Marvels of Materials: Authored by Doug Braun, Binghamton University


While the Egyptian landscape provided many resources for its people, Egypt lacked good sources of high-quality wood. Acacia, sycamore, and tamarisk trees served as possible local sources of wood in Egypt. The wood used to make this wooden Osiride statue has yet to be identified, thus it is unclear as to whether this wood was imported or internally sourced. The most prized wood in ancient Egypt was not local, but was cedar wood sourced from what is today Lebanon. This wood, cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani), was harvested and floated along the Mediterranean Sea. Due to this long distance trade, cedar of Lebanon was extremely expensive. Regardless of its price, this cedar was prized for its strength as well as its pleasant smell, which made it ideal for building ships or coffins for the elite.


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