On the Stela of Ur-Nammu of Ur (2120 BCE), the king as builder is shown carrying a basket of tools, including an axe, a trowel, and dividers. Almost every carpentry tool known at the time of the Industrial Revolution was known to the ancient Mesopotamians. Cutting tools included the axe, adze, saw, chisel, plane, and drill.  In laying-out, the carpenter used a T-square, plumb-bob, dividers, and some form of measuring rod and stringline. 

The simple wedge made of stone, bone, antler, or fire-hardened wood is of great antiquity and predates the use of metal tools that were of insufficient strength and durability for woodwork in their early stages.  Metalcraft is as old as woodcraft and the two practices have developed together, with advancements in metalworking producing successively finer tools, fittings, and fasteners for use by the woodworker. 

The alluvial soil of Mesopotamia, just as it did not suit forests, also did not contain any significant deposits of metals.  Copper, like the best trees, came from far away and tin, the other ingredient necessary to create the alloy bronze, came from as far away as the Atlantic coast, as far back as the third millennium BCE.

Quality tools would have been valuable assets and would require skill not only in their usage but also in their acquisition. The growth of the first empires was about acquiring valuable resources, both material and intellectual.