Material derived from the trunks, boughs and other hard parts of trees and shrubs and serving a wide range of artistic purposes. It has been used as a raw material for millennia, first to construct houses and make tools and weapons, and later to build temples, palaces and boats and to carve sculptures and furniture. As an organic raw material, wood is subject to destruction by fire, insects, fungi and bacteria, and even by light and water: thus the preservation and study of the relatively few wooden artefacts that have survived from early civilizations are of crucial importance.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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