Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 703

Corsi 703, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 703  
Name and quarry location: Lapis lazuli, from Kokcha Valley, Badakhshan, Afghanistan  
Geological description: Rock composed of lazurite, probably with minor blue sodalite, and with flecks of pyrite and minor white calcite; from a marble deposit formed by contact metamorphism.  
Comments: A fine example of lapis lazuli from the Kokcha valley, Badakhshan, Afghanistan, where mining has taken place for thousands of years. Corsi, in common with many ancient and modern authors, erronously believed the stone came from Persia (now Iran) and China, perhaps because so much Afghan lapis lazuli was transported to these countries where it was both used and traded. By comparison the mines (which still operate) were located in singularly inhospitable terrain rarely visited by foreign travellers. For a bibliography and further information on the location and cultural history of the mines, see Bowersox (1995; 37-63). Other sources of lapis lazuli include Russia, Chile and the USA.  
References: Bowersox (1995) 37-63; Bostock (1855) bk 37, ch 39; Bulakh (2010) passim.; Corsi (1845) 232-233; Giusti (1992) 270; Price (2007) 262-263; Webster (1994) 263-266; Zeitner (1996) 175-177  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 12. Lapis lazuli  
Corsi's text: 168 Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazzulo. Lapislazzulo. Lapis Cyanus  

Full entry in English

Enter some search terms
Show results as:

search tips

Searches the database for all stone records containing the words you enter. To search for a text string, put it between quotation marks. To search for stone records that don't contain a word, put a minus sign in front of it.

For example, entering: granite "coarse-grained" -Egypt will find all the coarse-grained granites that do not come from Egypt.

Terms of three characters or less have not been indexed.