From the Early Dynastic Period on, the Egyptians quarried a type of stone that is frequently referred to as alabaster, but is in fact travertine (a type of limestone - calcium carbonate). It is a whitish, slightly translucent stone (often with veins of another colour) which occurs mainly in Middle Egypt, particularly between Miniya and Asiut. The best known and most important source was the Hatnub quarries, near El-`Amarna. One Old Kingdom quarry is situated in the Wadi Gerrawi close to Helwan. Because of its colour and durability, alabaster was regarded as a pure stone and used for chapels, pavements in temples, sarcophagi, altars and above all statues. True alabaster was quarried in the Faiyum region, but Egyptologists usually call this material gypsum (calcium sulphate).