The Mons Porphyrites, today Gebel Abu Dukhan, was a Roman quarry, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. It lies on the road between the Red Sea and Maximianopolis, the modern Qena. Porphyry is a hard volcanic rock with inclusions of feldspar or quartz. This red or purple Egyptian porphyry was mined until the 5th century and was used and re-used for the creation of numerous monuments and objects in Europe. The red porphyry was an imperial symbol and the delivery room of the palace in Constantinople was panelled with porphyry, that is why the children of reigning monarch were called "porphyrogenitos" i.e. "born-in-the-purple".
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