Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 62/2024

The historical collection of minerals and rocks from Egypt preserved at the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences (Torino, Italy)

Alessandro Borghi1, Elena Giacobino2, Mariano Gallo2 & Massimiliano Senesi2
1Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra – Università di Torino.
2Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali – Regione Piemonte.
Corresponding author e-mail:

Volume: 62/2024
Pages: 143-152


A collection of minerals and rocks from Egypt, made up of about 700 specimens preserved at the Museum of Natural Science in Turin, was studied. Thanks to some ancient manuscripts and fragments reporting name of localities, the mining engineer Carlo Boreani can be considered with reasonable certainty the author of the collection, in collaboration with his secretary, the lawyer Giovanni Pollonera. Both worked in Egypt at the service of the viceroy Muhammad Ali in the first half of the nineteenth century. The collection consists of the most common rocks used by Ancient Egyptian and was often used for exhibitions in Italy and abroad. The collection was integrated by a digital catalog, which makes it accessible to a large audience. The rediscovery of this collection allowed to enhance knowlwdge of materials that represent a historical, scientific and cultural asset to be promoted.


Get Full Text