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2 volumes

H 290 x W 205 mm

1098 pages

1,100 black & white figures, 58 tables and 54 colour plates

Published May 2024

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803275819

Digital: 9781803275826

DOI 10.32028/9781803275819

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Ancient Egypt; Archaeological Stone; Building Stones; Ornamental Stones; Utilitarian Stones; Gemstones; Metals; Mines; Quarries; Geology

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Archaeopress Egyptology

Archaeology and Geology of Ancient Egyptian Stones

By James A. Harrell

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This book seeks to identify and describe all the rocks and minerals employed by the ancient Egyptians using proper geological nomenclature, and to give an account of their sources in so far as they are known. The various uses of the stones are described, as well as the technologies employed to extract, transport, carve, and thermally treat them.



Volume 1: Archaeological and Geological Background, and Building and Utilitarian Stones


Chapter 1: Introduction


Part I: Archaeological and Geological Background

Chapter 2: Identification and Classification of Rocks and Minerals

Chapter 3: Geology of Egypt and Northern Sudan

Chapter 4: Tools and Methods for Extraction of Hard Stones

Chapter 5: Tools and Methods for Extraction of Soft Stones

Chapter 6: Stone Transport

Part II: Building Stones

Chapter 7: Overview of Building Stones

Chapter 8: Limestone

Chapter 9: Sandstone

Chapter 10: Anhydrite, Gypsum, and Other Building Stones

Part III: Utilitarian Stones

Chapter 11: Overview of Utilitarian Stones

Chapter 12: Hard Utilitarian Stones

Chapter 13: Soft Utilitarian Stones and Other Geological Materials

Volume 2: Ornamental Stones, Gemstones, and Metals

Part IV: Ornamental Stones

Chapter 14: Overview of Ornamental Stones

Chapter 15: Travertine and Other Colored Carbonate Rocks

Chapter 16: Silicified Sandstone

Chapter 17: Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks I: Nile Valley Quarries

Chapter 18: Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks II: Western Desert Quarries

Chapter 19: Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks III: Eastern Desert Quarries Initiated in the Dynastic and Ptolemaic Periods

Chapter 20: Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks IV: Eastern Desert Quarries Initiated in the Roman Period

Chapter 21: Other Ornamental Stones


Part V: Gemstones

Chapter 22: Overview of Gemstones

Chapter 23: Silica Gemstones

Chapter 24: Grue Gemstones

Chapter 25: Other Gemstones


Part VI: Metals

Chapter 26: Overview of Metals

Chapter 27: Gold

Chapter 28: Copper

Chapter 29: Iron and Lead


Epilogue (and a Poem)



About the Author

James A. Harrell earned his BA degree in Earth Science at California State University at Fullerton, and his MS and PhD degrees in Geology at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Cincinnati, respectively. He taught petrology and other geological subjects at the University of Toledo for 30 years, retiring in 2009, and is now an Emeritus Professor at that institution. For the past 35 years, Professor Harrell has been conducting a survey of ancient mines and quarries in Egypt and northern Sudan, and has so far made 50 trips to these countries in support of this research. He has also done fieldwork on ancient quarries in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.