men are forced by guards to carry the rollers from behind the sledge to thefront to be reused there. The rollers seem to be short pieces that could be put under only one runner of the sledge and that could not reach from one side to the other.

Since a heavy sledge would gel stuck in sand and dust, it could be hauled over only solid ground, stone chips, or specially prepared roads. From the boat glide of Mirgissa, representations of workers pouring out water in front of sledges, and the experience transmitted by Chevrier,128 we know that a road surface of mud or lime treated with water would considerably reduce the friction. Chevrier found that six men could easily pull a sledge loaded with a 4.8-ton stone on a horizontal plane covered with watered mud. The relation would thus be one man per ton.

The pulling force could be increased by the use of oxen, as it was still done in the nineteenth century.129 Not only were such animals represented in the early Eighteenth Dynasty relief just mentioned, but carcasses of four strong bulls that apparently died from exhaustion during construction work were actually excavated by H. E. Winlock in the temple of Men-tuhotep at Deir el-Bahari.130

The stone quarried in Roman times in the Mons Claudianus area was apparently transported with the help of cattle.131 The route stations along the Wadi Qena were equipped with huge stables that could accommodate 300 to 400 animals. Whether the stones were moved on sledges or wagons here is unknown.

To what extent animals could be used for pulling sledges is also un╜known. The examples from the quarries of Carrara show that twenty-eight animals could be properly arranged and guided. They would easily have had a pulling force of 150 to 200 tons.132 One can imagine, therefore, lliat a sledge loaded with a weight of 1000 tons would have needed 200 animals.

Compared with the method of using rollers to move monuments, the sledge has the great advantage of being more easily controlled, especially for keeping the correct direction of movement. The monument itself is also much better protected against the impact of ropes, levers, and rollers. One would assume, therefore, that the transport of heavy and precious monu╜ments was carried out on sledges and that rollers were used only for ordi╜nary building material and rough work.

Fig. 6.42.Wooden wedge with a handle.
Sixth dynasty from Saqqara(Cairo)

Wedges An essential tool for every mason who handles blocks of any size is the wooden wedge. Its main purpose is to keep a block aloft during work so that hands or a lever can easily be put under the edge to move the stone. Such wedges must have existed in great numbers in Egypt, but because they are little valued, few have been noticed in excavation and even fewer have been published.133

6.43.Wooden hand wedge from the pyramid of
Senwosret I at Lisht. ( MMA 34.1.35)

In order to facilitate the pulling out of the wedge from its position under a stone, some were made with a handle, carved from the same block of wood (figs. 6.42, 6.43). The old and still often cited statement that wooden wedges were inserted into wedge slots in order to break stones with the help of the swelling power of water was shattered in 1965 by Roeder.134 Metal wedges were not known in Pharaonic Egypt.

Iron wedges for splitting blocks of stone have been found in the Ramesseum. Petrie dated them to about 800 B.C.,135 but they could be of a much later date as well.

Fig. 6.44 Siege towers moved on wheels, as depicted in the
tomb of Kaemheset at Saqqara and Intef at Qurna, sixth and 
Eleventh Dynasties.

Wagons We assume that wheels and carriages were introduced into Egypt only in the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was involved with its northeastern neighbors, who possessed horses and chariots. From then on, chariots became an essential part of the equipment of the Egyp╜tian army and were also used as prestigious toys of the nobles of the New Kingdom. The picture of the Old and Middle Kingdoms without the knowledge of wheels and carriages is shaken, however, by the discovery of two wall paintings of the late Old Kingdom and the Eleventh Dynasty depicting siege towers that were moved on wheels (fig. 6.44).136 It would be strange if transport wheels were restricted to only military purposes and not used for moving other heavy weights as well.

There are indications that the carriage of the New Kingdom was used not only for fighting and hunting, but also for transporting goods. In the tomb of Ahhotep (early Eighteenth Dynasty), a wood and bronze model of a four-wheeled wagon was found,137 on which funerary barks were depos╜ited. In the tomb ofSobeknakht at el-Kab (also early Eighteenth Dynasty), a funerary bark is represented being pulled by two oxen on what seems to be a four-wheeled carriage (only two wheels are shown, of course).138 In the funerary papyrus of Maiherperi of a later date in the Eighteenth Dynasty, a funerary bark on a sledge is being pulled on rollers or wheels.139

Some representations of Late Period date show that four-wheeled car╜riages were frequently used in temple processions for displaying barks and shrines. Remains of such a wooden temple carriage were excavated in the temple of Medinet Madi.140 The only reference to large-scale transport in wagons is from the Ramesside period, in the report on the expedition of Ramesses IV to the Wadi Hammamat, which mentions: "There were trans╜ported for them supplies from Egypt in ten wagons, there being six yokes of oxen to [each] wagon, drawing [them] from Egypt to the mountain of Bekhen."141 One might suppose, however, that this was not the first expe╜dition to use ox carts. Still, there is no evidence that the ox wagons of Ramesses IV were also used for the transport of the bekhen stone back to the Nile Valley. The size of the work force in connection with that expedition I although the number may be misinterpreted) seems to indicate that work╜ers were also used for hauling stones. Carts drawn by oxen may have been used much later to bring the material from the Mons Claudianus and Mons Porphyrites down to the Nile Valley—for example, the sixteen columns of tinted granite for the Pantheon in Rome, each of which was 12.5 meters long and weighed 48 tons.

Fig. 6.45 Bearing stones of the Fourth Dynasty
found in the pyramid city of Khentkaus (A)
and the valley temple of Mycerinos (B).

Bearing Stones or Ropes At Giza were found two stone implements, ap╜parently of Old Kingdom date, that were part of an unknown device to pull or lower three parallel running ropes over an edge or around a corner. The first one, of basalt (24 centimeters long, 18 centimeters wide), was found in the pyramid city of Khentkaus (fig. 6.45).142 Its head has grooves for three thick ropes and was inserted with an elongated mortise like a bearing into some device—probably not in stone, for it was fixed with a round peg or tenon. The second one, from the valley temple of Mycerinus. is of dark slate (37 centimeters long, 16 centimeters wide) and is broken (fig. 6.45).143 Its mortise is longer and has room for two pegs to be fixed.

By the shape of the head of the stones, one may conclude that they were made to change the direction of the ropes by 45 to 90 degrees. The object into which the stones were inserted must have been a pole, the head of a scaffold, or a kind of trestle.144 The shape of the head and the way it was fixed to a shaft prevent it from being used for vertical lifting or lowering.

Fig. 6.46 Possible use of a
bearing stone to change the
direction of the pull of ropes

This could have been achieved only by putting it into an oblique shaft or crane (fig. 6.46). In a vertical position, the weight pulled could have been moved only at an angle of 45 degrees. It could have well served, therefore, to lift or lower heavy weights—for example, a pillar or a colossal statue.

We have here a primitive forerunner of a pulley, or a so-called fast pulley, firmly attached to a shaft. The existence of this device seems to indicate that real pulleys made of a wheel with a grooved rim did not yet exist. M. Isler has suggested to me that bearing stones would have been superior to even wooden pulleys because the wooden pulley axles would have been too fragile to bear heavy loads.

   1 Richard Lepsius, Die alt-aegyptische Elle (Berlin, 1865); W- M. Flinders Petrie, Ancient Weights and Measures (London, 1926), 38-41; Petrie, Kahun, 27; Petrie, Illahun, Kahun and Gurob 1883-1890 (London, 1891), 14. See also Erik Iversen, Canon and Proportions in Egyptian Art, 2nd ed., ed. Yoshiaka Shibata (Warminster, 1975), 14-19, pl. 33; A. Schwab-Schlott, MDAIK 28 (1972); 110-111.
2 Ernesto Schiaparelli, La Tomba intatta dell'architetto Cha: Relazione sui lavori della missione italiana in Egitto, anni 1903-1920 (Turin, 1927), 168-173, figs. 154-156, and 80, fig. 47.
3 BM 6025 = Lepsius no. 14.
4 The nby is mentioned on Theban ostraka (William C. Hayes, Ostraka and Name Stones from the Tomb of Sen-Mut (No. 71) at Thebes. Publications of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Egyptian Expedition 15 [New York, 1942], 36). The nby may be identical with the units on two (incomplete) rods discovered by Petrie at Kahgun (Petrie, Kahun, 27; Petrie, Illahun, Kahun and Gurob, 14). There is no need, however, to interpret them as foreign units.
5 L. Borchardt, ZÄS 42 (1905); 70-72; W. Schenkel, in LÄ iv, 115. The cord was called nwh (P. C. Smither, JEA 27 [1941]: 74-76).
6 Reisner, Mycerinus, 78, n. i. For early representations of the hieroglyph, see Petrie, Royal Tombs I, pls. 9 [1-5], 11 [6, 16], 21 [28], 31 [46]. Generally understood as a "looped cord serving as hobble for cattle" (Alan Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar [London, 1973], 523 [V 16]).
7 Statues of Senenmut, Penuris, and Amcnemhat-Surer (L. Borchardt, ZÄS 42 [1905]: 70-72; Jacques Vandier, Manuel d'archeologie egyptienne III, Plates (Paris, 1958), pl. 164 [1, 3, 6].
8 CEAEM, fig. 62; S. Berger, JEA 20 (1934): 54-56; Norman De Garis Davies, The Tombs of Mencheperrasomb, Amenmose and Another (London, 1933), pl. 17; Charles Wilkinson and Marsha Hill, Egyptian Wall Paintings (New York, 1983), fig. 46.
9 Dorner, "Absteckung," 94-95. See also W. Meyer-Christian, MDAIK 43 (1987) : 197
10 CEAEM, Fig. 265a = MMA 22.3.72; Hayes, Scepter i, fig. 192 (center).
11 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 42, pl. 48 [B64—89].
12 CEAEM, fig. 264; Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 42, pl. 47 [B57] (Cairo 27280).
13 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 43, pl. 49 [94]; Gautier, Licht,61, fig. 72 (Cairo 31044); Alexander Badawy, Ancient Egyptian Architectural Design (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1965), 40-43.
14 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl. 47 [60] (burial of Senedjem, Nineteenth Dynasty, Cairo 27259). A model from the tomb of Meketra is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (MMA 20.3.90, measuring 15.1 × 11.5 centimeters). For a model from a Twelfth Dynasty tomb at Nag' ed-Deir, see William K. Simpson, Papyrus Reisner II (Boston, 1965), frontispiece. See also J. E. Quibell and A. G. K. Hayter, Teti Pyramid, North Side: Excavations at Saqqara (Cairo, 1927), 41.
15 Rekhmire, pl. 55.
16 Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture VIII.5; see also Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft in (Stuttgart, 1899), 2439-2440 (s.v. "Chero-bates").
17 Gunther Binding and Norbert Nussbaum, Der Baubetrieb nördlich der Alpen in zeitgenössischen Darstellungen (Darmstadt, 1978), 93, 99, 133.
18 WB III, 331/12; WB IV, 86/15, 261/10-13.
19 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 42, pl. 47 [58, 59] (both in Cairo 27258). For the discovery, see E. Toda, ASAE 20 (1920): 154.
20 Gautier, Licht, 60, fig. 71 (Cairo 31045, CG 1931).
21 W. M. Flinders Petrie, Amulets (London, 1914), pl. 4.
22 See, in general, CEAEM, 105-106, pl. 2650; D. Stocks, Manchester Archaeological Bulletin 2 (1987): 42-50.
23 Rekhmire, pl. 62. A model of this scene was displayed in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
24 Krauth, Steinhauerbuch, 186-188, figs. 243-245.
25 Jequier, Pepi II III, 47, fig. 46 (Cairo 52347); CEAEM, fig. 2650; Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 43, pl. 49 [B44-50]. The set B from Beni Hasan (Middle Kingdom) is square. Egypt's Golden Age, no. 27 (New Kingdom [from Deir el-Bahari]).
26 D. Stocks, Manchester Archaeological Bulletin 2 (1987); 49-50, fig. 25.
27 For metal tools in general and their application, see R. Anthes, MDAIK 10 (1941): 79-121; W. Barta, in IV, 19-20. For Minoan Crete, see Shaw, Minoan Architecture, 44-61, figs. 35-48.
28 R. Michael Cowell, in W. V. Davies, Tools and Weapons, vol. i,Axes (catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum) (London, 1987), 96-101, with more references on recent surveys and analyses of Egyptian metalwork.
29 Ibid., 98; see also Zaki Nour, Cheops Boats, 34—39.
30 Lucas and Harris, AEMI, 235—243.
31 A. R. Williams and K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, Journal of Archaeological Science 3 (1976); 283-305. A foreign origin of the tools cannot be ruled out.
32 See the articles byJ. C. Golvin in ASAE 68 (1982): 165-190; ASAE 70 (1984-1985): 371-381; and Hommages a Francois Daumas (Montpelier, Vt., 1988), 299-329.
33 Petrie, Royal Tombs n, 24, 28, pls. 6, gA, 38 [94], 41.
34 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pls. 21, 22. The variety of tools used by stonemasons of the nineteenth century a.d. is illustrated in Krauth, Steinhauerbuch, i 76— 185, figs. 233-242. Eigner seems to have noted the traces of droves or boasters (4.5 to 7 centimeters wide) and of a 1.1-centimeter-wide toothed claw with seven claws (necessarily of metal) (Grabbaulen, 84). This concerns the tomb of Pedineith (Theban Tomb no. 197), which dates, however, only from the period of Amasis (about 550 b.c.). A true metal hammer in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (MMA ace. no. 30.8.113), is certainly too small to be used for stoneworking.
35 CEAEM, fig. 263a, said to be from Gebelein.
36 Rekhmire, pls. 52-55.
37 Henri Wild, Le Tombeau de Ti in (Cairo, 1953), pls. 120-124, 133; Norman De Garis Davies, The Rock Tombs ofDeir el Gebrawi (London, 1902), pl. 16.
38 F. Debono, ASAE 46 (1947); 265-285. Two examples were found at Qurna, probably dating from the Twenty-second to Twenty-sixth Dynasty (CEAEM, fig. 266; Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl. 53). Engelbach believed in the existence of metal mason's picks (ASAE 29 [1929]: 19-24). His suggestions are based, however, on traces on a sarcophagus of Persian or Ptolemaic date (H. Abou-Seif, ASAE 24 [1924]: 91-96).
39 R. Klemm is convinced, however, that the tool marks in quarry walls were not produced by picks but by pointed chisels (personal communication).
40 Firth an Quibell, Step Pyramid, 128, pl. 93 [7].
41 Engelbach, Aswan Obelisk, 11-13.
42 Henri Wild, Le Tombeau de Ti II (Cairo, 1953), pls. 97, 129.
43 Junker, Giza X, 16.
44 Engelbach, Aswan Ohflisk, pl. 4 [2]; Reisner, Mycerinus, 236-237, pls. 20a-c.
45 Wild, Tombeau de Ti II, pls. 97A, 129.
46 For representations, see Gustave Jequier, Les Frises d'objets des sarcophages du Muye'n Empire (Cairo, 1921), 279.
47 M. Isler, JEA 73 (1987): 137-147.
48 J.-P. Lauer and F. Debono, ASAE 50 (1950): 1-18.
49 Possibly some of the specimens in Petrie, Kahun, pl. 16; Petrie, Illhun, Kahun and Gurob, pl. 7. One example from Giza (Zaki Nour, Cheops Boats, pl. i5A).
50 Petrie mentions flints in the builder's debris thrown over the cliffs of Giza; he does not consider them to be tools, but thinks that they originated from clearing the desert surface (Pyramids and Temples, a 13). Large numbers of flakes broken from stone tools have been found, however, in the stonecutters' debris around the pyramid of Senwosret I at Lisht (unpublished data). They are enclosed in layers of granite dust. B. Vachala and J. Sroboda observed large quantities of hammerstones and flint tools around limestone buildings at Abusir ZÄS 116 [1989]: 178) and suggest the use of stone tools for dressing limestone.
51 Krauth, Steinhauerbuch, 180, fig. 238.
52 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 40, pl. 46; CEAEM, fig. 264; De Morgan, Dahchour n, 105, fig. 153; Egypt's Golden Age, no. 25; Arnold and Winlock, Mentuhotep, 60-61, pls. 34b, 35a-b.
53 Emery, Great Tombs n, fig. 69, pi- 30; W. M. Flinders Petrie, Deshasheh (London, 1897), pl. 34.
54 Edouard Naville, The Xlth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari ill (London, 1913), 18. For more examples of mallets, see ibid., pl. 29 [3].
55 See, in general, CEAEM, 194, 202-204; Lucas and Harris, AEMI, 42-44, 66-71, 423-426; Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 173; Holscher, Chephren, 77-79; Borchardt, Neuserre, 142-143; Zuber, "Travail des pierres dures," 205-215; D. Stocks, Popular Archaeology (April 1986): 24—29; Jequier, Frises d'objets sarcophages du May en Empire, 275-277.
56 Ali El-Khouly, Egyptian Stone Vessels of Predynastic Period to Dynasty III (Mainz, 1978).
57 D. Stocks, Popular Archaeology (April 1986): 24-29.
58 Shaw, Minoan Architecture, 69—70, figs. 61-63.
59 L. Gorelick and A. J. Gwinnett, Expedition (1983): 40-47. Their result contra╜dicts Stocks's experiments, which seem to have achieved striations on stone cores with dry quartz sand. Stocks also notes that A. Lucas found a mass of quartz sand in a drill hole of an alabaster fragment (Popular Archaeology [April 1986]: 24-29).
60 Lucas and Harris doubt that emery was found in Egypt and suggest its being imported from the Greek Islands. G. Schweinfurth seems to have located a findspot near Aswan; however, see Borchardt, Neuserre, 142. Pliny mentions that for sawing stone, sand had to be imported to Rome from India, Egypt, and Nubia (Natural History xxxvi. 9-10).
61 Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 176.
62 Numerous examples are in the Djoser complex (Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid, pls. 64 [i], 86 [6], 93 [i]; C. M. Firth, ASAE 25 [1925]: pl. 5 [2]). For a later example, with 36-centimeter-deep drill holes in granite slabs, see Ricke, Sonnenheiligtum I, fig. 9.
63 Junker, Giza in, 190, fig. 34.
64 D. Stocks, Popular Archaeology (April 1986); z6, fig. on p. 28. Apparently, the sarcophagi of Sekhemkhet (Lauer, Hist. Mon. i, 195) and of Cheops (Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 176) were drilled that way. How common the method was, however, is not established.
65 Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid, pl. 94 [5]; Holscher, Chephren, 77-79; Borchardt, Neuserre, 142, tig. 122 [i]; Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 173. Holscher mentions, without further details, "the end of a bronze drill which had broken off deep in the boring" (Mortuary Temple n, 37). Tiny bronze fragments can also be seen in the drill hole in a doorpost of Ramesses II in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (ace. no. 13.183.2).
66 Firth and Quibell, Step Pyramid, pls. 86 [6], 93 [1-2]. Petrie cites a slightly later example, which he explains as a "pivot block to turn heavy blocks on in moving stone" (Meydum and Memphis, 5, pl. 20).
67 See, in general, CEAEM, 203—204; Junker, Giia x, 82; Jequier, Frises d'objets des sarcophages du Moyen Empire, 271—273; Zuber, "Travail des pierres dures," 202-205.
68 Lauer, Hist. Mon. I, 253.
69 Zuber, "Travail des pierres dures," 202-205.
70 Lauer, Hist. Mon. I, 195, 235; Anna Maria Donadoni-Roveri, / Sarcofagi Egizi dalle origini alia fine dell'antico regno (Rome, 1969), A1.
71 Borchardt, Re-Heiligtum, 44.
72 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl. 52 [53]; Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 174.
73 Donadoni-Roveri, Sarcofagi Egizi dalle origini alia fine dell'antico regno, B10 and B31; from the tomb of Djedefhor (Cairo CG 6193) and from mastaba Giza G 7270 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), see Junker, Giza x, 82.
74 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl. 52 [57].
75 Ibid., pl. 52 [52, 54, 56].
76 Borchardt, Re-Heiligtum, 44> gives only "Abusir."
77 Reisner, Mycerinus, 116.
78 D. Stocks, Popular Archaeology (April 1986): 28-29.
79 One example of iron from the seventh century b.c. could be of foreign origin (A. R. Williams and K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, Journal of Archaeological Science 3 [1976]: 383-305). Numerous Minoan saws are preserved, the largest being 1.7 meters long and 21 centimeters wide (Shaw, Minoan Architecture, 55-69, figs. 43-46). Most of them have teeth along the entire length of their cutting edges. The mason's saws were toothless, however. They have small round holes in one end. These holes were intended for the attachment of wooden handles. Saw marks are recorded on hard limestone, conglomerate, green schist, and speckled basalt. The width of saw cuts ranges from 1 to 2 millimeters. Frequently, saw cuts were used only as a "guide line" in order to produce a clean break when the stone was struck with a hammer.
80 Garstang, Bet Khallaf, pl. 23 [35].
81 Vitruvius (Ten Books on Architecture n. 7.1) and Pliny (Natural History xxxvi. 9-10) mention cutting stone with toothless saws. For modern usage, see Marble, 136-142, figs. 157-169. The author's remarks on ancient Egypt are completely misleading, however.
82 Lucas and Harris, AEMI, 134-136; Ryan and Hansen, Cordage.
83 Carefully studied from representations of rope-making scenes by E. Teeter, JEA 73 (1987): 71-77.
84 Zaki Nour, Cheops Boats, 42, pls. 12, 63-65.
85 E. A. M. Greiss, BIE 31 (1949): 271-272. Apparently, six ropes were found, one of which was 56 meters long.
86 Zaki Nour, Cheops Boats, pl. 38.
87 Ryan and Hansen, Cordage.
88 J. J. Janssen, Commodity Prices from the Ramessid Period (Leiden, 1975), 439; Janssen, Two Ancient Ship's Logs (Leiden, 1961), 87.
89 Engelbach, Aswan Obelisk, 25.
90 B. Catoire, in Karnak VII, 181-202.
91 Rekhmire, pl. 58.
92 G. Daressy, ASAE I (1900): 28.
93 J. D. S. Pendlebury, The City of Akhenaten III (London, 1951), 45, pl. 74 [1]. Is the 52-centimeter-long copper instrument depicted in CEAEM, fig. 263a, a crowbar or a long chisel?
94 For late examples, see Winlock, Hibis, pl. 48.
95 Lacau and Chevrier, Hatshepsout I, 9, fig. I.
96 For example, the casing blocks of the Cheops Pyramid and core blocks of the mortuary temple of Chephren. See also Zaki Nour, Cheops Boats, pl. 32.
97 On core blocks of the mortuary temple of Chephren. Good examples are in Holscher, Chephren, pl. 8. Reisner observed up to five mortises along the lower edges of the core blocks of the mortuary temple of Mycerinus, 10 to 15 x 20 to 30 centimeters wide and 10 to 15 centimeters deep (Mycerinus, 75).
98 Holscher, Chephren, pl. 17.
99 Karnak V, 79-82, Figs. 2, 3, pl. 31.
100 Ibid., 163, fig. 3.
101 Golvin and Goyon, Karnak, 130. The application of huge levers pulled down with ropes is also shown in the reliefs of Sennacherib at Nineveh (Julian Reade, Assyrian Sculpture [Cambridge, Mass., 1983], figs. 51, 51).
102 Petrie, Pyramids and Temples, 212. It is not certain, however, that the relieving chambers were already planned when the blocks could be loaded on one of the lower courses in order to "travel" upward.
103 Many have been found. A photograph at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, shows thirty-six rockers from foundation deposits of Hatshepsut excavated by Edouard Naville (E. Naville, The Temple of Deir el Bahari VI [London, 1908], pl. 168; Hayes, Scepter II, 85-86, fig. 47; Ägyptens Aufstieg zur Weltmacht, no. 69a).
104 For example, Choisy, L'Art de batir, 80-86; Borchardt, Re-Heiligtum, 62; J. Fitchen, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 37 (1978): 3-9.
105 CEAEM, 102-103, figs. 107-109.
106 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 41 [B37],
107 On the road to the Inca fortress Ollantaytambo, building blocks still lie along the roadside, one on rollers of adder wood (J. Ogden Outwater, in Tecnologia Andina [Lima, 1978], 581-589, fig. 3). At Nuri (Sudan), two short thick granite rollers were found in Pyramid VIII (Engelbach, Aswan Obelisk, 38).
108 CEAEM, fig. 267, from the pyramid of Pepy II (=Jequier, Pepi II, III 47-48, fig. 44, in Cairo 51432); Petrie, Tools and Weapons, pl. 49 [B38, 39]; Guy Brunton, Lahun I (London, 1920), pl. 20A; MMA 24.1.77 and [24.1.78] (unpublished).
109 De Morgan, Dahchour II, 90, fig. 134; E. Chassinat, Fouilles de Qattah, MIFAO 14 (Cairo, 1906), 22, fig. 8; Gautier, Licht, figs. 77, 78, 90; Arthur Mace and Herbert E. Winlock, The Tomb of Senebtisi at Lisht (New York, 1916), 14, figs. 5, 6. Burial pit of vizier Mentuhotep at Lisht with a network of short poles (60 to 80 centimeters) in front of the sarcophagus. Poles for rolling roofing slabs (Arnold, Qasr el-Sagha, fig. 9, pl. 7C). Poles for sliding coffin lid in position (Maragioglio, Piramidi VIII, pl. 10).
110 Arnold, Amenemhet III I, 22, pl. 44b; Jequier, Deux pyramides, pls. 8, 17; Maragioglio, Piramidi v, pl. 8 [4, 6]; Gautier, Licht, 72, fig. 90; queen's pyramid 3 of Senwosret I at Lisht (unpublished data); P. Montet, ASAE 46 (1947); pl. 79, with a granite plug on four rollers blocking the crypt of King Psusennes at Tanis.
111 N. Charlton, JEA 64 (1978); 128. From observations made in the quarries of Carrara, one would expect instead crossbeams for transportation on such uneven ground (Mannoni, Marble, fig. 245).
112 Saleh and Sourouzian, Kairo, no. 142a (Eighteenth Dynasty papyrus of Maiherperi).
113 Rekhmire, pl. 58.
114 G. Goyon, Revue Archeologique 2 (1963); 5, n. i.
115 Mannoni, Marble, figs. 129-132, 248, 256.
116 As it was certainly done in Mesopotamia. Compare the representations of the transport of winged bulls on sledges (with rollers!) from the palace of Sennacherib (Reade, Assyrian Sculpture, figs. 50, 51).
117 De Morgan, Dahchour i, 83, fig. 204; CEAEM, fig. 85; George A. Reisner, Models of Ships and Boats (Cairo, 1913), 88-89.
118 BMMA 15 (July 1920); 10-11, fig. 7 (MMA no. 24.1.84); Hayes, Scepter I, fig. 118.
119 A similar sledge from the tomb of Tutankhamun symbolically carried the gilded Ka shrine of the king.
120 W. M. Flinders Petrie, Seventy Years in Archaeology (London, n.d.), 100. The present location of the sledge is unknown.
121 H. G. Fischer, JEA 67 (1981); 166, fig. 1. Many examples are in Marianne Eaton-Krauss, The Representations of Statuary in Private Tombs of the Old Kingdom (Wiesbaden, 1984).
122 G. Goyon, BIFAO 69 (1971): 11-41, pls. 3-5; H. G. Fischer, JEA 61 (1975): 33-34. fig. 2.
123 Percy E. Newberry, Bersheh i (London, 1895), pl. 15; J. Vandier, CdE 18 (1943): 185-190; A, Badawy, MIO 8 (1963): 325-332. Model made by R. Engelbach in 1933 (H. Chevrier, RdE 22 [1970]: 22-23, pl. 1).
124 Vyse, Pyramids in, 99, no. 6; G. Daressy, ASAE 11 (1911): 263-265; Saleh and Sourouzian, Kairo, no. 119.
125 Naville, Temple of Deir el Bahari VI, pl. 154.
126 Rekhmire, 55, pl. 58.
127 Austen Henry Layard, The Monuments of Nineveh II (London, 1849), pls. 13-17; Archibald Paterson, Assyrian Sculptures: Palace of Sennacherib (Haarlem, 1915), pls. 110-123. Mulloy suggests that the Easter Island statues were moved on one-piece sledges made of tree forks ("Easter Islands," 9-12). They would have been moved forward with the help of a bipod seated above the sledge.
128 H. Chevrier, RdE 22 (1970): 20.
129 Mannoni, Marble, figs. 129, 134-137, 245, 248. For the role of oxen in medieval church building, see lan Dunlop, The Cathedrals' Crusade (London and New York, 1982), 52.
130 Arnold and Winlock, Mentuhotep, 62, pl. 37.
131 J. Roeder, MDAIK 18 (1962); 89-91.
132 Mannoni shows a block weighing about 40 to 50 tons pulled by fourteen oxen (Marble, fig. 129).
133 Jequier, Pepi II III, 47, fig. 45, and CEAEM, fig. 267 (Sixth Dynasty, Cairo 51433); Hayes, Scepter I, 290, fig. 192 (MMA 34.1.35, made of hard tamarisk wood).
134 J. Roeder, Archaeälogischer Anzeiger 3 (1965): 467-551.
135 Petrie, Tools and Weapons, 41 [B16-17], pl. 13.
136 Quibell and Hayter, Teti Pyramid, North Side, frontispiece; H. Senk, ASAE 57 (1954): 207-211; Brigitte Jaros-Deckert, Das Grab des Jnj-jtj.f: Die Wandmalereien der XI. Dynastie (Mainz, 1984), foldout 3.
137 Saleh and Sourouzian, Kairo no. 123. For another example from the Nine╜teenth Dynasty, see Guy Brunton and Reginald Engelbach, Gurob (London, 1927), pl.52.
138 N. De Garis Davies, JAE 12 (1926): 111.
139 Saleh and Sourouzian, Kairo, no. 142a.
140 K. H. Dittmann, MDAIK 10 (1941): 60-78.
141 Jules Couyat and Pierre Montet, Les Inscriptions hieroglyphiques et hieratiques du Ouadi Hammamat (Cairo, 1912), 38, lines 19-21.
142 Selim Hassan, Excavations at Giza IV, 1932-9333 (Cairo, 1943), 44 [23], pls. 18A-B.
143 Reisner, Mycerinus, 272, pl. A [6].
144 A relief from the tomb of Apui at Saqqara might suggest that the bearing stones could also have been inserted into the tops of masts of sailing boats (CEAEM, fig. 45).

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