The quarry of Widan el-Faras in the Northern Faiyum Desert was the source of basalt used mainly for paving mortuary temples floors in some of the Fourth and Fifth Dynasty pyramid complexes. An examination of the layout of the quarry and the attached infrastructure, as well as the extracted volumes and the use of the basalt, indicates a campaign-like, seasonal exploitation of the stone linked to the high level of Lake Moeris during the Fourth and Fifth Dynasties. These conditions enabled medium-sized basalt blocks to be transported largely via water to the pyramid construction sites, thus avoiding lengthy and difficult carriage overland.


Bloxam, E.G. and Storemyr, P. 2002. Old Kingdom Basalt Quarrying Activities at Widan el-Faras, Northern Faiyum Desert.  Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 88, pp. 23-36.