Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 61

Corsi 61, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 61  
Name and quarry location: Rosso antico, from Akra Tainaron (Cape Matapan), Mani peninsula, Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece  
Geological description: A fine-grained hematite-stained calcite marble of late Cretaceous to Eocene age. Slender black veins are evident, and trace manganese contributes to the red colouring.  
Comments: All authorities agree that this sample is from Cape Matapan. The slender black veins seen on the side of this specimen are very typical of the Mani peninsula stone. Although first extracted around 1700 BC, most stone was quarried in Roman times. Ancient quarries were rediscovered at Skutari in 1830, and then at Profitis Elias and Paganea. These were reopened later in the nineteenth century, with sporadic extraction in the 20th century. Monochrome red marbles can be difficult to provenance, a problem discussed by Gorgoni, Lazzarini & Pallante (2002). For more about Corsi's mis-attribution of the name marmor Alabandicum, see Rossoantico.pdf.  
References: Borghini (1997) 288; Corsi (1845) 91-94; Gorgoni (2002a); Lazzarini (2002c) 256; Mielsch (1985) 59, taf.17; Price (2007) 122-123; Rogers (2003) 56-57; Rogers (2008) 36-37  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 1. Monochrome marbles; Species 5. Red marbles  
Corsi's text: 35.1 Marmo rosso antico. Marmor Alabandicum. ...siasi ignorata la cava, ed il nome col quale dagli antichi si riconosceva.... il rosso antico corrisponde al marmo Alabandico  

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