Transparent variety of quartzite coloured by a manganese compound. Throughout Egyptian history, from the 1st Dynasty down to Roman times, amethyst was used to make beads and jewellery, amulets and scarabs. During the Middle Kingdom, amethyst was mined in the Wadi el-Hudi, twenty or thirty kilometers southeast of Aswan, where many quarries have been found with inscriptions from the expeditions. There were various other quarries, however, such as in the western desert about sixty kilometers north of Abu Simbel.