A beautiful Roman mortar made out of Red Egyptian Porphyry . Late Roman IInd - IVth century CE . Made from a block of porphyry hollowed out and shaped . All porphyry was quarried from Mons Porphyrites in Egypt , exploited by the Romans between 1st and the 5th century CE . A valuable and highly appreciated material that was in Roman times reserved for dignitaries .Mortaio in porfido rosso antico di Egitto / mortier en porphyre d'EgypteLiterature : R. Delbrueck , Dario Del Bufalo .