How to break things in stores and get away with it

The ancient Egyptians used granite for a range of purposes, including for sculptures in their temples. Many modern Egyptian vendors sell small granite statues as souvenirs. Or at least some do- many are fakes.

Granite statue at the Temple of Horus, Edfu.

Granite statue at the Temple of Horus, Edfu.

During our trip to the Valley of the Kings, on the West Bank of Luxor, we made a stop at a small shop where they showed us how to tell whether a product is authentic. The owner demonstrated how real and fake granite reacted to being burnt, and then told us that real granite will not smash if dropped. He proceeded to hurl a hand-made statue onto the floor. It damaged the concrete, but the statue was fine.

Lesson:

To ensure the expensive granite sculpture you are about to purchase is genuine, either burn it or smash it on the ground.

As this would most likely get you kicked out of any store, I asked if there was a more practical way to determine the difference.

The owner’s reply?

Buy it from here of course!

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