Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt

Alexandra Villing, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, Alan Johnston, François Leclère, Aurélia Masson and Ross Thomas

With Daniel von Recklinghausen, Jeffrey Spencer, Valerie Smallwood, Virginia Webb and Susan Woodford

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Supported by

The Leverhulme Trust
  • The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
  • Christian Levett and the Mougins Museum of Classical Art
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Tools and weapons


Ross Iain Thomas

Tools and weapons were of major interest to Petrie when he excavated Naukratis. This fascination probably goes back to when in 1884–5 he discovered large quantities of iron tools and slag within what he believed to be an industrial metal working area of the 6th century BC, leading him to suggest that Naukratis ‘was a great centre of the iron trade, if not indeed the principal source of manufactured iron to the Greeks of the sixth century’. Tools and weapons played a role in many aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants of Naukratis. They provide us with the picture of an active and productive port city that was at times a centre of innovation, its diverse population employing a range of skills, crafts and technologies. The object groups covered in the chapter include weapons and armour, tools, kiln furniture, gaming pieces and related objects, and fishing gear. It fittingly closes with a detailed discussion of sailing equipment, considering that the primary role of Naukratis was as a port.

Iron saw with wooden handle fixed with nails, c. 630–525 BC. British Museum, 1888,0601.697.