Model of a Carpentry Workshop

This model from Meketre’s funerary furniture shows some carpenters in their carpentry workshop. They are busy with woodworking of various kinds.

One carpenter in the middle is sawing a piece of wood while other workmen are working around the sides holding hoes. A workman sits in the middle of the scene and uses a mallet and chisel to cut out the mortise holes. At the corner, a number of men gather around a fire to reshape and sharpen the metal blades of their tools.

Model of a Carpentry Workshop
Model of a Carpentry Workshop

“Egyptian artists would be surprised that we consider their work art. Craftsmen toiled in anonymity [with rare exceptions], signed none of their works and attained no fame during their lifetimes. Their society recognized no difference between fine art forms, such as painting and sculpting, and ‘lesser arts,’ such as pottery or cabinetry. Practitioners of any of these skills were regarded as simple workers on a level with, say, carpenters.”

Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians, 2nd Edition, by Bob Brier and Hoyt Hobbs, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, USA, 2008

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1981-1975 BC. From the Tomb of Meketre (TT280), Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 46722