Skip to comments.Quality of Life in the Desert? High Living in Rome's Distant Quarries
Posted on 11/26/2004 6:09:01 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The distance and remote location of the quarry complexes did not affect the food supply. The workers had access not to a meagre diet of a few staples, but instead had access to a wide range of foods... Ancient texts suggest that the Romans used slaves and conscripts in the mines, and it was assumed that this was also the case at these quarry sites. Furthermore, the remote and desert location of the quarry complexes and consequent long supply routes were expected to have had a detrimental effect on the quality of the diet at these sites. The excavations revealed through the artefacts, food remains and texts that here a salaried workforce was used. The men were given both food in kind and a salary with which they purchased further foods and other goods. The foods recovered during the excavations reveal variety and the presence of luxuries. In terms of diet, quality of life was achieved despite the desert location.
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Stoned in the Eastern DesertThe town is at the foot of Gabal Fatira (Mons Claudianus) in a small tributary of the Wadi Fatira Al-Beda (the white; another fork being called Al-Zarqa, the blue). Here the quarrymen -- convicts for the most part -- and their families lived, surrounded by quarries where a fine-grained light granite was cut. The local Bedouin call the place Umm Digal (Mother of Columns) after the columns which still lie around. Apparently the ancient semitic root deqel or deqala means date palm, but also pillar or column...
by Jenny Jobbins
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Another case of the arrogance of modernity: "Only WE can have a good quality of life. Nobody was happy before Xanax."
When, in reality, our bodies and minds have been genetically the same for hundreds of thousands of years. Same brains. Same desires. Is it any surprise that Romans lived good lives when they could?
Quarry, Setting and Team Marks: The Carian Connection
Posted by SunkenCiv
On Bloggers & Personal 10/08/2004 3:20:42 PM PDT · 1 reply · 41+ views
University of Leiden (Netherlands) | 1998 | (about) Sheldon Lee Gosline
In this paper, the author proposes some specific attributions for signs deriving from the Carian or another West-Anatolian script found on in situ blocks from standing walls: quarry, block positioning, or team marks. The proposals are based on data from three distant yet related sites where such marks have been preserved, among which the Khnum temple terrace on Elephantine. In time, however, the quarry marks at Elephantine do not correspond with the other two sites. Therefore, the author proposes that the terrace was built several hundred years earlier than the Graeco-Roman Period to which the terrace is usually dated, or...
One would think that such beautiful stone would be in commercial demand, and a decent industry could be made out of quarrying that stone for various architectural purposes..
Yet, not one egyptian, in 1,500 years has taken up where the romans left off..
Well, there are very nice porphyry columns in a church (if memory serves) St Petersburg, presumably obtained either from a dismantled Byzantine site after the Turkish conquest, or commercially during Turkish domination of the Middle East. Also, King Farouk had some quarrying done.
It would be nice to acquire some of the scrap pieces the Romans left behind for museums outside Egypt, since they aren't of much interest otherwise (no tourist traffic up to either site). For those who are very ambitious, there's a 200 ton cracked column up there, probably an "oops" quarried for a project of (I think) Caligula. There were others which made the trip to Rome (obviously by water).
I'd be very surprised if some newly-quarried finished objects of great size didn't lay on the bottom of the Mediterranean, and out of Egyptian jurisdiction.
I wouldn't be surprised if that was so.
I wouldn't be surprised if a good many Americans would buy this stone for kitchen counters.
The shots I saw in the article were of beautiful, high quality stone in a variety of colors..
Given the economy in the mid-east, and specifically Egypt, I'm surprised this quarry isn't being mined and the stone shipped all over the world...
If that mine was in Pakistan, you can darn well bet you could get some for your counter top at the local Home Depot at a reasonable price..
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Wow! Five years ago yesterday?!? Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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