The reply to be addressed:
Geological Survey of Egypt,
Dawawin Post Office,
and the following number quoted:
Telephone: No. 22.22.
ENCLOS. one cover
Cairo, 12th, March, 1923.
"Alabaster" from Tomb of Tutenkhamen.
A. Lucas Esq.,
c/o Howard Carter, Esq.
I carried out a specific gravity by the Walker's Balance method on Saturday, and obtained the result 2.666.
In order to have a confirmation of the result, as our Joly Balance is unreliable at the moment, and the specimens are rather small for the Walker, I asked Little yesterday to secure me a checking result through the Chemical Department. The figure thus obtained is 2.634.
The specific gravity of Aragonite is=2.93 - 2.95. The maximum for pure crystals of Calcite is 2.723, according to Dana. Rutley gives sp. gr. of calcite as 2.6 - 2.7. Bowman gives sp. gr. of calcite 2.6 - 2.8.
The results are, I think, amply sufficient to show that there is not the slightest trace of aragonite in the "alabaster". Dana (p. 268) definitely mentions Egyptian alabaster under "Stalagnite", which he places in the Calcite group.
I was much interested in the short talk we had with you, and hope all continues to go well.
Yours very sincerely,
(Dr) W. F. Hume
Geological Survey of Egypt
Specimens sent to Dr Hume.
(a) Two small pieces from the lid of a vase or jar.
(b) Two small thinner pieces, slightly curved & probably from vase or jar.
(August 30, 2008)
Back to Calcite (TAA i.3.4).