Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 104

Corsi 104, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 104  
Name and quarry location: Africano, from Sigacik (ancient Teos), Izmir Province, Turkey  
Geological description: Cretaceous tectonic breccia or conglomerate; this specimen is cut almost entirely from a single pink somewhat fractured clast which has abundant stylolites. Small areas of black matrix are evident.  
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: 48.4 Marmo Africano. Marmor Chium [from] L'isola di Scio nell'Arcipelago... parte dell' Asia  

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