A fine-grained, black volcanic rock with individual crystal grains in the ground mass. Basalt appears in Egypt at several places. The most important quarries for it are: 1. near Samalut (on the east bank); 2. east of Cairo; 3. Abu Za'bal 4. in an area from west of Abu Rowash and south to Gebel Qatrani north of the Fayum.
There are many examples of predynastic basalt vessels. In the Old Kingdom basalt was mainly used for pavements in pyramid temples and vessels. It does not appear very often in the Middle and New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), but is a common material for statues in the Late, Ptolemaic and Roman Periods.
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