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Mining  Precious Stones  Emerald



The primordial mine workings are frequently open-cut trenches of up to a few meters in deepness. These pursue the quartz/ pegmatite veins contained by the phlogopite schist. Many shafts and tunnels, a few lengthening over 100 m, follow these veins yawning underground. Where less than a few tens of centimeters fat, the vein jointly with 1-2 m of schist on either sides was detached, but for the thicker veins the schist was normally extracted all along just on one side. From the tool inscription preserved in the schist, it is lucid that the Roman miners utilized flat-edged chisels and, to a smaller extent, barbed picks for their excavations. None of these hand tools, which were apparently cast from iron, have yet to be brought into being in Wadi Sikait. It is to be expected that the quartz and pegmatite veins, which are very hard for such tools, were detached by stooping.

The subversive portions of the Wadi Sikait mine have not yet been researched upon. There are as an alternative only a few transitory comments from previous visitors. For instance, Mac Alister explains "the pulling out is of a most antediluvian personality ... the ancients essentially excavated ... a set of correlations of long and very perverted passages just enormous enough to permit the body being pulled through, and only in a very few belongings was any attempt made at ... excavating the entire seam." An unpublished report from the Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority that gives additional information's: "some mines are very uncomplicated, the galleries are very slender and meandering, that one has to move stealthily all the time"

The ancient miners realized that Emerald was to be established along the contact flanked by the quartz/pegmatite veins and phlogopite schist, and so in all probability rested every such organization where visible on the exterior. The actuality that not all the vein-schist contacts in Wadi Sikait have been hauled is an suggestion that either the beryl deposits are unpredictable in their incidence or they were never fully browbeaten.

Even though beryl appears in the quartz/pegmatite veins, it could not have been hauled out from these solid rocks without huge effort and large losses of crystals through splintering. Given this as well as the normally substandard color of beryl in the veins, the prehistoric miners were in all probability interested only in the more effortlessly worked phlogopite schist. The emerald crystals were most probably cut out of this rock with the use of sharp-pointed metal tool, from the great piles of fine-grained tailings around many of the workings; it seems that the confiscation of beryl crystals from the schist was completed at the mine site.