The building stones of ancient Egypt - a gift of its geology
Building stones and clay-rich Nile mud were ancient Egypt’s main raw construction materials. While the mud was easily accessible along the Nile river valley, the immense quantities of the diﬀerent stone materials used for construction of the famous pyramids, precious temples and tombs needed a systematic quarrying organization, well arranged transport logistics over extreme distances and a high standard of stone masonry. The petrography, occurrence, and main applications of the 11 most popular stone types used in ancient Egypt are described in this contribution. Rough estimates of the scale of this mining activity, based on the volume of many different ancient quarry sites, all over Egypt, reveal that the monuments known today represent only a small fraction of the amount of building stones mined during the long, ancient Egyptian history.
African Earth Sciences, Vol. 33 (2001)