Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 676

Corsi 676, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 676  
Name and quarry location: Basalte antico, Bekhen-stone, from Wadi Hammamat, Eastern Desert, Egypt  
Geological description: Most probably a metagreywacke, a metamorphosed turbidite deposit with sand to silt sized particles.  
Comments: This has been recognised as an ancient 'basalt' from Wadi Hammamat known as Bekhen-stone. There has been some confusion over the numbers of the ancient basalts in Corsi's collection. Mary Porter wrote in 1964 that 'Nos 674-678 inclusive - Italian labels on specimens - the numbers are out of order according to descriptions in the Corsi Catalogo ragionato. There are two specimens labelled 161.3.' This does not however account for the fact that none of Corsi's 'basalti' are in fact basalt, a dark extrusive igneous rock.  
References: Corsi (1845) 196; Del Bufalo (2002); Harrell (1992); Harrell (2010a); Lazzarini (2002c) 238; Price (2007) 191  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 9. Basalts; ii. Italian basalts  
Corsi's text: 161.1 Basalte di Venezia  

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