Tag Archives: quarrying techniques

Stone extraction with pickaxes in Ancient Egypt: Fact or fiction?

Ancient Egyptian quarrying of softstone, such as sandstone and limestone, is commonly described as having been done exclusively by chisels struck with wooden mallets, even through the Roman period. In this way trenches separating each block were made, and then the block was loosened at the underside with various types of wedges. But this is not the end of the story. In this article I will show – perhaps the first – indisputable evidence that pickaxes were also used, albeit possibly on a minor scale. Continue reading

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