Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 101

Corsi 101, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 101  
Name and quarry location: Africano, from Sigacik (ancient Teos), Izmir Province, Turkey  
Geological description: Cretaceous tectonic breccia-conglomerate of poorly sorted limestone clasts in a chlorite-bearing greenish matrix. It has calcite-filled veins, and crinoids and other fossil debris within the clasts.  
Comments: The Africano quarries had long been lost when Corsi wrote his catalogue, and he was wrong in conjecturing that Chios was the source. The site of the ancient quarries, at Sigacik (ancient Teos) in Turkey, was only rediscovered in 1966 by Michael Ballance who found samples of the stone around a curious lake called Kara Göl. This turned out to be a flooded quarry. A second quarry was found at Beylerköy, about 15 km away. Large quantities of stone were extracted and used in Italy and northern Africa in the first and second centuries AD. The palate of colours of Africano is distinctive: mottled pink, red and green fragments in a matrix which is often dark grey or black.  
References: Borghini (1997) 133-135; Bostock (1855) bk 36, ch 8; Corsi (1825) 47-49; Corsi (1845) 99-100; Gnoli (1988) 174-178; Higgins (1996) 142; Lazzarini (2002c) 250-251; Mielsch (1985) 54-55, taf.13; Price (2007) 136-137; Ward-Perkins (1966)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 3. Africano marble  
Corsi's text: 48.1 Marmo Africano. Marmor Chium [from] L'isola di Scio nell'Arcipelago... parte dell' Asia  

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