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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in Ancient Greece

A carpenter's tools

Length: 19.900 cm (axe-blade (max.))
Length: 19.900 cm (axe-blade (max.))

GR 1969.12-31.1-8

A carpenter's tools

From: the island of Naxos, Aegean Sea
Date: about 2700-2200 BC

These axe-heads and chisels were probably used for woodworking. The chunky axes (lying down with holes through them) may have been used for chopping and trimming rough pieces of wood. The flat axes (standing up) and chisels (narrow and flat, lying down) were used for more detailed work, or as wedges to split wood into planks.

The tools may have belonged to a wandering carpenter or trader who buried them in a time of difficulty and never managed to go back to dig them up. Or they may have been left as a present for a god at a shrine or sanctuary. Either way, they would have been considered very valuable. They are from the early Greek bronze age, when metal tools were being widely used for the first time.