last revised 18 July 2013

TABLE 1:
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HARDSTONE QUARRIES

 

Miscellaneous notes

Quarries are numbered and ordered from north to south within groups according to region and usage (ornamental vs utilitarian). All quarries are plotted on the accompanying maps. Coordinates for the approximate quarry centers are based on the WGS 84 datum and correspond with locations visible in Google Earth.

Quarry age and size are given in parentheses after the quarry location. Abbreviations for age are: Paleo = Palaeolithic, Neo = Neolithic, Pd = Predynastic, ED = Early Dynastic, OK = Old Kingdom, 1IP = First Intermediate Period, MK = Middle Kingdom, 2IP = Second Intermediate Period, NK = New Kingdom, 3IP = Third Intermediate Period, LP = Late Period, Pt = Ptolemaic, R = Roman, B = Byzantine or Late Roman, and Is = Islamic. Other abbreviations include: OK:4 = Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, OK/MK = Old Kingdom and/or Middle Kingdom, and NK-R = New Kingdom through Roman Period. Size corresponds to the maximum dimension of an area of quarry workings or the cumulative maximum dimensions for multiple areas of workings within a single quarry. Three size classes are recognized: small (<100 m), medium (100-1000 m), and large (>1000 m). The ancient names for the stones are given where known as are also the traditional names given Italian stonecutters.


* * * * * ORNAMENTAL STONE [BIG-BLOCK] QUARRIES * * * * *


Nile Valley


1.
on Gebel Ahmar, Cairo -- now almost completely destroyed [30o 3.16' N, 31o 17.74' E] (OK-R; large)

Siliceous sandstone: light gray or red to mainly various shades of brown, medium- to coarse-grained, commonly pebbly, quartz-cemented (= orthoquartzite). Minor siliceous sandy pebble conglomerate [Gebel Ahmar Formation, Oligocene]. 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 
                     VARIETY 2 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 2 - sample 2 
                     VARIETY 3

2. at Tilal Sawda, near El-Behnasa/Oxyrhynchus [28o 31.20' N, 30o 32.90' E] (late R; small)

Basalt: dark gray to black, fine-grained, slightly porphyritic (phenocrysts up to 3 mm) [unnamed formation, Oligocene].

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: basalt from quarries 2 and 3 above are possibly the nmHf [nemhef] of the Egyptians. Roman name unknown.

3. near Wadi Abu Aggag; on east bank just north of Aswan [24o 8.50' N, 32o 54.60' E] (NK & R; large)

Silicified sandstone: light grey, light to dark brown, brownish black, and pink to red, cross-bedded, medium- to very coarse-grained and often pebbly, quartz- and sometimes also hematite-cemented (= orthoquartzite) [Abu Aggag Formation of the Nubia Group, Upper Cretaceous] 

    PHOTO:  VARIETY 1 - sample 1; VARIETY 1 - sample 2
                    VARIETY 2
                    VARIETY 3
                    VARIETY 4

4. on Gebels Gulab and Tingar near ruins of St. Simon's Monastery; on west bank opposite Aswan [24o 6.36' N, 32o 52.71' E northern workings on Gebel Gulab; 24o 5.15' N, 32o 52.09' E southern workings on Gebel Tingar ] (NK & R; large)

Silicified sandstone: light gray to mainly various shades of brown, rarely purplish red, fine- to medium-grained and occasionally pebbly, quartz-cemented (= orthoquartzite) [Umm Barmil Formation of the Nubia Group, Upper Cretaceous]. 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 1 - sample 2 
                     VARIETY 2 
                     VARIETY 3

ANCIENT NAMES: Silicified sandstone from quarries 1, 4, 5 and 34 above are the biAt [biat] or inr n biAt [iner n biat], inr nfr n biAt [iner nefer n biat], inr n bnwt [iner n benwet] and inr n Dw dSr [iner n djew desher] of the Egyptians. Roman name unknown.

5. Numerous localities between Aswan and Shellal District [24o 3.70' N, 32o 53.70' E] (large)

Five types of rock [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Coarse pink granite (ED-R): pinkish to occasionally reddish, very coarse- to mainly coarse-grained, occasionally gneissoid and commonly porphyritic (phenocrysts up to 4 cm), and gradational with rock type 'b' below [= the "monumental red granite"]. 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 1 - sample 2 ; VARIETY 1 - sample 3 
                           VARIETY 1 - sample 4 
                     VARIETY 2  

(b) Coarse black granodiorite (ED-R): dark gray to nearly black, coarse- to mainly medium-grained, commonly porphyritic (phenocrysts up to 3 cm) and occasionally gneissoid, and gradational with rock type 'a' above [= the "monumental black granite"]. The phenocrysts vary from white, light gray, pale green to pink in color and may be largely or entirely absent in some specimens. 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 1 - sample 2 
                     VARIETY 2 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 2 - sample 2 ; VARIETY 2 - sample 3
                          VARIETY 2 - sample 4 
                     VARIETY 3 
                     VARIETY 4 
                     VARIETY 5 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 5 - sample 2
                     VARIETY 6 
                     VARIETY 7 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 7 - sample 2  

(c) rock transitional between coarse pink granite and coarse black granodiorite. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

(d) Fine gray to pink granite (NK-R): pinkish to reddish or, less often, light gray , medium- to mainly fine-grained. 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 1 - sample 2 
                     VARIETY 2 - sample 1 ; VARIETY 2 - sample 2

ANCIENT NAMES: Rock type 'a' is the mAT [matj], inr n mAT [iner n matj], inr nfr n mAT [iner nefer n matj] and mAT Abw [matj abew] of the Egyptians; and rock type 'b' is the inr km [iner kem] and inr km n mAT [iner kem n matj] of the Egyptians. Rock types 'a' and 'b' are the marmor syeniten or lapis syenites ("stone of Syene", the Greek name for Aswan), lapis Aethiopicus ("stone of Ethiopia") and lapis Thebaicus ("stone of Thebes") of the Romans, and the lithos pyrrhopoecilus ("red-spotted stone") of the Greeks. Italian stonecutters refer to rock type 'a' as granito rosso ("red granite") and granito rosso antico [di Siene or di Assuan] ("ancient red granite [of Syene or Aswan]"), rock type 'b' as granito nero ("black granite"), granito nero di Siene ("black granite of Syene") and granito bigio [or nero] antico ("ancient grey [or black] granite"), and rock type 'd' as granito rosso minuto  ("fine red granite") and granito Egizio carnino minuto ("fine red Egyptian granite").

ITALIAN NAMES: Rock type 'a' is the granito rosso ("red granite") and granito rosso antico [di Siene or di Assuan] ("ancient red granite [of Syene or Aswan]"), rock type 'b' is the granito nero ("black granite"), granito nero di Siene ("black granite of Syene") and granito bigio [or nero] antico ("ancient grey [or black] granite"), and rock type 'd' is the granito rosso minuto  ("fine red granite") and granito Egizio carnino minuto ("fine red Egyptian granite") of the Italian stonecutters.

(e) Dolerite, a.k.a. diabase (NK and later?): black, fine- to medium-grained dike rock. Quarried for dolerite 'pounders' or 'hammers' at 24o 2.52' N, 32o 53.35' E near Gebel el-Granite, and at two sites near Hod el-Ruba: 24o 3.06' N, 32o 53.32' E and 24o 3.65' N, 32o 53.29' E. The latter site is now destroyed.

6. on the west bank of the Nile River at Gebel Kitfooga in the Dal Cataract, Sudan [20o 53.79' N, 30o 33.70' E] (NM & B; small)

Granite: red and gray varieties (no further information available).

7. on east bank of Nile River and on adjacent islands in Tumbos area at south end of Third Cataract, Sudan [19o 42.75' N, 30o 23.42' E] (NK:18, L:25, NM)

Two types of rock [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Granite gneiss: pinkish-gray, medium- to coarse-grained, well foliated with contorted compositional layering. The principal stone quarried at Tumbos. 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2 ; sample 3

(b) Granite: moderate gray, fine- to mainly medium-grained. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAMES: unknown.

8. on the south bank of the Nile River at Daygah in the el-Bellal district at the west end of the Fourth Cataract, Sudan [18o 33.96' N, 31o 56.94' E] (L:25, NM)

Granite gneiss to granodiorite gneiss: dark gray (nearly black on weathered surfaces), medium- to coarse-grained [Precambrian basement] 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAMES: unknown.


WESTERN DESERT

9. at Widan el-Faras on Gebel el-Qatrani, Faiyum [29o 39.60' N, 30o 37.20' E] (OK, R; medium)

Basalt: dark gray to black, medium- to mainly fine-grained, slightly porphyritic (phenocrysts up to 7 mm) [Widan el-Faras Formation, Late Oligocene]. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

10. Chephren's Quarry, near Gebel el-Asr, Nubian Desert (PD-OK, MK:12)

General description: fine- to medium-grained; translucent light gray with greenish-black specks and streaks when anorthosite gneiss, and light gray with greenish-blacks bands when gabbro gneiss (more generally, both are hornblende-bytownite gneisses) [Precambrian basement].

(a) northern workings near Quartz Ridge [22o 48.40' N, 31o 12.90' E]

Anorthosite gneiss with dark streaks (VARIETY 1). 

    PHOTO: sample 1

(b) central workings at Chisel Quarry [22o 46.78' N, 31o 11.35' E]

Anorthosite gneiss to gabbro gneiss with dark banding (VARIETY 2). 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2 ; sample 3 ; sample 4

(c) central workings near Khufu Stela [22o 46.02' N, 31o 12.82' E]

(d) southern workings [22o 44.36' N, 31o 11.22' E]

ANCIENT NAME: mntt [mentet] of the Egyptians.


EASTERN DESERT

11. on Gebel Manzal el-Seyl [27o 32.60' N, 33o 7.80' E] (ED; large)

Two types of rock [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Calcareous tuff: moderate grayish- and bluish-green, fine- grained, highly calcitic and chloritic with subtle banding. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

(b) Tuffaceous limestone: light olive green to occasionally bluish-green, generally fine-grained but with occasional lithic fragments up to 3 cm, tuffaceous, crystalline calcite with abundant tiny black specks. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

12. in Wadi Umm Sidri near Gebel Dokhan — small, local-use (only ?) quarry [27o 17.82' N, 33o 18.04' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD?; small)

Alkali-feldspar quartz syenite porphyry: pink fine-grained groundmass, and gray or pink phenocrysts (up to 10 mm) [Precambrian basement]. 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

13a. on Gebel Dokhan (Mons Porphyrites) [27o 15.00' N, 33o 18.00' E] (R: early 1st-early 5th c. AD; large)

There are six quarrying areas: the 'Northwest' workings at 27o 15.15' N, 33o 16.62' E
                                                the 'Foot' workings at 27o 15.55' N, 33o 16.94' E
                                                the 'West' or 'Lykabettus' workings at 27o 14.42' N, 33o 16.84' E
                                                the 'Southwest' or 'Rammius' workings at 27o 14.18' N, 33o 16.50' E
                                                the 'Northeast' or 'Bradford' workings at 27o 16.15' N, 33o 18.08' E
                                                the 'East' workings at 27o 15.10' N, 33o 18.31' E
                                                the 'Southeast' or 'Lepsius' workings at 27o 14.86' N, 33o 18.44' E

Three varieties of andesite-dacite porphyry [Precambrian basement]:

(a) reddish-purple aphanitic groundmass, and pale pink and/or white phenocrysts (up to 3 mm) [= the "Imperial Porphyry"].    

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 
                     VARIETY 2 - sample 2

(b) greenish-black aphanitic groundmass, and pale green and white phenocrysts (up to 5 mm).

    PHOTO: sample 1

(c) black aphanitic groundmass, and pale green to mainly white phenocrysts (up to 5 mm).

    PHOTO: sample 1

Note: specimens vary in composition from trachyandesite and trachydacite to mainly andesite and dacite.

ANCIENT NAMES: variety 'a' is the lapis porphyrites ("purple stone"), rubet porphyrites ("red porphyrites") and leptopsephos ("small pebbles", a reference to the phenocrysts) of the Romans, and the porfido rosso antico or Egiziano ("ancient or Egyptian red porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters. Variety 'b' is the lapis hieracitis or ieracites ("hawk stone") of the Romans, and the porfido verde Egiziano ("Egyptian green porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters. Variety 'c' is the lapis porphyrites melanos ("dark or black porphyrites stone") of the Romans, and the porfido nero ("black porphyry") and porfido antico or Egiziano ("ancient or Egyptian porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters.

ITALIAN NAMES: variety 'a' is the porfido rosso antico or Egiziano ("ancient or Egyptian red porphyry"), v ariety 'b' is the  porfido verde Egiziano ("Egyptian green porphyry"), and variety 'c' is the porfido nero ("black porphyry") and porfido antico or Egiziano ("ancient or Egyptian porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters.

13b. in Wadi Abu Maamel near Gebel Dokhan (Mons Porphyrites) — small, local-use quarry [27o 15.02' N, 33o 18.08' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD?; small)

Granite: pink to grey, coarse- to mainly medium-grained [Precambrian basement].

14. at Badia ruins near Gebel Dokhan — small, local-use quarry [27o 12.87' N, 33o 20.65' E] (R: unknown c. AD; small)

Granite: speckled pink and black, coarse- to mainly medium- grained [Precambrian basement].

15. in Wadi Umm Towat near Gebel Dokhan [27o 10.21' N, 33o 14.53' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD?; small)

Trachyandesite porphyry: black aphanitic groundmass, and pale gray phenocrysts (up to 3 cm) [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: possibly the knekites of the Romans.

ITALIAN NAME: the porfido serpentino nero ("black serpent porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters.

16. in Wadi Umm Balad near Gebel Dokhan [27o 9.14' N, 33o 17.11' E] (R: 1st-4th c. AD?; small)

Quartz diorite: speckled white, pale green and dark green, fine- to medium-grained [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

ITALIAN NAME: the granito verde fiorito di bigio ("gray-flowered green granite") of the Italian stonecutters.

17. in Wadi Qattar near Gebel Umm Disi — not a true quarry but rather an exploratory prospect [27o 4.80' N, 33o 14.21' E] (R: unknown c. AD; small)

Granodiorite to tonalite: speckled light gray and dark green with pinkish to organish veins, fine- to medium-grained [Precambrian basement].

18. in Wadi Umm Shegilat near Gebel Abu el-Hasan [26o 56.62' N, 33o 14.91' E] (PD-ED ?, R: 1st-2nd c. AD; small)

Pegmatitic diorite: mottled light gray, pale pink and greenish-black, very coarse- to mainly coarse-grained, pegmatitic (grains up to 7 cm) [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

ITALIAN NAMES: the granito della colonna ("granite of the column") and granito della flagellazione ("granite of flagellation") of the Italian stonecutters. 

19. at Mons Claudianus: between Wadis Abu Marakhat and Umm Diqal near Wadi Fatiri el-Bayda [26o 48.55' N, 33o 29.20' E] (R: 1st-3rd c. AD; large)

Tonalite gneiss: speckled light gray and greenish-black, medium- grained, well foliated with short, straight dark-mineral streaks [Precambrian basement].  

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAME: the marmor Claudianum ("Claudius' marble") of the Romans.   

ITALIAN NAME: the granito del foro ("granite of the forum") of the Italian stonecutters.   

20. in Wadi Barud near Mons Claudianus [26o 45.92' N, 33o 34.30' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD; medium)

Two varieties of quartz diorite [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Yellowish-white to light gray and spotted with large, isolated blocky to ovoid greenish-black crystals, medium- to mainly coarse-grained (from the lower quarry workings). 

    PHOTO: sample 1 ; sample 2

(b) Light gray with irregular, interconnected patches of greenish-black grains, medium- to coarse-grained (from the upper quarry workings). 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: maybe the marmor Tiberianum of the Romans.

ITALIAN NAME: the granito bianco e nero  ("white and black granite") of the Italian stonecutters. It is proposed that the two varieties hereafter be called granito bianco e nero di Santa Prassede ('a') and granito bianco e nero del Cairo ('b').

21. in Wadi Umm Huyut near Mons Claudianus [26o 45.06' N, 33o 28.11' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD; small)

Tonalite gneiss: speckled light gray and greenish-black, medium- grained, well foliated with long, wavy dark-mineral stringers [Precambrian basement]. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT AND ITALIAN NAMES: unknown but probably the same as for quarry 19 above.

22. in Wadi Fatiri el-Bayda [26o 44.03' N, 33o 19.39' E] (R: 1st- 2nd c. AD; small)

Quartz diorite: speckled light gray, pale green and dark green, medium-grained [Precambrian basement]. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

ITALIAN NAME: probably the same as for quarry 15 above.

23. in Wadi Umm Wikala near Wadi Semna [26o 25.84' N, 33o 39.82' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD; large)

Two varieties of gabbro - both can be called metagabbro [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Speckled white, medium green and dark green, uniform fine- to mainly medium-grained.

    PHOTO: sample 1

(b) Speckled white, medium green and dark green, medium- to mainly coarse-grained. 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAMES: the lapis ophites (or ophytes) of the Romans, and maybe also Pliny the Elder's marmor Augusteum.

ITALIAN NAMES: Ivariety 'a' is the granito verde [minuto] della sedia di San Lorenzo ("[fine] green granite of the chair of [the church of] Saint Lorenzo") and variety 'b' is the granito verde della sedia di San Pietro (... [the church of] Saint Peter") of the Italian stonecutters.

24. in Wadi Abu Gerida at its confluence with Wadi Maghrabiya [26o 21.74' N, 33o 17.08' E] (Pt & R: 1st-2nd c. AD; small)

Rhyolite porphyry: brownish pink overall but with pinkish brown aphanitic groundmass and phenocrysts of pink euhedral to subhedral alkali feldspar (up to 25 mm) and colorless to bluish anhedral quartz (up to 10 mm) [Tertiary ? dike cutting Precambrian basement].

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

ITALIAN NAME: the porfido rosso laterizio ("lateritic red porphyry") of the Italian stonecutters. 

25. near Wadi Maghrabiya [26o 18.74' N, 33o 23.78' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD; medium)

Four varieties of gabbro - all can be called metagabbro [Precambrian basement]:

(a) mottled white, light gray and dark green, medium-grained. PHOTO: sample 1

(b) mottled light gray and moderate green, medium-grained. PHOTO: sample 1

(c) mottled light gray, dark green and greenish black, coarse-grained. PHOTO: sample 1

(d) mottled white, light gray, moderate and dark green (and pale pink where coarser), medium-grained to commonly more coarsely grained than variety 'c'. PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown but possibly the same as quarry 22 above. Variety 'd' is very similar in appearance to the gabbro variety 'b' Wadi Umm Wikala (quarry 22), and the two rocks may be mistaken for each other.

ITALIAN NAME: varieties 'a' and 'c' are the gabbro eufotide (this also the modern geologic name) or just eufotide, and variety 'b' is the granito verde plasmato ("green plasma granite") of the Italian stonecutters.

26. near Wadi Umm Esh in the Wadi Atalla area  — now destroyed [26o 4.01' N, 33o 36.74' E] (R: unknown c. AD & possibly earlier?; small?)

Serpentinite: mottled light yellowish-green and dark green, fine-grained, dolomitic [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAMES: probably the nmHf [nemhef] of the Egyptians, and the lapis batrachites ("frog stone") of the Romans.

ITALIAN NAMES: the serpentina verde ("green serpent"), serpentina moschinata ("mossy serpent"), verde ranocchia ("green frog") and verde fiorito ("green flower") of the Italian stonecutters. 

27. at Bir Umm Fawakhir near Wadis Hammamat and el-Sid [26o 0.77' N, 33o 36.51' E] (R: 1st-2nd c. AD?; small)

Granite to mainly granodiorite: pinkish-gray, coarse- to mainly medium-grained [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

ITALIAN NAME: none.

28a. in Wadi Hammamat - Eastern Quarry [25o 59.39' N, 33o 34.15' E] (Pd-R; large)

Three types of slightly metamorphosed sedimentary rocks (chlorite/epidote grade with no foliation) [Precambrian basement]:

(a) Gradational metasandstone (fine- to very fine-grained and occasionally pebbly), metasiltstone and metaclaystone (ED-R): dark greenish-gray to mainly dark gray or grayish-green, chloritic metagraywacke. Can also be called simply "graywacke." 

    PHOTOS: VARIETY 1 
                      VARIETY 2

(b) Metaconglomerate (NK-R): greenish (with multi-colored clasts), sandy, commonly diamictic, chloritic, with well-rounded pebbles and cobbles. 

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

28b. in Wadi Hammamat - Western Quarry [25o 58.66' N, 33o 33.49' E] (LP-R; medium)

Metaconglomerate: same as in the Wadi Hammamat - Eastern Quarry except well-rounded, pinkish granitoid pebbles and cobbles are especially abundant.

    PHOTO: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAMES: rock type 'a' is the bxn [bekhen] and inr nfr n bxn [iner nefer n bekhen] of the Egyptians, the basanites lithos and basanos (from the transliteration of bekhen) of the Greeks, and the lapis basanites of the Romans. The stones in 28b and rock type 'b' in 28a are possibly also the bxn [bekhen] of the Egyptians, and the  lapis hexecontalithos ("stone of 60 stones") and lapis hecatontalithos ("stone of 100 stones") of the Romans.

ITALIAN NAMES: rock type 'a' is the pietra bekhen ("bekhen stone")basanite and basalte verde antico ("ancient green basalt"), and the stones in 28b and rock type 'b' in 28a are the breccia verde antica ("ancient green breccia"), breccia verde d'Egitto ("green breccia of Egypt"), breccia verde dure ("hard green breccia"), breccia universale ("universal breccia") and centopietre ("100 stones") of the Italian stonecutters.

29. near Gebel Umm Naqqat [25o 29.78' N, 34o 15.19' E] (PD-ED & R; small)

Pegmatitic diorite: mottled light-gray/white and black, very coarse to mainly coarse-grained, pegmatitic [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTO: VARIETY 1 - sample 1 ; sample 2
                   VARIETY 2 - sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

30. in Wadi Abu Bokari (a.k.a. el-Bakriya) near Wadi Miya [25o 15.13' N, 33o 45.60' E] (Pt; small)

Granodiorite: light gray overall but actually speckled white, light to medium gray and black, medium-grained [Precambrian basement].

    PHOTOS: sample 1 ; sample 2

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

31. in Rod el-Gamra near Gebel Urf Hamam [24o 45.71' N, 33o 59.30' E] (LP:30; small)

Dolerite porphyry: slightly greenish overall but with black aphanitic groundmass and medium gray phenocrysts (up to 15 mm) [Tertiary dike cutting Precambrian basement]. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ANCIENT NAME: unknown.

* * * * * UTILITARIAN STONE (SMALL-BLOCK) QUARRIES FOR CHERT * * * * *

(for Tools and Weapons)

NILE VALLEY

32. at Nazlet Khater [26o 46.64' N, 31o 22.63' E] (Paleo; medium)

33. at Gebel Taramsa [26o 7.15' N, 32o 41.05' E] (Paleo; small)

34. near Nazlet Safaha [26o 6.87' N, 32o 34.04' E] (Paleo; small)

WESTERN DESERT

35. Wadi Kebir, near Gebel Qatrani, northern Faiyum [29o 37.64' N, 30o 34.14' E center with individual hilltop sites at: 29o 37.38' N, 30o 34.90' E (Tell Taleb); 29o 37.81' N, 30o 35.31' E (Tell Comfessa); 29o 37.68' N, 30o 33.09' E; and 29o 37.78' N, 30o 33.45' E (Tell Markgraf)] (Pd or earlier?; large)

36. Tell Homar, near Gebel Qatrani, northern Faiyum [29o 36.09' N, 30o 29.26' E ] (Pd or earlier?; small?)

37. Refuf Pass, northeast Kharga Oasis [25o 41.63' N, 30o 47.95' E north of pass, and 25o 38.73' N, 30o 47.99' E south of pass] (Neo?; large)

EASTERN DESERT

38. at Ain Barda, Wadi Araba region [29o 6.25' N, 32o 5.18' E] (Pd or earlier?; small)

39. in Wadi Umm Nikhaybar, Wadi Araba region [29o 4.68' N, 31o 35.56' E northern workings near fort; 29o 4.00' N, 31o 35.44' E southern workings] (NK:19; medium)

40. in Wadi el-Sheikh [28o 43.25' N, 31o 1.10' E center; on north side of wadi ranging from 28o 43.74' N, 31o 0.60' E in the northwest to 28o 40.15' N, 31o 4.28' E in the southeast] (Pd, ED-NK?; large)

41. in Wadi Sojoor [not located yet but probably within a few km's of 28o 35.5' N, 30o 59.1' E] (ED-MK?; small?)

42. in Wadi Hameda near Wadi Atalla [26o 12.71' N, 33o 30.97' E] (B: 5th-6th c. AD; small)

    Chert: mottled medium and dark green, fine-grained (possibly devitrified felsic tuff) [Precambrian basement]. 

    PHOTO: sample 1

ROCK DESCRIPTION AND ANCIENT NAMES: Chert or flint (microcrystalline quartz) is uniform to mottled light and dark gray, and brown, except where noted above. The ancient Egyptians referred to chert as ds km [des kem] when it was dark brown or gray, ds HD [des hedj] and ds THn [des tjehen] when of lighter color, or sometimes simply as ds.
 

* * * UTILITARIAN STONE (SMALL-BLOCK) QUARRIES FOR SILICIFIED SANDSTONE  * * *

(for Grinding Stones)

NILE VALLEY

43. south of Nag el-Hosh, West Bank [24o 43.70' N, 32o 55.21' E] (age?; small)

44.  in Wadi Abu Subeira [24o 12.98' N, 32o 53.85' E] (MK & R; medium)

45. between Wadi Abu Subeira in the north and Aswan in the south, East Bank [24o 13.41' N, 32o 53.48' E to 24o 6.56' N, 32o 55.54' E] (MK-R; large)

46. between Wadi Kubbaniya in the north and Gharb Aswan in the south, West Bank [24o 14.50' N, 32o 50.64' E to 24o 3.96' N, 32o 51.67' E] (Pd-R; large)

47. west of Buhen ruins, West Bank, Sudan [21o 55.10' N, 31o 14.23' E] (MK-NK?; large)

48. at Abd el-Qadir, West Bank, Sudan -- under Lake Nasser [approx. 21o 52.0' N, 31o 15.2' E] (NK?; small?)

WESTERN DESERT

49. at Umm el-Sawan, northeastern Faiyum Desert [27o 55.52' N, 30o 52.47' E] (ED-OK; medium)

50. in northwest Kharga Oasis [25o 43.04' N, 30o 14.60' E] (Neo-Pd?; medium)

 

 

 

James A. Harrell
Professor Emeritus of Archaeological Geology
Department of Environmental Sciences
The University of Toledo


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