How Granite Shaped the Aesthetics of Ancient Civilizations
Posted on 22nd August 2023 at 11:13
Granite was once a mysterious material cultured by ancient civilizations. Nowadays, it’s a multi-functional material for all things kitchen, bathroom, and more.
But how could a small, rough granite stone turn into a smooth granite slab overnight, or a giant monument so quickly, comparing ancient tools to modern ones?
Life is full of wonders, but we’ve got the answer to this one.
What is Granite and How is it Made?
Formed more than 300 million years ago, granite is the first igneous, or magmatic, rock known to mankind. It’s thought to be the most in-demand, widespread rock in existence. The term ‘granite’ comes from the Latin word ‘granum,’ meaning grain or crystalised rock.
Granite is often found in a variety of colours, from pink to grey, with white granite being the most common and popular. Straight from the Earth’s core, the effect of magma cooling continuously creates the granite we use today, where different molten rocks give each granite stone its own unique colour.
Where is Granite Found?
White granite is often found in Greece and Morocco, and green and white speckled granite is known to Greece. Whereas, 15% of the world’s granite is imported from India. The country makes multi-millions from its stock of four trillion cubic metres of granite, but there’s no need to worry about shortage as only 3% of India’s stock has been investigated.
But What Types of Granite do They Have?
More than 100 species of granite are home to India in a range of different colours and textures, but only 60 are available for commercial use. The Maruthi Stonemart is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rare granite, such as Safari Blue, Tan Brown and Koala Brown.
What was Granite Used for in Ancient Civilizations?
Granite is known for its durability and beauty, where creations formed many generations ago still stand today. Many were built using flint, stone axes, and rammers (a type of hammer). While it’s commonly used for home purposes, such as worktops and granite paving, it was originally used for less practical structures. But what are they?
Granite was used to line the pyramids of Egypt and form statues
Ancient Greece used it to build tombs, statues, and pillars
The Romans built entire bathhouses and temples from granite
When you think of these creations’ scales, you may not realise how many people it really took to move, shape, and build these structures. Two people installing your kitchen countertop suddenly seems a lot different than thousands of people hauling multiple granite slabs up the pyramids.
Curious to learn more? Our previous article takes a deeper dive into the creative ways granite is used around your home.
What is the Most Famous Granite Monument?
The most famous granite monument is one you’ve likely heard of and may have even visited, but we won’t leave you guessing. Found in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is famous for its resemblance to former U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Construction began in 1927, carving these familiar faces from exposed granite, and was completed 14 years later. 450,000 tons of rock was removed, but that figure would have been much more if not for the cost. Once expected to be full-scale statues, the project settled on faces after the budget ran out. It’s certainly one to see either way!
Modern-Day Granite at Granite Unlimited
The history of granite is truly unbelievable, but it’s the reason we have such glamorous kitchens today.
Are you looking to enjoy granite slabs in the modern world? Take a look at our high-quality materials available, or contact us today to discuss your dream kitchen.
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