Tag Archives: Ancient Egypt

Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 6 – Gebel Manzal el-Seyl volcanic tuff quarry

Looking for old quarries in Egypt’s Eastern Desert means that you are not only walking in the footsteps of ancient quarrymen, but also of archaeological geologist Jim Harrell. Jim has crisscrossed the Eastern Desert and found several very important quarries … Continue reading

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 5 – “The loner” at Chephren’s Quarry

Most of you have heard about the famous, vast Old Kingdom Chephren’s Quarry in the far south of the Western Desert of Egypt. There are hundreds of quarry workings, which took advantage of clusters of big boulders in a flat … Continue reading

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 4 – Wadi el-Muluk limestone quarry

It was my first trip to Egypt. In 1999, with Tom Heldal, I simply wanted to see as many old quarries as possible. We had several weeks at hand, meagre information on the location of quarries, and no idea of … Continue reading

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 3 – The Second Pyramid at Giza

A quarry? The Second Pyramid?? The Pyramid of Old Kingdom Pharaoh Chephren at Giza??? This is not a quarry – it is a Wonder of the World, it is a Pyramid! False. It is also a quarry!

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 2 – Rod el-Gamra dolerite porphyry quarry

Rod el-Gamra is a gem. A gem because it is small, even tiny, yet it features the typical archaeology that is found at ancient quarry sites. A gem because what was produced here, so-called naoi, are beautifully strewn in front … Continue reading

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 1 – Wadi Abu Qureya soapstone quarry

2012 was the first year since 1999 that I was not able to spend one or two or three field seasons in Egypt, exploring ancient quarries, rock art and generally some of the world’s most fascinating archaeology. So I have … Continue reading

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A masterpiece of Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art from el-Hosh, Upper Egypt

The rock art at el-Hosh in Upper Egypt is renowned for its fish trap motifs dating to the Epipalaeolithic period (c. 9000-5000 BC). However, during the 2010 field season undertaken by the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels … Continue reading

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The Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira, Egypt: Landscape, archaeology, threats and conservation

Since the publication of the threats to the Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira three weeks ago, there has been much response through e-mail and social media, and the case has been covered by many online magazines and blogs. People in Egypt and elsewhere are concerned, and I wish to thank you all for your interest and for bringing the case along to friends and colleagues, as well as to administrators and politicians. There now seems to be a need for an “unbiased”, comprehensive overview of what is actually known about the landscape, the archaeology, the rock art, the threats, current conservation efforts and options for the future. The overview below is based on published literature, and information that otherwise belongs to the public sphere. It is written in close cooperation with Adel Kelany, and we have benefitted from input by Dirk Huyge. Continue reading

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Wadi Abu Subeira, Egypt: Palaeolithic rock art on the verge of destruction

In 2007 one of the most important recent archaeological discoveries in Egypt were made in Wadi (Chor) Abu Subeira near Aswan: A team led by Adel Kelany of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) found a stunning assemblage of petroglyphs dating to the Late Palaeolithic era (c. 15-20.000 years ago). But now this truly unique testimony of mankind’s early art is on the verge of destruction due to modern mining. Continue reading

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For those who didn’t really get the Levallois technique

  I didn’t make this fine animation, it is the work of José-Manuel Benito Álvarez, check at Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. But I did take the photo, before, I have to admit, I really got it. You see, I’m … Continue reading

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