Interrelationships between significant tools and technologies developed in ancient Egypt: indications of an adeptly organized, expanding industrial economy, which influenced the direction, pace and structure of social evolution.

  • Denys Stocks

Student thesis: Unknown


This thesis contains experimental research into ancient Egyptian technology, incorporated within twenty-two publications. The manufacture, test, analysis and evaluation of over two hundred replica and reconstructed tools identified important interrelationships between vital tools, and their associated manufacturing processes, which played a central role in the development of Egyptian technology, and Egypt's social evolution. Summarized below are the contents of the thesis: The conversion of four specific flint tools' shapes into five edged copper tools. The cutting abilities of copper, bronze, iron and flint chisels and punches. The modification of the reed tube into a furnace blowpipe and into a drill-tube, later copied in copper and bronze. The tools and procedures used for shaping and hollowing stone vessels. The cutting rates and high losses of metal worn off copper and bronze drill-tubes and saws, employing sand abrasive, for drilling and sawing hard and soft stones. The use of waste sand/stone/copper particle powders, obtained from drilling and sawing stones, for making faience, for polishing stone and for drilling stone beads. The indications of serious lung disease caused to workers engaged in drilling and sawing stone with sand abrasive, particularly for making stone vessels. The indicated ancient employment of stone blocks' surface accuracy testing tools, and of sliding phenomena with regard to lubricated ramps and stone blocks' prepared horizontal and vertical jointing surfaces. Reusable pottery moulds for mass-producing identical metal castings, and faience artefacts. Clusters of furnaces, enabling castings of large copper and bronze tools and of artefacts. The interchangeable tool drill-stock. The construction and use of three calibrated replica surface testing tools for accurately fitting stone blocks together in the Great Pyramid. Expendable flint tools for cutting soft and hard stones to shape, and for incising hieroglyphs into them. The quick-release, adjustable counterweighted tourniquet lever. The adjustable tripod anvil for beating metal vessels to shape, and for exterior finishing procedures for stone vessels. The functions of the New Kingdom yarn twisting tool. The adaptation of tree branches to make bow-shafts, Y-shaped woodworking supports, tripod anvils and stone vessel manufacturing tools' main shafts, and lashed-on forked shafts for driving stone borers. The recorded experimental cutting capabilities of single copper and bronze bead drills, in addition to establishing the functions of the New Kingdom simultaneously operated mass-production bead-drilling equipment. The establishment of New Kingdom workshop mass-production methods.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStuart Campbell (Supervisor)


  • interrelationships
  • iron
  • mass-production
  • mechanical principles
  • organization
  • natural phenomena
  • social evolution
  • society
  • stone-cutting
  • sawing
  • interconnected
  • drilling
  • industrial
  • bronze
  • by-product materials
  • calibrate
  • cluster
  • copper
  • waste powders
  • economy
  • faience
  • findings
  • interchangeability

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