Egypte - Burins en Cuivres

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Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology: Stoneworking Technology in Ancient Egypt

27. Egyptian copper chisels developed into two basic shapes, the ‘flat’ and the ‘crosscut’, which are still in use today (Figure 2.3). The flat copper chisel, for working soft stone, was hammered into a wide, double tapering section, ending in an edge sharpened from both sides; sometimes, like a modern woodcutting chisel, a single slope ended in an edge.11 The flat chisel was useful for quickly removing large areas of wood and soft stone, where a perfectly flat and smooth surface was not initially important. To make the crosscut chisel,12 a copper bar was initially hammered into a double taper, but was then turned through 90° and hammered into a second, narrower double taper. This chisel’s shorter edge concentrated a blow upon a smaller cutting area; the Egyptian woodworker employed the crosscut chisel’s superior strength to cut and lever wood from deep mortises (Figure 2.4). The flat chisel’s edge operated on materials in a similar fashion to the adze blade. However, the twin advantages a chisel has over an adze are the craftworker’s ability to direct the blade to an exact position on the workpiece, before a blow is struck, and also to vary the chisel’s angle of attack from an acute angle to the workpiece through to a vertical position, which enables the tool to split materials like an axe blade.