Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

The Eastern Desert of Egypt during the Greco-Roman Period: Archaeological Reports

 | 
Jean-Pierre Brun
, 
Thomas Faucher
, 
Bérangère Redon
, 
et al.

Quarries with Subtitles

Adam Bülow-Jacobsen

Texte intégral

1What are the advantages of finding texts when you are studying a Roman quarry? Well, this should be obvious, but let us nevertheless ask the question: what exactly do we learn about the function of a given quarry that we would otherwise not know?

2First, what do I mean by texts? Most quarries have delivered inscriptions, but I shall first of all talk about more ephemeral writings, which could be on papyrus, but in fact are nearly always on ostraka. By quarry, in this context, I mean the larger, often imperial quarries. This needs to be specified, since everywhere we find small, local quarries that have served e.g. to build the nearby fort –often regardless of the quality of the stone.

3Of course, what I know best is Mons Claudianus, (Fig. 1) but I shall also touch on the small quarry at Umm Balad on which I am working at the moment. The about 700 ostraka from Porphyrites should be interesting in this context also, but they are not published yet.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

The fortified camp at Mons Claudianus during the first excavation campaign in 1987.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

  • 1 . Fant 1989.
  • 2 . Rakob 1993.

4For comparison, I have chosen the imperial marble quarries at Docimium in Turkey,1 where I have not been, and those at Simitthus in Tunisia2 which I have seen for myself.

5As sources to how quarries functioned we have, of course, first of all the archaeology, not least the tool-marks on the stone which tell us which tools were used and generally how the quarrying was done.

6As for writing, most quarries deliver inscriptions of the more or less monumental kind, e.g. a founding inscription over the gate of the fortified camp. This will mostly tell us when the enterprise was begun or a significant change took place. We have such inscriptions from Mons Claudianus and from Umm Balad, though in both cases they are broken to such a degree that they are almost useless. Other inscriptions may commemorate the founding of temples, altars, wells or the like. Such inscriptions are known both from Mons Claudianus, from Porphyrites and from Simitthus. From Docimium we have only quarrymarks since the quarries are much disturbed by modern work.

7Quarrymarks are found in nearly all quarries. They are short, almost coded messages cut into the detached blocks or into the bedrock and serve a number of purposes. Those written on the bedrock itself will often contain the name of the quarry, or rather the individual work-face. Those written on the detached blocks mostly tell us whether the block in question has been approved (or rejected), perhaps where it was quarried, sometimes a date. Often there are numbers which we can for the most part not understand. Here there are differences between the quarries that I take into consideration. First of all, the Egyptian quarries are in the Greek speaking part of the empire, or at least mostly Greek speaking. Simitthus, in the province of Africa was wholly Latin speaking. In Docimium, perhaps surprisingly, the quarry-marks are in Latin.

  • 3 . Peacock & Maxfield 1997, pp. 216-232.

8In both Mons Porphyrites and Mons Claudianus the quarry-marks show a mixture of Greek and Latin. Neither are properly published. I have a list of those from Porphyrites given to me by the excavators. The somewhat disastrous publication of the quarry-marks from Mons Claudianus3 is the result of a misunderstanding between the editors: Peacock thought that the provisional list was a finished publication and proceeded to publish it without the benefit of a Greek typeface. The result is all but useless, not least because the marks are in a mixture of Greek and Latin.

  • 4 The list of these quarry marks has been given to me by the excavators.
  • 5 . See Fig. 3
  • 6 . The gender of P(robat-) depends on the hypothetical word on which it depends. Lapis is the most l (...)

9As for the quarry-marks from Porphyrites,4 they are different from anything else I have seen. The sequence ΤΡΦ is seen several times. It must be Greek, but I have no idea what it means. The sequence RPP must be Latin and is seen once in Porphyrites. I have found it again on a stray block at Umm Balad.5 If we take it to mean R(atio) P(orphyritica) P(robat-)6 it could be evidence that Umm Balad was part of the same administrative unit as the nearby Porphyrites, which would not in itself be surprising. This would take us to the sequence RACLP which is seen so often at Mons Claudianus and which might then mean RA(tio) CL(audiana) P(robat-) (Fig. 2-4).

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Porphyrites. An example of the ΤΡΦ quarry-mark on a block in the foreground. The meaning os obscure.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 3

Fig. 3

Unpublished quarry-mark from Umm Balad. Where the road continues from the camp into the wâdi of the quarries it rapidly disappears, destroyed by the water. After the first interruption vague traces of it reappear and here we come upon an area with a number of blocks of the dark granite that have clearly been worked, among them one inscribed: R P P in letters c. 8 cm high. Comparing the frequent inscription RACLP, RCP or the like from Mons Claudianus, where the C or CL must stand for Claudian-, and the RPP found once on Mons Porphyrites (Quarry 2 in Lykabettos) it seems clear that the 2nd P must stand for Porphyrit- whatever the ending was. The R could mean ratio and the last P probat-, but this is far from certain. This is the only quarry-inscription that has been found by Umm Balad. The blocks are worked, some dressed with a point others with a hammer and the ground is covered with chips from hammer-dressing. What happened here? Presumably a wagon with approved blocks broke down on its way out of the wâdi and it was attempted to reduce the blocks to a smaller size.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 4

Fig. 4

Mons Claudianus. RACLP cf. Fig. 3. This quarry-mark is found on a discarded block on the loading-ramp at the end of the Pillar wâdi. Not recorded in Peacock-Maxfield.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

10In the quarry of Umm Balad there is a remarkable absence of quarry-marks except for the RPP already mentioned. Unlike Mons Claudianus there is no storage area for approved, but not yet exported blocks, so the search for quarry-marks was carried out on the failed blocks that lie around in the quarry, and it is therefore not surprising that there are no marks of approval. Since only one quarry appears to have been active, there was no need to indicate provenance either.

11Is all this useful to the understanding of the organisation of quarries? Can it show us anything about the lay-out of the quarries and the order in which they were exploited? Well, as so often: Yes and No – it depends. Let me try to be a little clearer. In Docimium, as far as I understand, the quarries are still worked and the modern work has almost totally destroyed the traces of the lay-out of the Roman quarries. But the quarry-marks that are found on detached and discarded blocks show us the following designations officina, bracchium, locus, caesura, and ratio. I will not go into the discussion about the meaning of these terms and their hierarchy. Some may have been administrative units, while others probably had a precise topographical meaning.

12In Simitthus, a similar system appears to have been used. The term bracchium is absent which may or may not be accidental, but we find officina, locus, caesura, and ratio. Even though the Simitthus-quarries are less destroyed by modern working, it is not possible to get a clear idea of what they looked like in Roman times, but at least the terminology tells us that the topographical organisation was similar.

13In Mons Claudianus we have ample evidence, both of the ancient lay-out and of the topographical system in use. There has been little modern quarrying, and what there has been took place after we had had a first look around. Also, and this is important, the stone is not marble, but granite –or whatever more precise name it is given by the geologists. Where marble can be excavated both by wedging and by trenching –nowadays even by sawing with a steel wire– granite had to be wedged off. The exploitation at Mons Claudianus never goes deep, but mostly just takes off the first layer or two of useful stone. (Mons Claudianus Fig. 5-8) (Simitthus Fig. 9-14)

Fig. 5

Fig. 5

Mons Claudianus. A whole wall has been squared off with a series of wedgings.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 6

Fig. 6

Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 7

Fig. 7

Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 8

Fig. 8

Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 9

Fig. 9

Simitthus. Traces of ancient wedging of marble.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 10

Fig. 10

Simitthus. Traces of ancient wedging of marble.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 11

Fig. 11

Simitthus. Like on Fig. 5 a wall has been squared off, but here using a pick-axe leaving the typical festoon marks.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 12

Fig. 12

Simithus. Wall squared off partly with the pick-axe, partly perhaps with the point. Note how some marks are curved from the pick-axe, others are straight showing the use of the point.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 13

Fig. 13

Simitthus. Traces of modern sawing with a steel-wire.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

Fig. 14

Fig. 14

Simitthus. Note how the works-faces have a tendency to recede towards the bottom. This is the result of working with a pick-axe. Marble-quarries can go much deeper and have a tendency to obilterate earlier workfaces.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

  • 7 . See the plan with numbers in Peacock-Maxfield 1997, Fig. 1.2, reproduced in O.Claud. IV p. 10.

14So, in Mons Claudianus we have many original work-faces –Peacock identified 130–7 and we know that they were individually called λατομίαι and given names. There does not seem to have been any subdivision. We also find the term κοπή and it is almost irresistible to take this as the equivalent of the Latin caesura. κοπή seems, like caesura, to have been an administrative term, not a topographical one. The same would be true of ratio or ex ratione which presumably meant ‘account’.

  • 8 . Bülow-Jacobsen 2009.

15Whatever I have said so far would concern the titles. Now let us take a look at what we might call the subtitles. By this, of course, I mean the ostraka which are a unique feature of the Egyptian quarries. Mons Claudianus has been extremely productive in this respect and has delivered over 9000, of which some 250 are directly relevant to the quarrying and have been published in Ostraca Claudiana 4.8 Umm Balad has given some 1100 on which I am working at present. I can already reveal that they contain little about the actual quarrying. From Porphyrites we have about 700 that have not been published yet.

16Most of what the 9000 ostraka from Mons Claudianus tells us is of course seen from a frog-eye perspective, but there are a few that really tell us something important, seen from a slightly higher point of view, that we would never learn from inscriptions or other types of evidence.

17One is the general list of water distribution that Hélène Cuvigny published in Chiron 35 in 2005. (Fig. 15) It concerns a given day while the quarries were in full activity, probably while the columns for the Forum Traiani and the Basilica Ulpia were being extracted during the first decade of the second century. It is a list for one day of the distribution of water and gives us the exact numbers within each category of workers that were employed in the quarries and one counts a staggering 917 people of whom 60 only were military.

Fig. 15

Fig. 15

O.Claud. inv. 1538+2921, cf. Cuvigny H., “L'organigramme du personnel d'une carrière impériale d'après un ostracon du Mons Claudianus”, Chiron 35 (2005) pp. 309-353.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

  • 9 . See Fennell 2011, p. 132; Bortwick 1990, 3-1 and 3-2, which deal with British rations. For a summ (...)

18The other 857 were civilians, ranging from the architect to the lowliest water-carrier. We learn that there were also doctors, veterinarians, barbers, and cobblers. We also learn that there were two kinds of workers in almost equal numbers, the pagani, i.e. the native, paid, skilled workers, mainly employed as stone-masons and smiths. Another group, almost as big, are those of the familia who mostly did unskilled work, carrying water, and so forth. The interest of this text is of course that it tells us how much water people got, namely between 6,5 litres for the highest ranks down to 3,25 litres for stonemasons and 2,16 litres for the unskilled, which is surprisingly little seen from our point of view, but corresponds rather well with what we know about the British forces in North Africa during the Second World War: 2 pints= 1,136 litres per man per day in the fighting units and, for those behind the front-line, between 4,5 and 6,8 litres per day for everything except the radiators of the vehicles, a problem the ancients did not have.9

Mons Claudianus

British army WWII

WHO recommendations

Max. 6,5 l (1 κεράμιον)

soldier 5,4 l

recruits, pagani 3,25 l

familia 2,16 l

behind the front 4,5-6,8 l

fighting soldier 1,136 l

20 liters/day, incl. hygiene and food preparation

minimum 7,5 l

19The third column shows recommendations of the World Health Organisation, which are a lot higher. The real importance of the text is, however, that it tells us about numbers and categories of workers and gives us several names of quarries to compare with list of workers and quarries from other ostraka.

  • 10 . He is identified by his handwriting which is known from O.Claud. 888.

20Another text that gives us a slightly higher perspective is O.Claud IV 841, a stock-list of stone-blocks that were available around AD 150 (Fig. 16). The handwriting belongs to one Palaïs, about whom we do not know much, except that he was involved in the counting of stones.10 I think this big ostracon looks as if it was his ‘clip-board’ on which he noted down what he found when he made a tour of inspection through the quarries. As you can see, the writing is distributed into irregular groups, and the colour of the ink varies. I imagine that this list was afterwards copied on papyrus in some more legible form, and perhaps even sent to Rome.

Fig. 16

Fig. 16

O.Claud. IV 888. The passage that is discussed in detail is on the right-hand side of the left one of the two non-joining fragments

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

21At this time the quarries at Mons Claudianus had been in use for about fifty years as imperial quarries and had delivered blocks and especially columns to order, for a number of imperial buildings in Rome, as Trajan’s Forum, Hadrian’s reconstruction of the Pantheon, his villa in Tibur, and the Temple of Venus and Rome. Each of these projects had demanded a number of monolithic columns of a certain size and there would inevitably have been quite a lot of blocks lying around that were perfectly useable, but did not correspond to any measurements that had been ordered. If the stone had been marble, I suppose that these blocks would have been taken to Rome and stored in the marble yard, but this is granite, and the transportation was probably more expensive than the stone itself, so the stones were left in place until somebody wanted them. Let us look at one entry in the list: at the top of this image we read κοπ() Ἐπαφροδ(ίτου). As already said, I believe that κοπή is the Greek for caesura and could mean ‘share’. Epaphroditos is interesting. His name occurs in several contexts in the quarry, both on blocks and on rock-faces, and first of all in the architrave of the temple (I.Pan 42) and equally at Mons Porphyrites (I.Pan 21). In wâdi al-Hammâmât we find his name on a rock-face. In the two temple inscriptions from Claudianus and Porphyrites he describes himself as an imperial slave and μισθωτὴς τῶν μετάλλων, i.e. farmer of the mines and quarries. These inscriptions must date from the revival of the quarries at the beginning of the reign of Hadrian, after the Jewish revolt. So here he is again, about thirty years later. Was he still involved in the quarrying? I doubt it, but his name was apparently still attached to some blocks. Underneath is written λατο(μία) Διον(ύσου), a quarry that is attested in several lists, but we do not know which one it was. Under this are four items, each preceded by a check-mark after which follows an N with a line above. This probably means ‘an approved/useable item’. At the time when I made the edition I thought it meant νόμαιος ‘approved, regular’, but perhaps it rather means numerus. It is often seen on the blocks as well and is followed by a figure. Here the four items are number 47, 49, 86 and 85. Then follows in each case αργ( ) which must mean ἀργός ‘idle’ followed by measurements in three dimensions. The next post on the list is ἐν ὁδῷ χαμουλκοῦ ‘the road of the sledge’. This could be, but does not have to be, the road that leads along the Pillar wâdi down to the great loading ramp (Fig. 17) In any case, our man with his clip-board is clearly walking around the quarries and often positions them in relation to the praesidium.

Fig. 17

Fig. 17

The so-called Pillar wâdi with the road that might be the ὁδὸς χαμουλκοῦ mentioned in O.Claud 888. The areas on either side of the road have been used for storing useable blocks.

© A. Bülow-Jacobsen

22To make a long story short, this inventory shows us that the basic unit was the λατομία, the quarry, and gives us the tantalising impression that we could almost follow in Palaïs’ foot-steps and perhaps even identify some of the blocks that he inventoried.

  • 11 . See O.Claud. IV pp. 257-259 where literature is quoted. See also Bülow-Jacobsen 2016. Steeling ed (...)
  • 12 . See Ian Freestone in Peacock, Maxfield 1997, pp. 246-251.

23The third thing that we learn from the ostraka and nowhere else is the importance of steel. Ordinary iron is too soft to make much of an impression on granite, so quarry-tools were fitted with a steel-tip or edge which was welded on. Forge-welding demands higher temperatures than were obtained in the forges next to the quarries where the tools were regularly sharpened by re-forging. When a point has been used and re-sharpened a certain number of times, the steel-tip is worn away and has to be replaced which was done in the στομωτήριον.11 Not a single tool has been found at Mons Claudianus, and even if we had some, they would be corroded and the hardness measuring would be unreliable. But now that we know that this method was used we have the explanation why the slag in Quarry 92 shows that temperatures obtained there, contrary to the small forges in the quarries, would have permitted welding.12 I am fairly certain that this identifies the forge in quarry 92 as the stomoterion.

24These are just a few examples of what we learn from the ostraka about life and work in the quarries. I hope they will serve to convince archaeologists to dig for ostraka in the dung-heaps next time they excavate in a Roman quarry.

Bibliographie

Bingen J. 1987. “Première campagne de fouille au Mons Claudianus. Rapport préliminaire.” Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 87, pp. 45-52.

Bingen J. Jensen S.O. 1990. “Quatrième campagne de fouille au Mons Claudianus. Rapport préliminaire”. Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 90, pp. 65-81.

Bingen J. Jensen S.O. 1992. “Mons Claudianus. Rapport préliminaire sur les cinquième et sixième campagnes de fouille (1991-1992)”. Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 92, pp. 15-36.

Bingen J. Jensen S.O. 1993. “Mons Claudianus. Rapport préliminaire sur la septième campagne de fouille (1993)”. Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 94, pp. 53-66 + Fig. 1-20.

Bingen J. 1993. “Sept campagnes de fouilles au Mons Claudianus (désert oriental d'Égypte, 1987-1993)”. Bulletin de la Classe des Lettres et des Sciences Morales et Politiques. Académie Royale de Belgique, 6e série, Tome IV, 1-6, pp. 143-157.

Bingen J. 1996. “Dumping of Ostraca at Mons Claudianus”. In Archaeological Research in Roman Egypt. The Proceedings of the Seventeenth Classical Colloquium of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, held on 1-4 December, 1993. D.M. Bailey (ed.), Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement 19, pp. 29-38.

Bingen J., Bülow-Jacobsen A., Cockle W.E.H., Cuvigny H., Rubinstein L., Van Rengen W. 1992. Mons Claudianus, ostraka graeca et latina I (O.Claud.1-190), (dfifao XXIX) Cairo.

Bingen J., Bülow-Jacobsen A., Cockle W.E.H., Cuvigny H., Rubinstein L., Kayser F., Van Rengen W. 1997. Mons Claudianus, ostraka graeca et latina II (O.Claud. 191-414) (dfifao XXXII), Cairo.

Bortwick A. 1990. Battalion: A British Infantry Unit’s Actions from El Alamein to the Elbe 1942-1945, 1994 (1946), s.19. German Experiences in World War II, Supplement.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1988. “Mons Claudianus. Roman Granite-Quarry and Station on the Road to the Red Sea”. Danish Studies in Classical Archaeology. Acta Hyperborea I. East and West. Cultural Relations in the Ancient World. Museum Tusculanum, Copenhagen, pp. 159-165.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1990. “Mons Claudianus - et stenbrud i Ægypten”. Sfinx 1990, 1, pp. 10-15.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1992. “The Excavation and Ostraca of Mons Claudianus”. Proceedings of the XIXth Congress of Papyrology, vol. 1. pp. 49-59, Ain Shams University, Center of Papyrological Studies, Cairo.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1993. “Læse og skrivefærdighed på Mons Claudianus belyst ved fund”. Hellenismestudier 8, Århus, pp. 66-73.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1993. “The Excavation at Mons Claudianus, Egypt”. Acta Hyperborea 5, pp. 408-410.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1996. “A survey of seven years of Excavation at Mons Claudianus” TOPOI, 6/2, Maison de l'orient, Lyon, pp. 721-730.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. (with a contribution by Cuvigny H.). 1996. Mons Claudianus. Organisation, administration og teknik i et romersk stenbrud fra kejsertiden. (Studier fra Sprog- og Oldtidsforskningen), Copenhagen.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 1997. “On Smiths and Quarries”. Akten des 21. internat. Papyro–logenkongresses, Berlin 1995. Leipzig, pp. 139-145.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 2009. Mons Claudianus. Ostraca Graeca et Latina IV. The Quarry-Texts (O.Claud. 632-896) Institut français d'archéologie orientale, DFIFAO XXXXVII, Cairo.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 2012. “O.Claud. IV 870 and 895 joined”. ZPE 183, pp. 219-221, 1 Fig.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 2013. “Translation of a Letter of the Praefectus Aegypti (O.Claud. inv. 7218). In Papyrological Texts in Honor of Roger S. Bagnall. R. Ast, H. Cuvigny, T.M. Hickey and J.  Lougovaya (ed.), American Studies in Papyrology 53, pp. 47-51.

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 2014. “Texts and Textiles on Mons Claudianus”. In Le Myrte et la rose - Mélanges offerts à Françoise Dunand. G. Tallet, Chr. Zivie-Coche (ed.), CENiM 9, Montpellier, pp. 3-7

Bülow-Jacobsen A. 2016. “Stomoma. Why, what, whence, and how?”. In “Libera curiositas”. Mélanges d'histoire romaine et d'Antiquité tardive offerts à Jean-Michel Carrié. C. Freu, S. Janniard, A. Ripoll (eds.), Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité Tardive (BAT 31). Turnhout, Brepols, pp. 183-189.

Ciszuk M. 2000. “Taquetés from Mons Claudianus: analyses and reconstruction”. In Archéologie des textiles des origines au ve siècle. Actes du colloque de Lattes, octobre 1999. D. Cardon and M. Feugère (ed.), Monique Mergoil Ed., Montagnac, pp. 265-282.

Cockle W.E.H. 1992. “The Breaking of an Alter at Mons Claudianus (IG Pan 37)”. CdÉ 67, fasc. 134, pp. 337-340.

Cuvigny H. 1986. “Nouveaux ostraka du Mons Claudianus”. Chronique d'Égypte 61, fasc. 122, pp. 271-286.

Cuvigny H. 1992. “Inscription inédite d'un ergodotès dans une carrière du Mons Claudianus”. Mélanges Maurice Martin (IFAO), pp. 73-88.

Cuvigny H. 1996. “The Amount of Wages Paid to the Quarry-Workers at Mons Claudianus”. JRS 86, pp. 139-145.

Cuvigny H. 2000. Mons Claudianus. Ostraca Graeca et Latina III. Les reçus pour avances à la familia (O.Claud. 417 à 631), Institut français d'archéologie orientale, DFIFAO XXXVIII, Cairo.

Cuvigny H. 2005. “L'organigramme du personnel d'une carrière impériale d'après un ostracon du Mons Claudianus”. CHIRON 35, pp. 309-353.

Cuvigny H., Wagner G. 1986. “Ostraca grecs du Mons Claudianus”. ZPE 62, pp. 63-73.

Fant J.C. 1989. “Cavum antrum Phrygiae. The Organization and Operations of the Roman Imperial Marble Quarries in Phrygia”. BAR international series 482.

Fennell J. 2011. Combat and Morale in the North African Campaign. The Eighth Army and the Path to El Alamein. Cambridge University Press.

Jørgensen Bender L. 1991. “Textiles from Mons Claudianus. A Preliminary Report”. Acta Hyperborea 3, Copenhagen, pp. 83-95.

Jørgensen Bender L. 1991. “The Textiles from Mons Claudianus, Recorded in 1991”. Archaeological Textiles Newletter, No. 12, Leiden, pp. 8-10.

Jørgensen Bender L. 1997. “Romersk Tekstil i Egypts ørken”. Spor (Trondheim), No 2, pp. 7-9.

Jørgensen Bender L. 2000. “The Mons Claudianus Textile Project”. In Archéologie des textiles des origines au ve siècle. Actes du colloque de Lattes, octobre 1999. D. Cardon and M. Feugère (ed.), Monique Mergoil Ed., Montagnac, pp. 253-263

Mannering U. 2000. “Roman Garments from Mons Claudianus. In Archéologie des textiles des origines au ve siècle. Actes du colloque de Lattes, octobre 1999. D. Cardon and M. Feugère, Monique Mergoil Ed., Montagnac, pp. 283-290.

Maxfield V.A. 2001. “Stone Quarrying in the Eastern Desert with particular reference to Mons Claudianus and Mons Porphyrites”. In Economies beyond Agriculture in the Classical World. D.J. Mattingly and J. Salmon (ed.), London-New York, pp. 143-170.

Maxfield V.A., Peacock D.P.S. 2001. Survey and Excavations. Mons Claudianus II. Excavations part 1. (Fouilles de l'IFAO 43), Cairo.

Maxfield V.A. and Peacock D.P.S. 2006. Survey and Excavation. Mons Claudianus III. Ceramic vessels and related objects. (Fouilles de l'IFAO 54), Cairo.

Peacock D.P.S. 1988. “The Roman quarries of Mons Claudianus, Egypt. An interim report”. In Classical Marble: Geochemistry, Technology, Trade. N. Herz and M. Waelkens (ed.), Dordrecht, pp. 97-102.

Peacock D.P.S. 1993. Rome in the Desert – a symbol of power. (Inaugural lecture) Southampton.

Peacock D.P.S. 1993. “Mons Claudianus and the problem of the granito del foro”. In Archeologia delle attivita estrattive e Metallurgiche. R. Franchovich (ed.), Siena, pp. 49-69.

Peacock D.P.S. Thorpe O.W., Thorpe R.S. and Tindle A.G. 1994. “Mons Claudianus and the problem of the ‘granito del foro': a geological and geochemical approach”. ANTIQUITY 68, pp. 209-230.

Peacock D.P.S. and Maxfield V.A. 1997. Survey and excavation Mons Claudianus, 1987-1993. Volume I: topography and quarries with contributions by O. Williams-Thorpe, I.C. Freestone, J. Lang, W. Van Rengen, R.S. Tomber, R.S. Thorpe†, A.G. Tindle, and M.C. Jones. FIFAO XXXVII, Cairo.

Rakob F. (ed.). 1993. Simitthus I, Die Steinbrüche und die antike Stadt. Mainz am Rhein: von Zabern.

Tomber R. 1989-1992. “Mons Claudianus”. Bulletin de liaison du Groupe International d'étude de la céramique égyptienne. XIII 1989, 35-37 and XIV 1990, 26-27, and XV 1991, 20-21 and 1992, XVII, 32.

Tomber R. 1992. “Early Roman Pottery from Mons Claudianus”. Cahiers de la Céramique Égyptienne, t. 3, pp. 137-142.

Tomber R. 1996. “Provisioning the desert: pottery supply to Mons Claudianus”. In Archaeological Research in Roman Egypt. The Proceedings of the Seventeenth Classical Colloquium of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, held on 1-4 December, 1993. D.M. Bailey, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplement 19, pp. 39-49.

van der Veen M. 1996. “The plant remains from Mons Claudianus, a Roman quarry settlement in the Eastern Desert of Egypt - an interim report”. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 5, pp. 137-141.

van der Veen M. with Hamilton-Dyer S. 1998. “A life of luxury in the desert? The food and fodder supply to Mons Claudianus”. Journal of Roman Archaeology 11; pp. 101-116.

van der Veen M. 1999. “The food and fodder supply to the Roman quarry settlements in the eastern desert of Egypt”. In The Exploitation of Plant Resources in Ancient Africa. van der Veen (ed.), Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

Notes

1 . Fant 1989.

2 . Rakob 1993.

3 . Peacock & Maxfield 1997, pp. 216-232.

4 The list of these quarry marks has been given to me by the excavators.

5 . See Fig. 3

6 . The gender of P(robat-) depends on the hypothetical word on which it depends. Lapis is the most likely equivalent of λίθος which appears to have been the common word for ‘a roughed out block of stone’, cf. e.g. O.Claud IV 885, 5 τοὺς ἀποκειμένους ἐν τῷ μετάλλῳ λίθους.

7 . See the plan with numbers in Peacock-Maxfield 1997, Fig. 1.2, reproduced in O.Claud. IV p. 10.

8 . Bülow-Jacobsen 2009.

9 . See Fennell 2011, p. 132; Bortwick 1990, 3-1 and 3-2, which deal with British rations. For a summary of all these references I thank my friend Paul John Frandsen. A longer and more complicated analysis can be found at http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutwaterrequir.pdf.

10 . He is identified by his handwriting which is known from O.Claud. 888.

11 . See O.Claud. IV pp. 257-259 where literature is quoted. See also Bülow-Jacobsen 2016. Steeling edges of weapons is attested in the literature, but never, to my knowledge, shown convincingly by hardness measurements on archaeological artefacts.

12 . See Ian Freestone in Peacock, Maxfield 1997, pp. 246-251.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1
Légende The fortified camp at Mons Claudianus during the first excavation campaign in 1987.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 236k
Titre Fig. 2
Légende Porphyrites. An example of the ΤΡΦ quarry-mark on a block in the foreground. The meaning os obscure.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 212k
Titre Fig. 3
Légende Unpublished quarry-mark from Umm Balad. Where the road continues from the camp into the wâdi of the quarries it rapidly disappears, destroyed by the water. After the first interruption vague traces of it reappear and here we come upon an area with a number of blocks of the dark granite that have clearly been worked, among them one inscribed: R P P in letters c. 8 cm high. Comparing the frequent inscription RACLP, RCP or the like from Mons Claudianus, where the C or CL must stand for Claudian-, and the RPP found once on Mons Porphyrites (Quarry 2 in Lykabettos) it seems clear that the 2nd P must stand for Porphyrit- whatever the ending was. The R could mean ratio and the last P probat-, but this is far from certain. This is the only quarry-inscription that has been found by Umm Balad. The blocks are worked, some dressed with a point others with a hammer and the ground is covered with chips from hammer-dressing. What happened here? Presumably a wagon with approved blocks broke down on its way out of the wâdi and it was attempted to reduce the blocks to a smaller size.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 512k
Titre Fig. 4
Légende Mons Claudianus. RACLP cf. Fig. 3. This quarry-mark is found on a discarded block on the loading-ramp at the end of the Pillar wâdi. Not recorded in Peacock-Maxfield.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 360k
Titre Fig. 5
Légende Mons Claudianus. A whole wall has been squared off with a series of wedgings.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 228k
Titre Fig. 6
Légende Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 272k
Titre Fig. 7
Légende Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 160k
Titre Fig. 8
Légende Mons Claudianus. Unsuccessful attempts at wedging.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Titre Fig. 9
Légende Simitthus. Traces of ancient wedging of marble.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 424k
Titre Fig. 10
Légende Simitthus. Traces of ancient wedging of marble.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 580k
Titre Fig. 11
Légende Simitthus. Like on Fig. 5 a wall has been squared off, but here using a pick-axe leaving the typical festoon marks.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 596k
Titre Fig. 12
Légende Simithus. Wall squared off partly with the pick-axe, partly perhaps with the point. Note how some marks are curved from the pick-axe, others are straight showing the use of the point.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 588k
Titre Fig. 13
Légende Simitthus. Traces of modern sawing with a steel-wire.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 392k
Titre Fig. 14
Légende Simitthus. Note how the works-faces have a tendency to recede towards the bottom. This is the result of working with a pick-axe. Marble-quarries can go much deeper and have a tendency to obilterate earlier workfaces.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 480k
Titre Fig. 15
Légende O.Claud. inv. 1538+2921, cf. Cuvigny H., “L'organigramme du personnel d'une carrière impériale d'après un ostracon du Mons Claudianus”, Chiron 35 (2005) pp. 309-353.
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 380k
Titre Fig. 16
Légende O.Claud. IV 888. The passage that is discussed in detail is on the right-hand side of the left one of the two non-joining fragments
Crédits © A. Bülow-Jacobsen
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 232k
Titre Fig. 17
Légende The so-called Pillar wâdi with the road that might be the ὁδὸς χαμουλκοῦ mentioned in O.Claud 888. The areas on either side of the road have been used for storing useable blocks.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cdf/docannexe/image/5240/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 421k

© Collège de France, 2018

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540