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Ancient Egyptian furniture makers displayed some particularly
advanced techniques in their craft. As well as their well documented
ability with working precious metals and inlays, they were also
skilled wood workers.
A good example of the range of this skill survived in the tomb
of Tutankhamun where an amazing range
of beds, chests, stools and thrones were found. Many of these
displayed a quality of construction which todays craftsmen would
have difficulty matching.
The antechamber of Tutankhamun's tomb as originally discovered.
In the background is the magnificent Canopic Chest.
Also among the jumble can be seen fine chests and ornate model
There were a number of boxes and chests found in Tutankhamun's
tomb. Among them this example really stands out because of it's
ornate construction, and also it's 'modern' appearance.
The framework of this chest is made of Ebony, with the insert
panels probably of Cedar. The lid is hinged in bronze along the
back edge and folds down the back of the chest. Internally the
chest is divided into compartments, and below the box there is
an elaborate openwork area incorporating the 'ankh' hieroglyph.
This stool was found in the Antechamber of the tomb. It is notable
in it's construction as it is fitted together with mortise and
tenon joints strengthened with metal pegs. In fact it survived
3000 years jammed between a bedstead and the wall of the tomb
where it had been thrown when the tomb was raided.
This bed is made of wood coated with gesso. It is constructed
of four distinct parts, the two sides in the form of cows, a
baseboard and a string mesh mattress joined to the footboard.