School Link
Before we visit
During our visit
After our visit
Iconography of a Papyrus
Reading Hieroglyphs
The Scribe

School Link - Reading Hieroglyphs

  During our visit to your school, we will be bringing along a replica Middle Kingdom coffin, which contain hieroglyph text.

We provide teachers with a handout of the hieroglyph text, which can be used by you, to read the text with the children fulfilling the literacy element of key stage 2 of the National Curriculum.

Wood & Timber

Remembering that Egypt is a desert country one of the rare commodities used by the Egyptians is wood. With a limited number of trees, supplies of timber were regarded as precious and the material of wood was an expensive resource.

Types of Trees


Acacia was native to Egypt and was used for making furniture

Willow (Salix, safsaf) is also found in limited numbers within Egypt and was again used for furniture production

Tamarisk trees grew on the outskirts of villages and desert areas providing windbreaks for sand blowing into these areas, the timber itself has numerous knots and is not suitable for furniture production

Sidder (Zizyphus, spina-christi) Sycamore-Fig (Ficus sycomorus) These types of timber have been found in the construction of early coffins dating from eleventh dynasty onwards


Cedar (Cedrus libani) imported from ancient Byblos by Egyptian kings for boat building and coffin construction

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) grows naturally throughout North Africa and was used in the construction of composite bows, shafts, axes and adzes

Oak (Quercus cerris) probably imported from Turkey, this type of oak is subject to early decay

Ebony (Diospyros) imported, possibly from Ethiopia possibly, the land of Punt expeditions, is black or dark brown in appearance, highly durable, this timber was highly prized by the Egyptians

A special thank you to Alsford Timber Merchants in Worthing West Sussex for providing the timber for our replica Middle Kingdom coffin, which is used in School-Link Kings Street
west Sussex
BN14 7BW

Carpentry and Woodworking

Tress were cut down using bronze axes, the tree branches were removed and the log was ready for transport and delivery to the carpenter

On receipt of the log/timber from the lumberjacks/workman the Carpenter busied himself preparing the timber for woodwork production, this was done by cutting the log/timber with a pull saw, preparing the timber into planks. The trunks of trees were always converted into boards but were liable to wrap.

Types of Joints used
Butt Joints held together with wooden pegs, others include; half-lap, simple mitre, shoulder-mitre, double shoulder mitre, mitre-housing, dovetail-mire housing, scarf jointing and mortise and tenon jointing.

Fittings and Hinges
Barrel Hinges, Butt Hinges were made from wood, bronze or gold depending on who the product. Rope and Cord were used as fasteners for cabinets and boxes; a sliding bolt on staples was also used as a type of hinge

Tools of the Trade
Hand Saw, Pull-Saw, Glue Brush, Mort ice Chisels, Awls, Axes, Adzes, Slate Sharpener, Hand-Held Turning Lathe, Sanding Blocks (made out of sandstone), Mallets and Bow-Drills

Items Constructed
Beds, Boxes, Coffins, Chairs, Foot Rests, Stools, Scribe Boxes/Pallets, Vase Stands, Cabinets, Chests, Low Tables, Folding Stools, Carrying Chairs, Tent Poles and Boats
A Special Thank You to Allen Burgess of A. G. Carpentry & Building Contractors for constructing our replica Middle kingdom coffin from the timber supplied from Alsford Timber Merchants Worthing

61 Pound Lane, Upper Beeding
West Sussex BN44 3JB