Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quarries

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Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quarries

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Wo Dec 05, 2012 5:18 pm

I feel honoured to have this conversation with Mr. Adel Kelany, Inspector of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Supervisor Of Ancient Quarries And Mines Department, about rock art in the Wadi Abu Subeira, and about ancient quarries in general.

Afbeelding

Mr. Kelany, are the Paleolithic rock drawings in the Wadi Abu Subeira comparable to the ones found in Qurta and El-Hosh?
Adel Kelany: Yes, they are from the same period.

Are these the only sites in Egypt expected to hold Paleolithic rock art?
Adel Kelany: Up to now, yes. But we expect to find more sites, not only in Egypt but also in other parts of North Africa.

Afbeelding

Afbeelding

Are these Paleolithic sites connected with quarries? And are there always traces of settlements nearby?
Adel Kelany: We are still trying to find out about that. However, we have found many stone tool workshops (quarries) nearby, but we cannot date them yet, it needs more investigation.

Afbeelding

Are there traces of any religious activity, long before pharaonic times?
Adel Kelany: If you mean in Wadi Subeira, the rock art might have a religious connection. On the other hand if you talk about other sites, yes there is evidence to support that. A good example is Nabta Playa, but there are others too.

Is the Wadi Abu Subeira still under threat from modern mining operation?
Adel Kelany: Unfortunately, yes, there is a very high level of threat indeed.

Afbeelding

Sometimes quarries were used for a very long period – all through pharaonic times until the Roman period. What are some of the ‘most successful’ mines of Ancient Egypt?
Adel Kelany: The gold mines in the Eastern desert and in the Wadi Alaqi. And the ancient quarries on the West bank of Aswan are not only some of the oldest, but they are also some of the historically most continuously exploited mining sites in the world, i.e. from the Paleolithic to modern times.

Is there a chronological development in quarrying? And can a difference in methods be used to date the quarries?
Adel Kelany: Yes, and it can be used to date the quarry, especially between Pharaonic times and Greco-roman times.

Can an evolution in time be detected by the preference for certain types of stone?
Adel Kelany: Yes, sometimes they used special stones for special purposes.

Am I wrong in expecting a harbour at the end of a transportation road from a quarry, and consequently also a settlement? Has sufficient research been done about the possible connection between quarry, transport, road, harbour, settlements and cemeteries?
Adel Kelany: Some has been done. For example, I myself researched on transportation of blocks from the unfinished obelisk quarry to the Nile river. But, of course, a lot more research is needed.

The ancient quarry at Dayr Abu Hinnes was inhabited in early Coptic times. Are there more examples of later re-use of the quarries?
Adel Kelany: Many have been re-used, such as the limestone quarries west of the white monastery in Sohag city.

Thank you Mr. Kelany for this short, but enlightening interview.

Wadi Abu Subeira:
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/05/01/the- ... servation/

Wadi Abu Subeira in danger:
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/04/06/wadi ... struction/
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2791

Nabta Playa:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabta_Playa

Wadi Allaqi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadi_Allaqi

West Aswan:
http://per-storemyr.net/gharb-aswan-archaeology/

Mr. Bert Leyns was so kind to improve my English in this interview.

Pictures are taken 2012 in the Wadi Abu Subeira by Adel Kelany and Adel Tohami.

Syed El Homosany, team member of the Subeira Project, recording rock art:
Afbeelding
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Adel Kelany

Berichtdoor yuti » Wo Dec 12, 2012 12:34 pm

" Granite quarry survey in the Aswan region,
Egypt: shedding new light on ancient quarrying "


door Adel Kelany, Mohamed Negem, Adel Tohami en Tom Heldal

http://www.ngu.no/upload/Publikasjoner/ ... s87-98.pdf
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Re: Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quar

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Vr Dec 28, 2012 9:25 pm

Ancient quarries

Per Storemyr Archaeology & Conservation

Wadi Abu Qureya, soapstone quarry
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/22/ten- ... ne-quarry/

Rod el-Gamra, dolerite porphyry quarry
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/23/ten- ... ry-quarry/

The Second Pyramid at Giza
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/24/ten- ... d-at-giza/

Wadi el-Muluk, limestone quarry
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/26/ten- ... ne-quarry/

“The loner” at Chephren’s Quarry
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/27/ten- ... ns-quarry/

Gebel Manzal el-Seyl, volcanic tuff quarry
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/28/ten- ... ff-quarry/

Tracing a grinding stone quarry in the Sahara
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/29/ten- ... he-sahara/

The quarry at Widan el-Faras that disappeared
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/30/ten- ... sappeared/

Palaeolithic quarries in the Eastern Desert
http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/31/ten- ... rn-desert/
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Re: Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quar

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Zo Dec 30, 2012 7:29 pm

Because I started this post in English ... :wink:

Two well known quarries:

- Gebel Mokattam, seen from the Citadel in Cairo:

Afbeelding

- The limestone quarry near the pyramid of Chephren:

Looking east, on the left is the north side of the pyramid of Chephren / Khafre:
Afbeelding

Just imagine the amount of blocks, if you look at the height of the surrounding walls:
Afbeelding

Looking west, on the left is the enormous wall of the quarry, and you can see the south side of the pyramid of Cheops / Khufu:
Afbeelding

The trenches are visible, made to detach the blocks more easily from the bedrock:
Afbeelding

An inscription mentioning May, overseer of works, and Pameniu, head of sculptors. From the reign of Ramesses II, on the north wall of the quarry. (according to P&M III, p.229):
Afbeelding

Afbeelding

Question: why these names from the New Kingdom in a quarry from the Old Kingdom? Was the already flattened bedrock from the Old Kingdom expanded by a quarry from the New Kingdom?
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Re: Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quar

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Do Jan 03, 2013 6:22 pm

On the website of Per Storemyr:

Firework !

http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/31/ten- ... -firework/

It was Reginald Engelbach that first suggested the use of fire for stone quarrying in Ancient Egypt, when he excavated the Unfinished Obelisk at Aswan almost a hundred years ago. Over the last decade much more evidence has been found in Aswan and elsewhere – and Adel Kelany and his team of archaeologists has even made experiments trying to figure out how firesetting works.

With pictures of the experiment.
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Re: Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quar

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Za Feb 16, 2013 3:13 pm

Philip Arrhidaeus schreef:On the website of Per Storemyr:

Firework !

http://per-storemyr.net/2012/12/31/ten- ... -firework/

It was Reginald Engelbach that first suggested the use of fire for stone quarrying in Ancient Egypt, when he excavated the Unfinished Obelisk at Aswan almost a hundred years ago. Over the last decade much more evidence has been found in Aswan and elsewhere – and Adel Kelany and his team of archaeologists has even made experiments trying to figure out how firesetting works.

With pictures of the experiment.


You can’t miss the several circular holes in the quarry of the Unfinished Obelisk. Some people of the friendly staff there told me these holes had a double function: a test hole for the quality of the stone, but also a method for making cracks between the holes by fire, and in such way facilitating the quarrying.
Adel Kelany and a team of specialists is further investigating this, and an article is to be published.

I have been told by Mr. Kelany that it was indeed Reginald Engelbach who first mentioned that fire was used in quarries, but only for removing the weathered surfaces... so this is a big step in understanding how the enormous stones were extracted from the quarry.

Two holes beside the Unfinished Obelisk. In the second picture dolorite pounders can be seen.

Afbeelding

Afbeelding
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Re: Adel Kelany: interview Wadi Abu Subeira and ancient quar

Berichtdoor Philip Arrhidaeus » Za Feb 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Three more famous quarries:

Aswan South Quarries:
Afbeelding

Gebel el Silsila East:
Afbeelding

Gebel el Silsila West:
Afbeelding

The guards in Gebel el Silsila West told me that the holes in the walls were for ropes and lowering the stones via ramps to the Nile. Is there any confirmation about that?
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