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Egypt - The Red Sea Coast, Mons Claudianus


Mons Claudianus

Mons Claudianus is at the foot of Jebel Fatira, located about 30 miles from Port Safaga just of the Qena road. This was a Roman Penal Colony of substance, where Quartzy diorite, a high quality granite, was mined as building materials for the Roman Empire. This black stone can still be seen in Rome in the portico of the Pantheon, in Hadrian's Villa, and public baths and in the columns and floor of the Temple of Venus. A temple begun by Hadrian but never finished is in ruins, but the staircase leading to it can still be seen. There is also a Roman camp, dwellings, workshops, stables and a dromos. The camp is surrounded by granite walls with rounded defense towers on the corners, to protect it from Bedouin attacks. There are hot springs today, which where used in a complex underground heating system for the sweating baths. The actual quarries are on the opposite side of the wadi. There are fragments of granite, with several ruined artifacts such as a broken column and column slab.


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