ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ancient Egyptian stone quarry, Aswan, Egypt. The Aswan quarries were next to the River Nile, which was used to transport the stone to the building sites downstream. They were granite quarries, and this hard rock was used for monuments like statues and obelisks, while softer sandstone was used for the buildings. Various methods were used to prise the granite out of the ground, including the use of water-soaked wooden wedges driven into a groove in the stone. The wedges would swell and crack the rock loose. One of the quarries includes a large unfinished obelisk that cracked during quarrying. The Aswan granite quarries have been used for many thousands of years.
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