Granite

Granite Antiques

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Story About Granite Antiques

A lot of what remains of the great ancient Egyptian civilization is made out of stone. This is because of its durability and the fact that it is not susceptible to decay. The ancient Egyptian used a colorful variety of stones for different reasons. There were some stones intended for building monuments, tombs, pyramids and temples. Other stones were used for ornamental purposes such as for statues, stelae, sculptures, shrines, vessels and much more. Granite was one of the many stones used by the pharaohs. Its use was widespread with some of the most infamous monuments such as the Sphinx or Pyramids being created out of this incredibly hard and durable stone. Unfortunately, over the millenniums, the use of granite has declined in Egypt. Granite’s resistance and hardness is what made the stone such an attractive construction material in antiquity. Most of the great colossal statues and monuments from ancient Egypt that remain today were fashioned out of granite. At first it was difficult to quarry the granite due to its heaviness and hardness. However, as the Egyptians were quite an innovative people who made astonishing technological advancements, they quickly learned how to quarry granite, transport it over long distances and use it to build colossal, awe-inspiring monuments that would stand the test of time. The largest and most well-known quarries were located in Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost city. The Egyptian granite grew in popularity due to its stunning coloration and hues. It naturally occurs in grey, black, red and rose. In ancient Egypt, granite was used in everything from sacrificial and funerary vases to towering statues and even buildings. The great pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure as well as the royal chamber tomb in the pyramid of Cheope had external veneers of granite slabs. However, it was not only the exterior that was covered with granite, Djed or the interior of the largest pyramid of Giza was built completely of granite monoliths, with each monolith weighing nearly a hundred tons. In the complex of Dahshur, of the original seven pyramids, only five remain. One of them is called the Black Pyramid. This pyramid is perhaps the best known due to its polished granite pyramidion or capstone, which is now on display for all to marvel at in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Statues of kings and gods alike were mainly constructed out of red and black granite mined from Aswan. Along with these important structures, granite was also used to construct obelisks, one of the most important elements of ancient Egyptian architecture. Obelisks had strong religious importance as it symbolized the sun god Ra. The ancient quarries around Aswan give us invaluable insight into how the pharaohs used to quarry and cut the incredibly hard stone that was used to form the Great Pyramids of Giza. During the Old Kingdom period, quarrying techniques were not very sophisticated. It consisted of just prying loose pieces of granite from the surface of the quarry. However, as time progressed, these techniques developed. By the time of the New Kingdom, the Egyptians would hack off the uppermost layers of the granite first. Then they dug a trench around it in cut beneath the rock; thus, being able to push it out sideways instead of upward. To cut the granite, the workers drilled holes into the rock with a hammer and chisel and inserted wooden wedges, which were then drenched with water, expanding the wood and splitting the rock! Granite was used for a myriad of things depending on the time period. During the Early Dynastic period through the middle kingdom, granite was used for the lining of burial chambers, interior pyramid passageways and masala tombs. During the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdoms, granite was used for temple columns. Generally throughout the dynasties, granite was used for pavements, interior wall veneer, shrines, offering tables, sarcophagi and most importantly small to colossal statues of famous kings, queens and deities. Here at Swan Bazaar, we have a unique collection of granite stone sculptures for sale. They are made from high-quality Egyptian granite stone and are replicas of real statues of the most important kings and deities of ancient Egypt. We have a replica of King Ramesses II’s head completely hand-carved of pure granite stone. It is handmade by local Egyptian artists, celebrating one of Egypt’s greatest and most powerful kings. The details of the king’s facial features are very accurate, demonstrating the skill of the artists. Ramesses II or Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often considered the most powerful and revered king of the New Kingdom, the most prosperous time in ancient Egyptian history. Some of Ramessess II’s most significant achievements are in his expansive architectural endeavors, building more monuments than any other ancient Egyptian king. The most notable monuments are the Ramesseum and the marvelous Abu Simbel Temples. Granite was used for creating sculptures of the deities for worship or protection. We have head sculptures of two of the most beloved and revered goddesses of ancient Egypt: Hathor and Sekhmet. The Hathor head sculpture is ornamented with lovely flowers, emphasizing her feminine spirit. This stunning statue uses fine line engraving to magnify the magnificence of the ancient Egyptian Goddess Hathor, the goddess of the sky, women, fertility and love. Hathor is considered one of the most revered and holy gods in Ancient Egyptian mythology as she was the mother of the mighty god Horus and the sun god Ra, both of whom were directly attached to the kingship, thus, she was the symbolic mother of the pharaohs. Her stoic yet endearing gaze is found on reliefs all throughout ancient Egypt. The sculpture of Sekhmet is made of black granite from Aswan. She is depicted here in her lioness form. This replica has a strong resemblance to many of the statues that have been unearthed of Sekhmet. This sculpture showcases the fierce Sekhmet Egyptian Goddess, daughter of Ra, created when his eye looked upon the earth, in all her splendor. Sekhmet is the goddess of the sun, war, destruction, plagues and healing. She is one of the oldest and most powerful ancient Egyptian deities.