Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 226

Corsi 226, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 226  
Name and quarry location: Lumachella rosea, from Kairouan, Tunisia  
Geological description: Middle Eocene nummulitic limestone. A fossiliferous biomicrite with abundant nummulites, subsidiary sponge, mollusc, and serpulid debris. Fractures are calcite-filled.  
Comments: Nummulites are large foraminifera, flat fossils with coiled shells that resembled small coins, from which they derive their name. Eocene rocks of the Mediterranean have nummulites several centimetres in diameter. They are smaller in this stone, but still large compared with the tiny forams of modern seas. During ancient times this stone was used more extensively in Tunisia and northern Africa than it was in Rome, although it still found its way into stone collectins such as Corsi's. No. 232 is perhaps a better example of lumachella rosea.  
References: Borghini (1997) 244; Corsi (1845) 121-122; Gnoli (1988) 205-206; Mielsch (1985) 41, taf.4; Price (2007) 163  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 3. Lumachellas; i. Ancient lumachellas  
Corsi's text: 78.12 Lumachella antica. Marmor Conchyte. Astracane carnino...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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