Ancient Emerald Mines, Red Sea.

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Ancient Emerald Mines, Red Sea.

Post by Hurghada Lady »

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Ancient Emerald Mines, Red Sea.


The emerald is the oldest known gemstone. Uniquely green in color and widely used in jewelry, emeralds were prized and cherished as symbols of eternity and power during antiquity. It is believed that Egyptian Pharaohs began mining emeralds in the mountainous area in the Eastern Desert southwest of Marsa Alam.

Later identified as the Cleopatra Mines or Mons Smaragdus (Emerald Mountains), the area became the most famous mining complex throughout the ancient world. The mines at Wadi Gimal, Wadi Sikeit, Wadi Nuqrus and Gebel Zabara were energetically exploited during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The mines were also worked during later centuries until left deserted after the Spaniards discovered emeralds in Columbia in 1545.

Today the ruins of the Zabara and Sikeit mining settlements are still evident as well as the remains of temple structures and some old caved in mine sites.


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