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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Utilitarian Stones


The utilitarian stones of ancient Egypt were those rocks employed for implements and other mundane articles. Most of these fall into three categories: 1) tools for harvesting, food preparation, and stone working; 2) weapons for hunting, war, and personal protection; and 3) grinding stones for cereals and other plant products, ore rocks for gold and other metals, and raw materials forpaint pigments and cosmetics. The three most common rock types used for these purposes were chert, dolerite, granite,  metagraywacke, and silicified sandstone. A total of 21 ancient quarries are known for these stones.

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