Bed of Ancient Egypt


Ancient Egypt was familiar with bone glue, which was used in techniques of incrustation and veneering. The Egyptians used mortise and tenon joints and dowelled joints to combine most structural elements of furniture. In sarcophagi, chests and dressing tables they also used dovetail joints or bevelled joints (Setkowicz 1969).

Bed of Queen Hetepheres IV, from the dynasty of Snefru, around 2575–2551 B.C.

Bed of Queen Hetepheres IV, from the dynasty of Snefru, around 2575–2551 B.C.

The oldest known Egyptian bed, more or less from the times of the first dynasty, is a design consisting of a horizontal wooden frame, resting on four thick and massive bull legs carved in ivory. The legs were joined to the frame usually with
mortise and tenon joints, while on the frame of the bed, belts made from leather or other kind of plaiting were stretched over. Beds with higher peaks on the side of the head were made with footrests. In some bed designs, the connection of the legs with the frame of the bed system was strengthened by bindings from leather strap stretched across drilled holes .
The beds in ancient Egypt did not have headrests, but wooden boards were placed at the side of the feet. The board was fixed by two bolts coated with a copper sheet, which also matched the sockets in the frame that were lined with copper. The board at the ends of the legs was the only ornate part of such a bed. The legs in the shape of lion paws were usually directed towards the head.


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