Non-invasive wood identification on parts of King Horemheb’s ritual couches (New kingdom)

Authors

  • Ahmed Abdrabou Wood Conservation Laboratory, Grand Egyptian Museum – Conservation Center (GEM.CC), Remaya Sq.,12572 Giza, Egypt https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3423-3884
  • Gilan M. Sultan Wood Conservation Laboratory, Grand Egyptian Museum – Conservation Center (GEM.CC), Remaya Sq.,12572 Giza, Egypt
  • Mohamed Abd Elkader Wood Conservation Laboratory, Grand Egyptian Museum – Conservation Center (GEM.CC), Remaya Sq.,12572 Giza, Egypt
  • Hussein M. Kamal Wood Conservation Laboratory, Grand Egyptian Museum – Conservation Center (GEM.CC), Remaya Sq.,12572 Giza, Egypt

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14568/cp2019038

Keywords:

King Horemheb, Ritual couches, Wood identification, Cedar of Lebanon, Christ’s thorn

Abstract

The inclusion of couches as basic artefacts of ritual use in ancient Egyptian royal tombs first emerged in the New Kingdom; these are very rare objects, and very little information is available concerning the timber used to make them. To address this knowledge gap the present paper deals with the identification of wood from parts of ancient Egyptian ritual couches from King Horemheb’s tomb using reflected light microscopy as a non-invasive analytic technique. Although these couches are from a royal tomb, our results show that the four identified wood species (Cedar of Lebanon, Sycamore fig, Tamarisk and Christ’s thorn) are among the most common timbers found in ancient Egypt. This confirms that the shortage of timber in ancient Egypt forced the use of the few available timbers for specific purposes, according to their properties, and led the Egyptian carpenters to use large logs from external sources, such as cedar of Lebanon, confirming trading of wood in ancient Egypt.

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References

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Published

2020-06-04

How to Cite

Abdrabou, A., M. Sultan, G., Abd Elkader, M., & M. Kamal, H. (2020). Non-invasive wood identification on parts of King Horemheb’s ritual couches (New kingdom). Conservar Património. https://doi.org/10.14568/cp2019038

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