The marble, which was exported from the 6th century B.C., and used by Praxiteles and other great Greek sculptors, was obtained by means of subterranean quarries driven horizontally or at a descending angle into the rock, and the marble thus quarried by lamplight got the name of Lychnites, Lychneus (from lychnos, a lamp), or Lygdos (Plin.
Red granite was obtained from the First Cataract, breccia and diorite were quarried from very early times in the Wadi Hammamat, on the road from Coptos to the Red Sea, and porphyry was brought, chiefly in Roman times but also in the prehistoric age, from the same region at Jebel Dokhn.
Brownstone quarried in the vicinity is also an important export.
Freestone is quarried around Ancaster, and good oolite building stone is quarried near Lincoln and other places.
Iron ores are widely distributed, but have not been developed; graphite is mined in Colfax county; mica in Taos county, and to a small extent in Rio Arriba county; marble is quarried in Otero county and sandstone in Bernalillo, Colfax and San Miguel counties.
The lightest of the monumental stone quarried at Quincy is called gold-leaf; it is bluish-green gray, speckled with black and light yellow brown.
A hard and fine-grained quartzite sandstone was quarried at Jebel Ahmar behind Heliopolis, and basalt was found thence along the eastern edge of the Delta to near the Wadi Tumilat.
From these rocks in the Ottawa valley are quarried or mined granite, marble, magnificent blue sodalite, felspar, talc, actinolite, mica, apatite, graphite and corundum; the latter mineral, which occurs on a larger scale here than elsewhere, is rapidly replacing emery as an abrasive.
The present houses have for the most part been quarried from ancient ruins; of the palace of the princes of Azerbaijan there remains a gateway with a Persian inscription, flanked by two brick towers; and at a little distance stands the so-called Tower of the Khans, a richly decorated twelve-sided structure, 102 ft.
Gypsum, millstone and paving-stone are quarried in the vicinity.