> Thunderbird Wrote:
> > Hi Jon
> > To resolve some creations for their shape and
> > hardness...such as these diorite vases
> > And such.
> According to Petrie:
...the lathe appears to have been as
> familiar an instrument in the fourth dynasty, as
> it is in the modern workshops. The diorite
> bowls and vases of the Old Kingdom are frequently
> met with, and show great technical skill. One
> piece found at Gizeh, No 14, shows that the
> method employed was true turning, and not any
> process of grinding, since the bowl has been
> knocked off of its centring, recentred
> imperfectly, and the old turning not quite turned
> out; thus there are two surfaces belonging to
> different centrings, and meeting in a cusp. Such
> an appearance could not be produced by any
> grinding or rubbing process which pressed on the
> surface. Another detail is shown by fragment No
> 15; here the curves of the bowl are spherical,
> and must have therefore been cut by a tool
> sweeping an arc from a fixed centre while the bowl
> rotated. This centre or hinging of the tool
> was in the axis of the lathe for the general
> surface of the bowl, right up to the edge of it;
> but as a lip was wanted, the centring of the tool
> was shifted, but with exactly the same radius of
> its arc, and a fresh cut made to leave a lip to
> the bowl. That this was certainly not a chance
> result of hand-work is shown, not only by the
> exact circularity of the curves, and their
> equality, but also by the cusp left where they
> meet. This has not been at all rounded off, as
> would certainly be the case in hand-work, and
> it is clear proof of the rigidly mechanical
> method of striking the curves.
> Of AE stoneworking in general:
That the blades of the saw were of
> bronze, we know from the green staining on the
> sides of the saw cuts, and on grains of sand left
> in a saw cut.
> The forms of the tools were straight saws,
> circular saws, tubular drills, and
> I have seen early Dynastic AE stoneware in museums
> that to the naked eye some are indistinguishable
> in quality from modern machining. There was one
> piece in particular I recall I must have stared at
> from every angle I could for minutes. It was
> mesmerizingly perfect, almost hard to believe it
> was ancient.
I agree with nearly everything Petrie says, with the exception of his reference to the the 4th dynasty. He didn't have access to a century of archaeology which has systematically built up a picture of that bronze age culture.
So yes it would have "Appeared" to him a century ago, that the 4th AE were as "familiar with lathes and turning techniques that would not be out of place in a modern workshop". He was a man of science and technology, He documented his direct observations, I often wonder what his undocumented thoughts were. There's a man who knew exactly what he was looking at.
It is possible to work with high precision by hand, I was trained as a lad, to do so myself, to within tolerances 0.0005 of an inch.
In order to do so I needed industrially manufactured tools, a fine file is a precision instrument.
I needed precision measuring equipment and also the means to observe those dimensions with the naked eye.
A human hair is approx 0.002 of an inch thick, which is four times more than the tolerance I was expected to work at.
I had 200 years of industrial age engineering development, tools and techniques supporting me.
If you take a Swiss watchmakers tools away he's just a man, a writer cannot write without a pen.
In terms of artifacts there are a few, a small percentage that defy explanation, say less than 5%
There are some structures, again a small percentage in terms of individual structures, but not in gross tonnage, that also defy rational explanation.
There are components incorporated into what are obviously dynastic structures that also defy explanation.
The homogeneous stone vessels belong to that group.
I'm of the understanding that the majority were found in a dynastic royal tomb cache. They were obviously a nobleman's valued and prized possessions.
Our understanding of how these artifacts were or could have been manufactured is very limited, a mystery even. That's exactly why Petrie took the trouble to make note of it in a very diplomatic manner, and also why Stocks attempted to answer the questions.
I admire Stocks' attempts but not his conclusions.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10-May-16 20:40 by Jon Ellison.