Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 394

Corsi 394, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 394  
Name and quarry location: Breccia di Aleppo, from Island of Chíos, North Aegean, Greece  
Geological description: Polymict limestone conglomerate with solution-modified clast boundaries and stylolites.  
Comments: This stone is called breccia di Aleppo in all the collections we have seen, and it is unclear whether it was the name used by Roman scalpellini, or whether due to Corsi’s influence. Corsi in his introduction to the ancient breccias here and in 'Delle Pietre Antiche' (1845; 139-140) refers to marmor Hierapoliticum, which may allude equally to the ancient city of Hierapolis in Syria, today called Membij, lying north east of Halab (Aleppo) and another called Hierapolis (now Pamukkale) in Phrygia, Turkey, perhaps a source of ancient alabaster. No description of the breccia from Aleppo was given by ancient authors, hence the confusion relating to the provenance of the so-called breccia di Aleppo. The ancient quarry was recently re-discovered at Kariés, 6 km NW of the city of Chios (Chora) on the island of Chios, Greece (Lazzarini, 2003). Bomare was most probably referring to brèche d’Alet from the area of Tholonet and Alet, near Aix, France, a breccia in which yellow can be the predominant colour (illustrated by Dubarry de Lassale, 2000); by comparison, this Chian breccia has rather few scattered clasts of a particularly vibrant yellow colour.  
References: Brindley (early 1900s); Corsi (1845) 141-142; Dubarry de Lassale (2000) 141; Lazzarini (2002c) 262-264; Lazzarini (2003); Mielsch (1985) 51-52, taf.12; Porter (c.1905)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 5. Breccias; i. Antique Breccias  
Corsi's text: 110.6 Breccia di Aleppo  

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