Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 311

Corsi 311, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 311  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro di Palombara, possibly from Iano di Montaione, Siena, Tuscany, Italy, but more probably Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey  
Geological description: Compact finely banded travertine composed mainly of fine-grained rather opaque white calcite. Bushy dendritic growths of brown iron oxides result from cyanobacterial activity.  
Comments: Alabastro Palombara, found in the excavations of the Villa Palombara, near Rome, was thought to originate from the thermal spring deposits at Iano, south-west of Montaione, in Tuscany, Italy. However, when the ancient quarries for alabastro fiorito were rediscovered near Pamukkale in Turkey in 2000, fragments were found that appeared to be alabastro di Palombara. Consequently the source of this stone remains uncertain.  
References: Borghini (1997) 148; Bruno (2002a); Corsi (1845) 137-138; De Michelle & Zezza (1979); Gnoli (1988) 225-226; Lanciani (1901) 219-229; Mielsch (1985) 38-39, taf.2; Price (2007) 53  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; i. Antique alabaster  
Corsi's text: 94.18 Alabastro antico. Marmor Alabastrum. Alabastro di Palombara... perchè trovato ne'scavi della villa Palombara  

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