> Hopefully now this stupid conversation can be over.
> *Sigh*. And to the comments above about what the column is made
> of, not to mention the several dozen other quarried objects
> including other columns and the quarry itself, it is not "red
> marble", it granodiorite, a bother of granite, often in laymen
> terms referred to for convenience as granite. Jeezus.
I'm not "hoping", I'm looking for evidence, and so far I've not seen anything that compelling to support the contemporaneous quarry narrative. I simply see Hadrian instructing his team to retrieve granite columns from Mons Claudianus. But did the "quarrymen" actually quarry raw stone from bedrock, or were they sent there to retrieve pre-fabbed columns from an earlier establishment so that Hadrian can repurpose them for the Pantheon? The fact that we see columns in those "quarries" already shaped down to a polished finished indicates that they were used in structures in that location and were not originally quarried for use elsewhere.
Are there any partially shaped columns in those "quarries"? Something that resembles the precursor of the finished product we see lying around in the debris there? I see perfectly shaped and finished columns at the quarry, which is NOT what you would expect to find at an abandoned quarry. Rather, there is too much risk in damaging such finished columns during the land transportation (100km to the port) and across the Sea. Why would construction managers finish the column at the quarry instead of transporting it to a staging area near the construction site before shaping it down to its more delicate surface finish? There's even one column weighing 207 tons with a crack that's been repaired with iron staples! Are we to believe that the quarrymen believed that a Roman emperor would accept a cracked column that was repaired with dovetail staples staples as a "finished product" in one of his buildings?
As Corpuscles noted elsewhere, note the damage to that one red column lying there in the Mons quarry (regardless whether it's marble or granodiorite). If it can get that damaged while just lying there still in the quarry, how could it not risk getting damaged during the 100km transport to the port where it is then packed on a ship to make the trip across the Sea to Italy? Remember, these things weighed 50-60 tons. They would require a LOT of handling with various cranes, trucks, barges, tie-downs, etc., all of which would introduce risk to the finished surface.
It's interesting that the remaining columns in the quarry are all damaged. Consider the possibility that if that site had been established with its own buildings, and the Roman "quarrymen" were sent to acquire those pre-existing columns (perhaps the same way the casing stones on G1 were "quarried"), then it makes sense that the Romans would leave the damaged columns behind. What does NOT make sense is that the quarrymen would shape and smoothly finish each column while it was still in the quarry, thereby risking damage to the finished surface at any point during the extensive transportation process. It certainly doesn't make sense that the Romans would go through the trouble to repair a cracked column with surface staples, and then just leave it there.
Again, Mons Claudianus and perhaps other so-called "quarries" in Egypt that were used as a resource by the Romans, contain evidence that they, similar to the megaliths at Baalbek, constituted an established ancient settlement which was pilfered for its stonework by a later civilization.
The claim that these sites were quarried by the Romans for raw bedrock granite to make columns in the 1st millennium is not supported by compelling physical evidence. In fact, the physical evidence contradicts that notion and, instead, indicates those sites were once established in their own right in more ancient times and the stonework was repurposed for use in buildings in other locations.
Regarding how those things were allegedly transported, here is what Sidebotham, et al. have to offer:
This is hardly a compelling fact-based argument.Quote
We assume that these monolithic monstrosities would not have been quarried in the first place if some means of transporting them to the Nile were not available. We can only Imagine the size and appearance of the vehicles, the number of draft animals and people used to haul these giant blocks across the desert to the Nile.
The authors also refer to the "surprisingly well-preserved temple and its elaborate inscription", suggesting it may be far younger than the rest of the site.
The reference to 9,200 ostraca fragments is reminiscent of scattered magnetic letters on a refrigerator from which just about any imaginable message could be constructed.
The site contains a fort, school, temple, baths, and the ostraca seems to "detail many aspects of the lives of the men, women, and children who made Mons Claudianus their home". How does this provide evidence that the site was an industrial outpost quarry and not a self-sufficient settlement? Is there a description of the actual quarrying process so that we would have insight into whether Hadrian was simply ordering a salvage operation?
When I read Sidebotham, it reminds me of Protzen trying to explain how Inca primitives made air tight seams between their andesite blocks, or Stocks trying to explain the stonework, or Reisner trying to make something out of G7000x, or Engelbach's logical contortions with the Stele of Khufu, or Tallet trying to convince us that Wadi el-Jarf was a link in the chain to build G1. The main problem with all of these investigators is that they lack strong physical evidence to support their conclusions.
Post Edited (16-Jun-15 00:16)
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?