Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Photo for Today - Tareq, Mons Porphyrites

Tareq, Mons Porphyrites

The Eastern Desert was used as a resource for raw materials
throughout late Predynastic and Dynastic Egypt.

The Eastern Desert was a resource
for stones and minerals and a through-route for traffic moving
between the Red Sea coast and the Nile.

This site was built by Roman occupants of Egypt
for the extraction of a stone type called porphyry
which is remarkable for its white flecks of feldspar and quartz.

The remarkable thing about the stone
from this particular site is that the stone was a purple shade with white flecks
and is the only known source of the stone.

The purple porphyry from here was sent to Rome for
elaborate building projects including the
delivery room of the palace in Constantinople which was paneled with porphyry.
Children born to the reigning monarch were known as "porphyrogenitos"
i.e. "born-in-the-purple".
You can read more about the site here:
Eastern Desert Archaeology


tim said...

Hi Andie

I like the photo and wanted to send a picture of the sarcophagus of st. Helena:

Andie said...

Tim, this is a wonderful example! Thanks so much for the link.