Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 71

Corsi 71, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 71  
Name and quarry location: Nero antico from Jebel Aziza, Tunisia  
Geological description: Very fine-grained black marble with intersecting shear fractures and white calcite/pyrite-filled extension veinlets.  
Comments: This specimen, with is very straight white veins, is most probably from the ancient quarries at Jebel Aziza in Tunisia. Corsi's provenance, Akra Tainaron (Cape Matapan), on the Mani peninsula of Laconia, Greece, was long considered to be correct. However only dark grey stones, more like bigio morato, have been found during more recent field studies (Lazzarini, 2003). It is now evident that the black marbles and limestones quarried in ancient times were obtained from a number of different localities including the area between Chemtou and Gebel Aziza in Tunisia, the Margaritis peninsula of Chios, Greece; and Sigacik, in Izmir, Turkey.  
References: Borghini (1997) 254-255, 288; Corsi (1845) 94; Gnoli (1988) 192-195; Lazzarini (2002c) 244, 265; Lazzarini (2003); Mielsch (1985) 57, taf.16; Pensabene (1998)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 1. Monochrome marbles; Species 6. Black marbles  
Corsi's text: 39.11 Marmo nero antico. marmor Taenarium. Dal promontorio Tenaro nella Laconia traevasi un marmo nero che Pausania chiamò Tenario.  

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