Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 217

Corsi 217, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 217  
Name and quarry location: Lumachella antica, occhio di pavone pavonazzo, from Kutluca, Izmit, Turkey  
Geological description: Late Cretaceous limestone containing rudist bivalves, forams and other bioclasts.  
Comments: This stone was used in ancient times and the quarries were rediscovered by Lorenzo Lazzarini in the 1990s at Tasagili, just southwest of Kutluca, where the stone had continued to be quarried for local use under the name 'Gebze alma çiçei', meaning 'apple blossom of Gebze'. He concluded that it was the stone referred to as marmor triponticum in Diocletian's Edict of Maximum Prices of the 4th century AD because it lay midway between the three seas - the Pontus Euxenis (Black Sea), Propontis (Sea of Marmora), and Lake Sophon (Lake Sapanca) which was then larger than today. Corsi's collection includes four different colour variations (nos.217, 220-222).  
References: Borghini (1997) 258-259; Corsi (1845) 118-119; Lazzarini (2002a); Mielsch (1985) 42, taf.5; Price (2007) 162  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 3. Lumachellas; i. Ancient lumachellas  
Corsi's text: 76.3 Lumachella antica. Marmor Conchyte. Occhio di pavone pavonazzo. Marmor ocellatum... provenissero dall'Asia, o dall'Africa.... i scarpellini Romani ne assegnano capricciosamente le cave ora all' Arabia, ora all' Egitto, ed ora alla Tebaide  

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