How distant were the quarries where the ancient Egyptians obtained the raw material for their stone vessels? Were certain types of stone used only for restricted time periods, thus providing acriterion for dating? The answers to such questions begin with the accurate identification of the stones of which ancient Egyptian vessels were made. In the first section of this book the stones used for vessels are identified using standardgeologic terminology, the primary method of analysis being thin section and petrographic microscope. Sixteen color plates illustrate the stones – an essential reference for identification and comparison. The diverse names previously »employed for various stones are correlated with the photographs and the geologically accurate name. Known quarries and potential geologic source areas are discussed for each rock, and rock samples collected in the field are compared with stone vessel samples for indications of provenance. A table summarizes the time range over which particular stones were utilized for vessels.
The second section of this book presents a catalogue of the most common stone vessel shapes from the Predynastic to the Roman Period, citing a range of examples .from the earliestto the latest known occurrence of each type. Features of significance for dating, such as vessel proportions or rim shape, are noted, and a chart illustrates the changing shapes and chronological range of cylinder vessel forms. Twelve figures provide a summary of the most common vessel forms throughout Egyptian history. Appendices include a glossary of geological terminology, an outline of the geological history of Egypt, a list of rock names in German and French, and a chart systematizing the temıinology used to describe vessel shape.