By Gaston Peltier. Published on Egyptological, Journal Reviews. Journal Edition 5. August 14th 2012
Rosemarie and Dietrich Klemm’s Stones and Quarries in Ancient Egypt, is described by W.D. Davies in the preface to the British Museum Edition as “one of modern Egyptology’s most valuable works of reference”. Stones and Quarries is an outstanding work of reference, but it wants to be much more. It contains a comprehensive gazetteer of quarries, whose primary use would be in the field. Its instructional content is designed, according to the authors, to raise standards of geological literacy among “all Egyptologists,” and to encourage interdisciplinary research.
Looking at Stones and Quarries as, at the same time, a reference book, a field manual and a textbook of Egyptian petrology provokes two sets of questions. The one concerns the role of geology in Egyptology. Who should learn geology, for what purpose, and to what levels of expertise? The other concerns the future of conventional reference books in an age of electronic media.
The first question will be raised here, but a satisfactory answer would take us beyond a review of Stones and Quarries. I will return to it in a second article in a forthcoming edition of Egyptological.
A Major Work of Reference
Rosemarie and Dietrich Klemm published Stein und Steinbrücke in Alten Agypten in 1993. It was published in a revised English language edition by the British Museum as Stones and Quarries in Ancient Egypt in 2008 (figure 1). At the same time, the Klemms’ collection of stone samples was placed in the British Museum.
Between 1977 and 1987 the Klemms built up a data set of 1600 stone samples from 400 quarries, embracing every significant quarry in Egypt, including the most important Roman sites, “each one scientifically tested and documented” (p.12). Stones and Quarries is illustrated with site maps, diagrams, and photographs of every quarry. The Klemms’ own photographs in black and white are clear and to the point. Agricultural labourers in artistic poses are nowhere to be seen. To the English edition, the British museum has contributed eighteen lovely colour photographs of stone artefacts from their collections, and some of the best rock sample photographs that I have ever seen.
In their 1921 classic Ancient Egyptian Construction and Architecture, Clarke and Engelbach complained “It is a great pity that no ‘learned society’ sends out a qualified person to make a complete study of the ancient quarries” (p.12). They speculate that “The reason for this neglect appears to be that such a study would not furnish items of interest to museums” (p.xx). Egyptology has come a long way. Clarke and Engelback would have taken great pleasure in the work subsequently done by geologists like James Harrell (Harrrell, 1992; 1996). They would have celebrated Stones and Quarries, and stood open mouthed as the most venerable of museums took a rock collection to its heart.
More than a Work of Reference
In his preface to the English edition W.V. Davis describes Stones and Quarries as “one of modern Egyptology’s most valuable works of reference.” Nobody could disagree with him, but the Klemms’ ambitions do not stop there. In the Preface to the German edition, translated for the English version, they do not offer Stones and Quarries as a conventional reference book. Although by far the largest part of Stones and Quarries is a geographical gazetteer, they do not offer it primarily as a field guide. Instead, they lay stress on the development of an Egyptian “stone science,” on the need to raise the standard of geological literacy of “all Egyptologists,” and of Stones and Quarries as a means of promoting interdisciplinary research. You might say, “Vorsprung durch Technik.”
Few Egyptologists would take up arms against such admirable sentiments. To geologists they are simple common sense. But, unlike pharaohs, Egyptologists do not live for ever. Nor are their funds unlimited. Other scientific disciplines clamour for their attention. An economic geologist would say that geology has an ‘opportunity cost.’ The cost of geology is what an Egyptologist must give up to learn and practice the art. So, perhaps, considering what other fields of knowledge have to offer, geology should actually be accorded low priority. At least, geology has to make its case. It may be that a considerable knowledge of geology is essential for a select few, and marginal for everybody else. Alternating a working knowledge of field geology might be of benefit to anybody working in the field. The Klemms’ core subject matter is petrology, the classification, constitution and identification of rocks. it cannot be taken for granted that petrology is the most rewarding point of entry for the general practitioner. There are treasures of the intellect on offer, but there are choices to be made.
If you have in mind to publish a conventional reference book, questions about different groups of readers, their different needs, and the different things they will get out of it, may not be of the first importance. Libraries will buy it. Students and scholars will consult it. If the topic and the author are well chosen, you will make a profit. On the other hand, if you are proposing to instruct, to develop new skills, to raise levels of awareness and to promote collaboration, you will need to think quite carefully about the heads on which these blessings are about to fall, and the benefits you are about to bring to them. Stone and Quarries must, therefore, be judged both as a work of reference and for its instructional content. Its claims must be judged against the claims of other disciplines. And it must be judged with different audiences in mind.
The Klemms do not concern themselves with individuals, or groups of individuals with different needs. They are engaged in the petrological upgrading of the profession as a whole. That is, of course, legitimate, perhaps inspiring, but it brings back all the questions in a different form. What proportion of Egyptologists need a specialized knowledge of petrology? How many need a practical working knowledge of geology? Is there a lower level which would be of benefit to the everyday Egyptologist or the serious enthusiast? Stones and Quarries, then, begins with some inspiring aspirations, but leaves us with two everyday portfolio problems. What is the appropriate portfolio of individual skills for the general purpose Egyptologist? What is the appropriate mix of special skills for the profession as a whole? These questions, of course, arise for any of the disciplines competing for the Egyptologist’s attention.
Questions in search of Answers
It is a strength of Stones and Quarries that it will not stop throwing questions at us. I think that they fall into three groups
Why geology and what geology? What is the standing of geology in Egyptology compared with disciplines like biology or civil engineering. What are its unique benefits. What proportion of Egyptologists should aspire to what level of expertise, and how should those levels be acquired?
The future of the reference book. What should become of reference books in the age of electronic media?
Where do we go from here? When you have documented every known quarry in Egypt, what do you do for an encore?
I will say something about the first question here but will leave most of the discussion for a second article.
Accessing the Geology of Egypt
If you come to the geology of Egypt from the geology of Europe or North America, a close encounter with the literature might send your running home again. From places which are superbly served at every level from the junior school to the PhD, you find yourself lost in a Great Sand Sea of learned journals, punctuated by a few revered colossi, mostly written over fifty years ago. After a while you begin to have some sympathy for Isis.
The Klemms’ short bibliography includes just about everything available at the time of the second edition. The books are expensive, technical and difficult to find outside a university library. The Klemms say of Hume’s classic Geology of Egypt, published in several volumes, and begun in 1925, that it “constitutes what is probably still the most important source of information on the geology of Egypt” (p.9). Of Said’s 1962 Geology of Egypt they say, in 2008, “this publication should be considered the most important overview of the geology of Egypt in recent times.” For the relationship between the geology and the archaeology there is only Reilly’s 1964 Guidebook to the Geology and Archaeology of Egypt.
I will suggest that the basics of geology are best acquired, on your doorstep, outside Egypt and, with the exception of Sampsell’s A Traveller’s Guide to the Geology of Egypt., outside the Egypt literature. Once you have the basics, access to Egypt is, in fact, fairly straight forward. Said’s The River Nile: Geology, Hydrology and Utilization (1996) and Abu Al-Izz’s Landforms of Egypt (1971) are easy reading. Said’s 1990 version of his Geology of Egypt is still hard work in places, but is generally accessible, while Aston, Harrell and Shaw’s contribution to Nicholson and Shaw’s Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (2000), is specifically and excellently written for non-specialists. In 2003 the American University in Cairo published Sampsell’s A Traveller’s Guide to the the Geology of Egypt. In my second article I am going to ritually prostrate myself and plead with you to read this splendid book. Then, if you never think of geology again, I will forgive you. It requires no previous knowledge of geology, is clearly written, well illustrated and conveys a remarkable amount of information. Vorsprung durch Klarheit?
That Sampsell’s short pocket book could transform access to a field with a 150 year history must tell us something. Some of what it tells us, I think, is about audiences. The Klemms’ bibliography suggests a small select audience of specialists and students of geology. The success of Said’s Nile suggests a growing academic audience. Sampsell’s Traveller’s Guide suggests a different and much larger audience. Most of that audience will have an interest in Egyptology. What this group is going to need most is a modern synthesis of the geology and archaeology, to replace Reilly. Perhaps Dr Sampsell might be interested?
An Anatomy of Stones and Quarries
The Klemms’ book divides itself into two parts. First there are two introductory chapters. One of these covers The Stages in the Exploration of Egypt and An Outline of the Geology of Egypt, and the brief but telling survey of the literature. The other introductory chapter headed Rock Identification is an introduction to petrology. The second part of Stones and Quarries is what I will refer to as ” the Gazetteer.” By column inches, the Gazetteer takes up 90% of the book. However, the Gazetteer contains essential instructional material on the rocks found in each quarry. Putting this material with the two initial chapters, about a quarter of the book is instructional text. The way the book works is that you need the first part to understand the instructional material in the second; and you need the instructional material in the second make effective use of the Gazetteer.
To perform the way the Klemms seem to have in mind, the general practitioner of Egyptology would need to dominate the instructional material in Stones and Quarries and have hands on experience of the rocks, the techniques and a variety of quarries. That is a considerable investment. A working knowledge of geology is easy and enjoyable to acquire. Indeed, I will suggest that your life would be incomplete without it. When you have acquired that working knowledge, and are a happier, more contented, better-rounded person, Stones and Quarries is at your service. Unfortunately, Stones and Quarries is not a good place to get that life-enhancing knowledge.
Two Fine Pieces of Compression and Two Missing Links
The centre piece of the Klemms’ Brief Outline of the Geological History of Egypt is their Table 1. It covers four pages and sets out the geological sequences, the types of rock, the quarries and the best known places where the stone was used. It is a beautiful piece of work. All the Klemms’ tables are superb, but Table 1 is outstanding. If you are a student, even if geology is not one of your real interests, they are worth getting hold of and just keeping to hand.
Apart from the Table, the chapter fails. The text which goes with the Table is an accomplished compression of six hundred million years of geological history into less than four pages, but, at the end of this tour de force, you are left with a sense of missed opportunity. For many Egyptologists this could be the first serious introduction to geology. It is an occasion to attract or repel. Sadly, it is difficult to see any newcomer being attracted, or even remembering much of what they read in this chapter. Apart from the compression, I think that there are two reasons. The chapter lacks a reasoned narrative, and it lacks a regional geology. Both are crucial in geological writing aimed at non-specialists, and plate tectonics makes it easy to do both.
Plate tectonics, which supplies the reasoned narrative, has transformed the writing of geology, especially for general readers and geological amateurs. It means that you can explain what is going on at every stage. You can move from sequences and catalogues to narratives. The tectonics bring the history and geography together, like the history of a military campaign. Geological history is grounded in the movement of the plates, and the penetration of the plates from below. Regional geology is the latest chapter in a long tectonic history, the last man standing at the time of writing. Tectonics is not the whole story. Earth’s changing climate from the earliest times, ocean currents flowing round the plates, and life, which we now know has had dramatic effects on the geology, are very, very active players. As this cast plays out the story of the earth, the narrative gets richer, more coherent and more memorable.
This is not the place to explain plate tectonics, but I would be surprised if readers of Egyptological would not find Professor Van Andel’s New Views on an Old Planet (1994) engrossing. And Sampsell starts her book with plate tectonics.
I can, maybe, give some sense of the insight which you can get from regional geology by returning to Clarke and Englebach. When we re-join them they are trying to explain “the extreme conventionality – even monotony – of ancient Egyptian architecture.” They mention bureaucracy and geographical isolation, but conclude “An even more important factor was the lack of variety in building material. The Egyptian had limestone in the north of his country and sandstone in the south and both were worked and used by very much the same methods and required no radical differences in treatment . . . . The only development of any moment in Egyptian architecture seems to have taken place when the sandstone quarries of Silsila were brought into general use, which enabled considerable spaces to be spanned.” They compare this with the “infinite variety” of materials within small geographical regions in western Europe, where “all manner of ingenious and beautiful methods of mastering the difficulties” had to be developed. They move on to the differences between the physical geography of a flat, arid land, and a swampy, vegetated, countryside, criss-crossed by streams; then to the effects this had on the possibilities of transporting large size building blocks; and then to the effect which that had on the architecture. Of course, you may disagree with Clarke and Engleman’s conjectures. The only thing I want to draw your attention to is the distinction which emerges from this page between geology as a tool, geology as fact, geology as explanation and geology as insight. I suspect that such distinctions may be crucial when we come to identifying the differing needs of the different groups involved in Egyptology. As we move from left to right, the balance shifts from specialists, through general Egyptologists towards enthusiasts.
The Klemms’ introduction to petrology has the same strengths and weaknesses as their geological history. I enjoyed it, but I have been enjoying things like that for nearly sixty years. I doubt if many readers of Egyptological would share my antiquarian delight. The chapter is short and brilliantly compressed. It describes the standard geological way of classifying rocks, their composition, their origins and the ways of telling one rock from another.
The chapter contains five tables, covering each of the main rock groups, showing which was important in Egyptian stone work. They are beyond praise. The text, however, which gives the characteristics of the different types of rock, has to be judged as a learning resource. It is hard to see who would use it for reference. Anyone with the geological basics will know this stuff by heart. So the audience has to be the beginner. It is true that everything which the beginner will need is there. With the same tenacity which we apply to French irregular verbs she should be able to extract it. Good luck, and my heart goes with you.
Alternatively, you can get this information in a user friendly form in any decent introduction to geology. It is available in the many colour manuals of rocks and minerals. They cost almost nothing. I have just counted mine and find that I have six. That means I have six colour photographs of any rock which falls into my hands. Once you have learned what you are dealing with, what Stones and Quarries gives you is the occurrence of the rocks in Egypt, mostly in the Gazetteer, and this is of course invaluable.
What we cannot ask of either this chapter or the Gazetteer is that, after reading them, you will be able to identify rocks. A book can only set you on the way. The British Museum’s colour photographs help, but they only really cut in when you have some rocks in front of you. The Klemms describe the standard methods of identification, but the same is true of them, and their fifty or so scanning electron microscope photographs are no help at all.
Geology, like archaeology, must be done indoors and out. A good indoor rock identification pack for Egyptologists might include the Klemms’ tables, John Farndon’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals, which has an excellent short introduction to the geological background, and the combination of Aston, Harrell and Shaw’s contribution to Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Nicholson and Shaw 2000) and Harrell’s website Research on the Archaeological Geology of Ancient Egypt. There are plenty of good basic introductions to geology. Barbara Murk’s Geology. A Self Teaching Guide (2001) is both excellent and easy, but there are plenty more. You can get yourself a set of generic samples of the rocks which the Klemms say are important in Egypt from UKGE for a few Euros. UKGE supply internationally. Outdoors, in the UK, the Geologist’s Association will supply you with a list of local associations and a calendar of field trips. They will also try to help with information on associations in other countries. Then, as your house starts filling up with rocks, it is time to start buying presents for your partner, who will, of course, be pleased to see your horizons enlarge.
A Field Guide to the Quarries
What I have called the ‘Gazetteer’ is by far the largest and strongest part of Stones and Quarries. It is, in the first place, a set of site descriptions, maps, photographs, diagrams and commentaries on each quarry. In the second place it is a set of explanatory and instructional material dealing with the petrology of each quarry, and setting out the tools available to researchers. There is something for everybody in the site descriptions. Even the most casual tourist would get more from their visit armed with a map from Stones and Quarries. To an Egyptologist studying the site, the Klemms’ descriptions would be essential briefing. For everyone, they are clear, well illustrated and impeccably cross-referenced. Just turning over pages gives you a sense of how much Rosemarie and Dietrich Klemm have given Egyptology. The explanatory and instructional material is more problematic. For anyone well versed in geology it is very rewarding. The problems, again, are problems for the general practitioner of Egyptology and the serious enthusiast. It is not that it is badly written. It is, in fact, a fine piece of technical writing. It is just that, as writing, it is formidably technical.
This dichotomy reflects back on the Klemms’ broader ambitions. Stones and Quarries will certainly advance their project with a self selecting few, and Egyptology will greatly benefit. It would be sad if no route could be found to make these things accessible to a wider audience.
Archaeology in the Gazetteer
The Klemms do not set out to give a systematic description of the methods used by the Egyptians to extract stone from the bedrock and to work it into the shapes and sizes which they needed. Nor do they give an historical account of the development of quarrying techniques. However, almost everything which an Egyptologist would find of interest is covered in the individual site descriptions. The photographs of galleries, terraces and rock faces on each site also convey a lot of information, and bring life back to distant theatres of sweat and managerial excellence. The site by site approach has advantages and disadvantages. Aston, Harrell and Shaw (2000) follow the usual procedure of the manuals of rocks and minerals, listing rocks alphabetically, but adding lists of sites and uses. This is a convenient approach for library work and certainly the best for searches which begin with rocks. Detailed site descriptions ,within broad rock categories, is by far the best approach for anybody studying specific sites or groups of sites, especially if they are working in the field.
There is, however, more to this than questions of classification. To do it justice, this material should be approached from several different angles .Most obviously, it needs to be approached through general accounts of quarrying methods, their adaptation to types of rock and site, and their historical development. Aston, Harrell and Shaw give an excellent three page summary. For the Egyptologist in a hurry this is certainly the place to start. Allowing a short pause for breath, Dieter Arnold’s “Building in Egypt” (OUP 1991) gives a thorough, systematic account of quarrying, with plenty of diagrams and photographs. It leads in to Arnold’s wonderfully illustrated account of pharonic masonry and civil engineering. At the end of this review I will suggest a third approach. The quarry is just the beginning of an extensive stone industry, which consumed an alarming proportion of the Egyptian economy’s disposable income. It was integrated with transport, manufacturing, storage, and the use of labour forces, and it was driven by some of the most distinctive features of Egyptian culture. Treating stone and quarries as part of a national industry, and as an expression of the culture and institutions of dynastic Egypt, might help us move on from the geology, masonry and civil engineering, and look for different sorts of insight.
A Forensic Petrology?
From a not very careful reading of Stones and Quarries you could conclude that it is now possible to trace back any stone building or artefact to its quarry of origin. Aston, Harrell and Shaw (2000 p.69) discuss this project. They are quite explicit: “There have been relatively few attempts at provenancing ancient Egyptian materials based on petrographical analysis.” The reason is that “In order for this to be possible a comprehensible detailed geological data base must exist . . . . In the case of Egypt such a database is still incomplete.” This is perhaps a project for the future.
Reference Books, Field Guides and Electronic Media
The use of Stones and Quarries in the field is primarily a problem in materials handling. As a physical object, it is slightly reminiscent of Napoleon’s tomb. It is printed throughout on photographic quality paper and weighs in at just under 3 kilos. Even with Air Egypt’s civilized approach to excess baggage you would not want to tuck it up with your pyjamas. If you wanted to equip it with some civilized accessories like a regional geology, a geological map, or an annotated geological column, you would have to fit it out with wheels. None of this is the fault of the Klemms. Their talent for compression is probably worth half a kilo. The problem is endemic in the genome of the species ‘referentia.’ As long as Stones and Quarries is available only in unsupported paper form, there are, of course, things that can be done. An industrial photocopier, a laminator and some accommodation with the laws of copyright would take you quite a long way. But the only real solution lies in electronics.
To discuss the electronic possibilities it will hep to distinguish between the specific problems of field guides, which turn around portability, and of library reference books, which require a journey to gain access. We could also make a distinction between the use of electronic publishing as a remedial measure and its potential to enhance what is on offer.
I am no expert on these matters, but the most basic remedy for defects of portability offered by the Internet is the ability to print off individual pages. For access, it is the ability to read online, rather than travel into town. Now that good quality mobile access to the Internet is spreading rapidly, it becomes possible to access field guides on site. Once online access is established, data which was not economic to print can be made available. It can be updated and links to complementary works of reference made available. This can make the printed version slimmer. One can agree, for instance, that the Klemms’ scanning electron microscope photographs should be in the public domain. The right place for them is the Internet, not Stones and Quarries. Surprisingly there is no mention if the Klemms’ rock sample collection on the British Museum’s otherwise excellent website. It should be on display, alongside Harrell’s website.
If we move to the possibilities of enhancement, you begin to see the transformation of the reference book. To transform the reference book you would have to consider the paper and the electronic versions as a single product, from the earliest stages of product design. That means going through the standard marketing routine of identifying different users with different needs, and working out the best way of meeting them, on paper or electronically. Just attaching a CD or DVD is unlikely to be the optimal solution.
Beyond the Stones and Quarries
The Klemms see Stones and Quarries as a point of departure. Looking forward they see ever more forensic geology, the broadening and deepening of geological literacy, and the growth of interdisciplinary research. When you emerge from their Gazetteer you might actually conclude that they have reached the terminus. When you have recorded every quarry in Egypt, and analyzed their contents microscopically, what is there left for you, or anybody else, to do? There is evidently more petrology to be done. But you begin to get a worrying sensation of diminishing returns. Are we just adding to our stamp collection? Would we add more to our understanding by working on the material we already have, rather than by adding to? If we could provenance stone artefacts at will, how much would that add to our understanding of Egyptian society? Could we do better by refocusing resources?
What emerges most strongly from Stones and Quarries is the existence of a vast Egyptian stone industry, which starts in the quarry and ends at the monument and artefact. Between the monument which is the output, and the quarry which is the input, there is an extensive supply chain, which is also part of the industry, as are the consumers of the artefacts and monuments. The stone industry seems to have absorbed most of Egypt’s disposable income, Childe’s “investible surplus” (Childe 1948). This is particularly striking when you consider that stone was not used for any significant utilitarian purpose in Egypt, and its processing had no obvious utilitarian spin-offs. Egypt appears as a society devoting its investible resources to a technological and developmental dead end.
The questions which most strike the onlooker are something like
- How were the Egyptian quarrying and stone working undertakings organized, managed and administered; who were the people involved; how were they provisioned, motivated and coerced?
- How did the supply chains work; what were the logistics of supply points, intermediate manufacturing operations, stores and building sites?
- What were the developmental consequences of devoting Egyptian society’s investible surplus to a technological dead end?
I have read very little, but I have the impression that there is already a great deal about the first two in the literature and that it is a question of pulling it together, standing back and understanding how the whole thing worked. Until recently, the shadow of Karl Polanyi (1957) has made it difficult to ask useful questions about economic development, or lack of it, in archaic states possessing many of the preconditions for development, a question raised by J.M. Keynes. That inhibition seems to have receded.
Perhaps what I am looking for is another book, “Stone in the Economy of Ancient Egypt,” to go alongside “Geology and Archaeology in Ancient Egypt,” both, naturally, Internet supported.
Concluding Stones and Quarries
I think my main conclusions are
- If you are well versed in geology, you will find in Stones and Quarries a great deal that you already know, alongside a professional introduction to Egyptian petrology and an invaluable Gazetteer.
- If you do not have geological expertise, Stones and Quarries is not the place to get it, though the tables are certainly well worth getting hold of.
- The scale of the Egyptian stone industry which emerges from Stones and Quarries, and from Aston, Harrell and Shaw, merits a book of its own.
Myhrvold, Young and Bilet published their Modernist Cuisine, a work with some remarkable resemblances to Stones and Quarries, at the end of last year. It was dedicated to what the French call “cuisine moleculaire,” the petrology of cooking, and is underpinned by science and technology. It is even heavier than Stones and Quarries, its six volumes weighing in at 25 kilos. Le Monde takes these things seriously, as it should. In a special feature (Le Monde 2nd January 2012), they wonder who will use this mighty work and how. They suggest that it can be compared either with an Escoffier, summing up contemporary culinary knowledge, or with Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedie, a work designed to take the world into a new age of enlightenment. Borrowing this elegant distinction, I would say that Stones and Quarries performs magnificently as Escoffier, not quite so well as Diderot.
Books and papers
Al-Aziz, A., 1971, Landforms of Egypt, American University in Cairo Press
Aston, B.G, Harrell, J.A.. and Shaw, I. 2000, Stone. In Nicholson, P. and Shaw, I. 2000, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge University Press
Childe, G. 1948, What Happened in History, Penguin
Clarke and Engelbach, 1921, Ancient Egyptian Construction and Architecture, Dover
Davet, S. Modernist Cuisine, Le Monde, 2nd July 2012
Diderot, D. and d’Alembert, J. 1751-2, Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, André le Breton, Michel-Antoine David, Laurent Durand, and Antoine-Claude Briasson
Farndon. J. 2006, The Complete Guide to Rocks and Minerals. Hermes House
Harrell, J.A 1992, Ancient Egyptian Limestone Quarries; A Petrological Survey. Archaeometry 34, p.195-211
Harrell, J.A., Brown, V.M. and Masoud, M.S. 1996, Survey of Ancient Egyptian Quarries. Centennial Egypt Geological Survey, Paper no.72, p.3-31
Hume, W.F. 1925-1965, The Geology of Egypt, Volumes I-III. General Organization for Government Printing Offices
Klemm, R. and Klemm, D. 2008, Stones and Quarries in ancient Egypt, British Museum Press
Murk, B. 2001, Geology: A Self teaching Guide, John Wiley and Sons
Myhrvold, N. Young, C. and Bilet, M. 2011, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, The Cooking Lab.
Nicholson, P.T. and Shaw, I., 2000 Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge University Press
Polanyi, K, Arensberg, C.M. and Perason, H.W. 1957 Trade and Markets in the Early Empires, Falcon’s Wing Press
Polanyi, K. 1997, The Livelihood of Man. Academic Press
Reilly, F.A. (ed.) 1962, Guidebook to the Geology and Archaeology of Egypt, Petrological Society of Libya
Said, R. 1962, The Geology of Egypt, Elsevier
Said, R. 1990, The Geology of Egypt, A.A. Balkema
Said, R. 1993, The River Nile: Geology, Hydrology and Utilization, Pergamon Press
Sampsell, B.M. 2003 A Traveler’s Guide to the Geology of Egypt, American University in Cairo Press
Van Andel, T.J.H. 1994, New Views on an Old Planet, Cambridge University Press.
James A. Harrell. Research on the Archaeological Geology of Ancient Egypt. The University of Toledo.
http://www.eeescience.utoledo.edu/faculty/harrell/Egypt/AGRG_Home.html. Last checked 6th August 2012.
Gaston Peltier is a retired business executive. A life-long amateur geologist, he calculates that the has removed more detritus from the Eglwyseg range than sub-aerial denudation. His interest in the geology of Egypt was provoked by Dr Okasha el-Daly on a visit to the Western Desert. He was educated at the University of Oxford, is a member of the Geologists’ Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.