Egyptian petition: Stop destruction of Lake Qarun Protected Area in the Faiyum!

The spectacular landscape at the Old Kingdom basalt quarries at Widan el-Faras in the Northern Faiyum

The spectacular landscape at the Old Kingdom basalt quarries at Widan el-Faras in the Northern Faiyum

For all interested in landscape conservation: Please sign the Egyptian petition on stopping the destruction of a truly spectacular, protected landscape in the Northern Faiyum!

The Northern Faiyum has it all: Splendid landscape, fantastic fossils, a unique cultural heritage back to the Palaeolithic, with highlights such as the Pharaonic (Old Kingdom) basalt quarries, including the oldest paved road in the world. And despite the barren desert, the shores of Lake Qarun is a traditional, living landscape for people and animals. No wonder that it was designated a protected area a long time ago. And no wonder that it is such a popular area for daytrips from Cairo, only a few tens of kilometres away. The serene desert is a place for experiences and contemplation, for learning lessons about our fragile planet.

Industrial activities has taken place within the borders of the protected area for decades, but it is with the recent plans for massive development for the rich and wealthy along the shores of Lake Qarun, from Kom Aushim to Dimai and westwards that it is facing almost total destruction.

At Lake Qarun towards Gebel Qatrani in the Northern Faiyum

At Lake Qarun towards Gebel Qatrani in the Northern Faiyum

To the Egyptian Government: Don’t do this to our country! This is the message in the petition “STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LAKE QARUN PROTECTED AREA“, by Nature Conservation Egypt. There has been revolution in Egypt recently, a new future is ahead and people try to make use of their rights. So sign the petition and help the Egyptians build their own future! Aid in the struggle to designate the Northern Faiyum as the first Egyptian UNESCO Geopark!


Learn more about the petition at

Further reading on the Northern Faiyum ancient quarries

Though the ancient quarries – with the oldest paved road in the world – are only a tiny part of the splendours of the Northern Faiyum, they would be worth a UNESCO World Heritage nomination in their own right! (By the way: the area is already on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list!)

Quarry overviews:



  • Whatever Else Happened to the Ancient Egyptian Quarries? An Essay on Their Destiny in Modern Times. Download PDF (4,1 MB)
  • The industrial landscape of the Northern Faiyum Desert as a World Heritage Site: modelling the ‘outstanding universal value’ of third millennium bc stone quarrying in Egypt. Abstract
  • Gypsum quarries in the northern Faiyum quarry landscape, Egypt: a geo-archaeological case study. Download PDF (1,6 MB)
  • Widan el-Faras Ancient Quarry Landscape, Northern Faiyum Desert, Egypt: Site Description, Historical Significance and Current Destruction. Download PDF (2,6 MB)
  • Old Kingdom Basalt Quarrying Activities at Widan El-Faras, Northern Faiyum Desert.  Further information

About Per Storemyr

I work with the archaeology of old stone quarries, monuments and rock art. And try to figure out how they can be preserved. For us - and those after us. For the joy of old stone!
This entry was posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Old quarries and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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