Cedar of Lebanon

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Cedar of Lebanon


A large conical shaped evergreen, Cedrus libani, native to Asia Minor. Cedar of Lebanon is one of the few true cedar trees although many other aromatic evergreens are commonly called cedars. Cedars are characterized by having an strong smelling volatile oil whose odor persists after the wood is cut and dried. The soft, lightweight wood has a fine grain, two alternating colors and takes a beautiful polish. Cedar is durable and very resistant to insects and rotting. In ancient Egypt, cedar was used for sarcophagi, coffins, statuary and burial shrines (Gale et al 2000). Currently cedar is used for construction, cabinetry, interior trim, closets and chest. Other true cedar trees are Atlas cedar (C. atlantica), Cyprus cedar (C. brevifolia), and deodar (C. deodara).

Synonyms and Related Terms

Cedrus libani; cèdre du Liban (Fr.); Libanon-Zedar (Deut.); cedro del Libano (Esp., It.); cedro do Libano (Port.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Color: Alternating regions of reddish brown and light brown. High resin content, resin canals visible. Aromatic. Rings: distinct. Pores: absent. Grain: distinct. Rays: obscure. Soft, lightweight.

Density 28 ppcf
Molecular Weight specific gravity = 0.45

Resources and Citations

  • R.Gale, P.Gasson, N.Hepper, G.Killen, "Wood" in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, P.Nicholson, I.Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 334-371.
  • Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Paul Nicholson, Ian Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 Comment: R.Gale, P.Gasson, N.Hepper, G.Killen, "Wood"
  • H.L.Edlin, What Wood is That?, Viking Press, New York, 1969

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