t dynasty the quarries first began to be worked, there is no rashness in presuming that it must have been at a very early period indeed. The sandstone is excellent for building purposes--far superior to the friable limestone found lower down--and has been removed not only from this one block, but from both sides, here and there, for a considerable distance to the north. Many quarries likewise no doubt remain still undiscovered and unexplored in this neighbourhood. We found the mountains worked more or less down as far as Ramadeh; and inscriptions and sculptures, evidently dating from very ancient times, are met with in many.
The people who inhabit the villages and hamlets of this district are not all fellahs; indeed, I question whether, properly speaking, any members of that humble race are to be found here. Their place is supplied by Bedawín Arabs of the Ababde tribe, who have, to a certain extent, abjured their wandering habits, and settled down on the borders of a narrow piece of land given t
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