Egyptian Artisanry

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  • 1. Egyptian Artisanry
  • 2.
    • Artisans only produced work for higher class people.
    • The same basic materials were used throughout the Egyptian period.
    • Woodwork:
      • Cabinet makers for the rich;
      • Lower classes made their own basic furniture
      • Shipwrights also for the rich
  • 3.
    • Metalwork:
      • Gold, silver, electrum, iron, copper, bronze;
      • Smelting of copper and tin for bronze, and later of iron;
      • Used for funerary items and jewellery for the rich.
  • 4.
    • Stone Masons
      • Worked on temples, houses and tombs for the higher classes,
      • Sculpture for Royalty (‘advertising’),
      • Draftsmen and masons separate jobs,
      • Stone was polished and painted,
      • Bronze saws 3metres long, set with jewels, and jewelled drills used.
  • 5. Weights and Measures
    • Standardisation very important for trade
    • The DEBEN was a standard of weight/worth
    • It was used as a ‘proto-currency’ (“almost-money”)
    • Sets of bronze rings were kept as a ‘base’ for exchange ( they weren’t exchanged)
  • 6.
    • Most Egyptians lived at subsistence level, so could not ‘afford’ luxuries
    • (the basically grew enough to feed themselves, with a bit extra for tax),
    • 60kg of wheat = Two Deben of Copper
  • 7. Conversion rates:
    • 1/12 deben = one Seniu
    • 1 seniu of silver = 8 deben of copper
    • 1 loaf of bread = 1 deben of copper
    • 1 litre of beer = ½ deben of copper
  • 8.
    • Foreman earned 15 sacks of corn (4 ½ deben)
    • Worker earned 11 sacks
  • 9. Taxes
    • Temples owned 1/3 of all land and were exempt from tax
    • Grain was heavily taxed (and the redistributed by government)
    • Peasants were taxed the most heavily
  • 10. Imports Sinai Copper, turquoise, malachite Punt Incense, resin Palestine Silver Nubia Gold, ivory, ebony Mediterranean Olive oil, pottery Lebanon Cedar Afghanistan Ornaments, oils, wine From Product