A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of Egypt
Countless volumes have been devoted to the stone monuments of Egypt, but very few to the stones themselves. Sampsell draws interesting connections between geology and Egyptian society and how geological features influenced art, architecture and urban development. Indeed, the presence of so much building-stone in Egypt, but not in Mesopotamia, is perhaps the main reason the story of Egyptian history is better documented. With introductory chapters on geological processes, rock composition and formation, Sampsell sets the stage for an overview of Egypt's dramatic landscapes, region by region, from the corals of the Red Sea to the quartzite Colossi of Memnon in Luxor, and from the mountains of Sinai to the limestone blocks of the pyramids. Extensive maps, drawings, color photographs, a glossary and bibliography round out this impressive contribution to the still-emerging picture of one of history's greatest civilizations. Sampsell has written a book that sheds light on a basic, but often overlooked, aspect of ancient-truly ancient-Egypt that is a delight for the casual traveler and rockhound alike.