Chisel - ROM2018_16322_13



Geography: Excavated at Deir el-Bahri, Egypt
Date: c. 1279-1213 BC
Period: Reign of Ramesses II, 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom
20.8 × 2.4 × 2 cm
Object number: 907.18.27
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt
DescriptionThis chisel is the sort usually used by stone masons for medium  work; its thick body can withstand repeated heavy blows without bending or becoming shorter.  A chisel such as this could be used either to destroy a monument by cutting stone into size and shape for reuse, or to begin restoration on a heavily damaged piece. This XIXth Dynasty chisel, found in the ruins of the XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el Bahari, might have been used for either.

A chisel of copper would have needed frequent re-sharpening.  In Ancient Egypt, chisels were issued to the workmen, and frequently weighed and examined to ensure that no valuable copper was pilfered.  Sometimes valuable tools were buried in pits as Foundation Deposits at a temple, but the excavation reports written by H.R. Hall in 1912 suggest that somehow tools, baskets, and even remains of the workers' lunches from the time of Ramesses II's restorations were simply 'left' on the site, "lost, or perhaps thrown away."

Object History: Excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1905-1907
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.