Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology: Stoneworking Technology in Ancient Egypt
79. At Kahun, several Twelfth Dynasty flint artifacts (MM 248) were discovered, which could have been driven with a hammer or a mallet for punching into hard and soft stone. The flints are pointed at one end, while the opposite ends have been dressed to a flat surface. Ancient tools of such size and shape are indicated both by the experimental working of hard and soft stone and by the examination of tomb illustrations. For example, in the tomb of Rekhmire at Thebes,27 the head of a seated red granite colossus (Figure 3.4), constructed to nearly twice life-size, is being carved to its final shape with a stone hammer driving a chisel or a punch. This seems to be an important piece of evidence with regard to two aspects of working the hard stones: the employment of a stone hammer for this work and the use of a tool which is, in association with granite, most unlikely to have been made from copper or bronze. Iron must be discounted because of the Dynastic period.
80. The chisel or punch must, therefore, have been manufactured from stone, and this stone was probably flint. The craftworker shown chiselling the sphinx in the tomb of Rekhmire,28 may have been using a flint tool, even though the sphinx is made of white limestone. The ancient concurrent use of both metal and stone chisels on soft stone cannot be ruled out, and the archaeological and the later experimental evidence in this chapter supports the use of stone chisels and punches on soft stone. In any event, it has already been shown that flint adzes and scrapers were used on soft stone.