Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 808

Corsi 808, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 808  
Name and quarry location: Imperial porphyry, porfido nero, from Gebel Dokhan, Eastern Desert, Egypt  
Geological description: Andesite-dacite porphyry of white rectangular plagioclase phenocrysts in a dark grey groundmass.  
Comments: This is a variety of porfido nero, the black form of imperial porphyry which comes from Gebel Dokhan (the ancient Mons Porphyrites) in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. The imperial quarries were worked from at least the 1st century through to the 5th century AD, using a workforce of slaves. See also no.788.  
References: Borghini (1997) 272; Brindley (1887); Corsi (1845) 200-204; Harrell (2010a); Lazzarini (2002c) 233-235; Mielsch (1985) 65, taf.21; Price (2007) 202-203  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 15. Porphyry; Species 2. Porphyries (Lacedaemon); i. Antique 'serpentine' porphyry  
Corsi's text: 200.12 Altro [Serpentino. Marmor Lacedaemon. Marmo verde Lacedomonio. Marmo Lacedomonio... presso Crocee villaggio della Laconia, vi fosse la cava del serpentino... marmo Taigeto, perchè trovavasi presso un monte di tal nome... Tenario perchè il monte Tenaro è prossimo al Taigeto... Spartano perchè Sparta è contigua al monte Taigeto... Lacedemonio altro nome con cui Sparta si Chiama... Lacnio perchè Sparta e nella Laconia... smeraldo... che molti smeraldi Laconici si trovavano presso il monte Taigeto.]  

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