Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 668

Corsi 668, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 668  
Name and quarry location: Selce di Roma, from the Capo di Bove, Rome, Lazio, Italy  
Geological description: Altered phonolitic lava, with a few porphyric leucite and biotite crystals.  
Comments: Jervis (1889) confirms Corsi's locality of a quarry for Selce close to the sepulchre of Cecilia Metella. This is one of several quarries for this stone in the environs of Rome, extracting stone from the Capo di Bove lava flow for use in paving and the construction of walls. In older literature, selce is almost always described as a basalt, which is similarly dark coloured and fine-grained.  
References: Corsi (1845) 74-75; Jervis (1889) 366  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 8. Volcanic stones; iii. Stones from extinct volcanoes  
Corsi's text: 158.2 Selce di Roma... Cavasi presso il sepolcro di Cecilia Metella detto Capo di Bove  

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