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Diagnosis and Damage Assessment of Weathered Quartzite Colossi of 18th Dynasty from Karnak Temple, Egypt

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DOI: 10.4236/ojg.2017.71004    1,465 Downloads   1,932 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

The Egyptian Pharaonic temples are traditionally made of different stones (limestone granite, diorite, or sandstone and quartzite) shaped into large heavy blocks or as Colossal statues. One of these is the colossi of Thutmose II and Amenhotep III at Karnak temple which made out of red quartzite from Gebel el-Ahmar, located at north-east of Cairo. Quartzite is one of the famous stones that were widely used during the heights of ancient Egyptian civilization. The Colossi of Thutmose II and Amenhotep III were subjected to many exogenous and endogenous deterioration factors which causes of a severe damage of the stone materials. In this study we documented the weathering of these quartzite colossal statues using field recording and laboratory analysis to evaluate their conservation state. Weathering and deterioration aspects noted through light optical microscope (LOM), polarizing microscope (PM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The mineralogical characterization was performed using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and Energy dispersive analysis (EDX). The mineralogy and weathering study of quartzite on the Colossi of Thutmose II and Amenhotep III illustrate a succession of geochemical processes which have taken place at the colossi and it revealed that, they need for quick intervention.

Cite this paper

El-Badry, A. , Ahmed, A. and Bader, N. (2017) Diagnosis and Damage Assessment of Weathered Quartzite Colossi of 18th Dynasty from Karnak Temple, Egypt. Open Journal of Geology, 7, 51-68. doi: 10.4236/ojg.2017.71004.

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