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Alabaster delight

Luxor Governorate, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
3 Kudos
After you tour the Valley of the Kings, you will likely be taken to an alabaster shop to see workmen handcarving this ancient Egyptian mineral that was used for tomb furnishings, bowls, shabtis (images of servants), scarabs, and multiple other uses. You can even buy a set of canopic jars for your major organs in case you plan to be mummified. The demonstrations of what these workers do is quite impressive, because although machine made alabaster is beautiful, the workmanship that goes into hand made goods makes them far superior. You will be shown how to tell real from fake alabaster by weight and light. I was not pressured to buy anything either time I was there, but did. But be sure to haggle. Think of what price you want to pay for the objects, then halve it. The manager WILL counteroffer. Start pushing items away at that point and make your own counteroffer. It's hard for many Westerners to do but is expected in Egypt.
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by DaffyDuck


Thanks for tip to remember to haggle! :)

by ProfFrancesca


In Egypt they would think you had lost your senses if you DIDN'T haggle. After I had pushed an alabaster scarab away after told the price, I asked what the rest of the items would cost. I then pushed another away. He then said okay, the price would be the same and pushed all of them back. Then he asked me, "were you here before, a few years ago?" I said I had been and he went to another section of the store and added an alabaster bowl for coming back. I do have to wonder (though I am delighted with my purchases) what an Egyptian would have ended up paying :).