> Or even iron.
Regardless, they must have had at least bronze as the Mesopotamian had been using it for 1,000yrs before and iron is found in Egypt earlier than the iron age and is even mentioned in a 6th Dynasty text: "The doors of Pekh-ka which are in the abyss open themselves to Pepi, the doors of the iron which is the ceiling of the sky open themselves to Pepi, and he passeth through them;". A smelted iron dagger was found in an Anatolian (Hattic) tomb dated to 2500BC and evidence of iron use dates further in Mesopotamia to at least 3000BC.
I think its possible the industrial grade tools used iron but the tooling for the grunt work of quarrying I do not see as reasonable as the temperatures required to make iron usable on a large scale were too much.
Of interest from the same thread:
Maybe the key to the AE stone working [namely granite] was the discovery of relatively small caches of iron, even meteoric, which they made into "sacred tools" to build the monuments of the gods. Like I said, these tools must have been rare meaning they may have only made a handful of them given the limited amount of material they had. If you take all the granite work at Giza, for example, particularly given the fact they had ample time to fabricate the blocks, in reality it could all be done with just a few saws, lathes, ect.
If they had only one saw that could only cut one block a week this means all of the granite in G1 could have been easily cut in well less than 2yrs. No granite in G1 or G2. The rest of the fine cut granite at Giza is found facing the Valley Temple-another 2-3yrs? If you took all the cut and dressed granite blocks attributed to the 4th Dynasty at Giza and Abu Roash, cutting just one block a week with one saw, I bet you could easily cut all of it in 5yrs or less. 260 blocks. I don't know how many blocks of course but for sake of argument say it took 10yrs instead. Now imagine what you could do with two saws running that each could cut two blocks a week. All of the granite needed could be cut in a few years which of course in reality would only be a few months for each structure.
So you've got thousands of poor bastards using the basic tools we know they used to cut the core blocks with 2 saws at the "saw palace" at the quarry cutting granite as needed to spec. By the time they get to the point they would install the granite it would have already been cut and waiting for transport which would have obviously been planned for as that would have taken time as well.
At the beginning of the 5th Dynasty we all of sudden see round columns-the invention of the lathe perhaps?
I would also bring up again the "renaissance" of the NK which we see an explosion of the use of granite which just so happens to coincide with the increased use of iron in Anaotlia (and elsewhere) and the arrival of the Hyksos, likely Hurrians from Anatolia, and a few centuries later the Hittites of Anatolia of who the AE had extensive contact with the NK none greater than the time of Ramses II, the greatest builder of them all. I don't think this is a coincidence.
> The arguments re lack of evidence cut both ways in
> that regard.
The hydraulic nature of the Mediterranean must be taken into account when considering the possibilities regardless of what is actually found in the archaeological record in Egypt as so much is missing anyways. This does not give all the answers but at least creates a greater baseline to work with.