Granite is the history of human civilization.
Natural stone has always been a crucial part of the material culture of the human race. Mankind faced the need to process stone as early as the beginning of its development.
During the earliest cultural-historical period, the stone age (approx. from 800 to 5 thousand years BC) stone was the main material used to make tools (axes, hoes), weapons (arrow tips, spears), ornaments, and attributes symbolizing the meaning of human life, dwellings, and religious monuments. The great importance of stone for human life during the time of the primitive community gave the name of that age, the Paleolithic Age (from the Latin paleo old and lith stone), which started with the appearance of the first stone tools and ended with the discovery of copper during the Bronze Age.
Stone processing during the Paleolithic Age passed through a long evolution from the use of rough unprocessed implements to the invention of various cutting tools. During that period man gradually acquired the manual operations for stone processing in the following technological-chronological sequence:
dislodging and breaking off during the Early and Middle Paleolithic (800-35 thousand years BC); splitting and rough hewing during the Late Paleolithic (35-10 thousand years BC); cutting, grinding, and drilling holes during the Neolithic (10-5 thousand years BC);
As late as the Bronze (4-2 thousand years BC) and Iron Ages (2-1 thousand years BC), when metal tools were invented, man managed to master the skill of processing the hardest rock material, i.e. granite. The Egyptians, whose civilization leads us 7-8 millennia back from the modern world, gave the first data about granite processing. During the dynasties, in the course of centuries, hundreds of thousands of people worked on the construction of pyramids and the creation of pharaohs sarcophaguses. The truth is that the Egyptian pyramids were built up of nummulite stone but Mycerin’s pyramid was faced from base to top with pink syenite tiles.
As far as the technological and technical level of granite processing practiced by the ancient Egyptians is concerned, it should be noted that the Luxor obelisk, 25 m high and approx. 250 t in weight, was made of pink granite. Nowadays this monument decorates the Concord Square in Paris. The pharaohs’ people were precise and methodical. An example of that is the granite sarcophagus of Senizert II, whose sides were made with 0.2-mm differences in dimensions. Even today we can admire that marvel of precision.