Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 339

Corsi 339, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 339  
Name and quarry location: Alabastro di Palermo, from Palermo, Sicily, Italy  
Geological description: Coarse-grained calcite travertine deposit on a bioclastic limestone. Matrix is a calc-rudite-limestone conglomerate dominated by large benthic forams and limestone intraclasts of calcareous algae. Note the stylolites.  
Comments: This specimen shows the boundary between travertine and the limestone host rock.Pleistocene deposits of travertine from a number of localities in the vicinity of Palermo were quarried and used particularly in the 17th century to decorate the churches of the region according to Montana (1998) who notes that the most precious 'alabastro calcareo' was obtained from Monte Pellegrino, and was known, like the Egyptian stone, as cotognino. He also mentions and illustrates samples from other Palermo locations. At present we cannot give more information about the source of Corsi's specimen.  
References: Montana & Briuccia (1998) 70-71, 103  
Further information: Alabaster-travertine.pdf

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 4. Concretionary marbles; Species 1. Alabasters; ii. Italian alabasters  
Corsi's text: 99.6 Alabastro di Palermo  

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