Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 828

Corsi 828, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 828  
Name and quarry location: Granito verde a erbetta, from Wadi Umm Wikala, near Wadi Semna, Eastern Desert. Egypt  
Geological description: Fine to medium-grained metagabbro, with extensive alteration of augite to chlorite and some chloritisation around the edges of plagioclase feldspar crystals. Metallic pale yellow pyrite is present as scattered crystals.  
Comments: Granito verde erbetta, the name alluding to the green grassy appearance, comes from Precambrian basement rocks at Wadi Umm Wikala. Like the other varieties of gabbro from this locality (nos. 821,822, 825) it has also been known as ofite because it was thought to come from Mons Ophyates (Wadi Semna). Others have suggested the name comes from 'ophytes' meaning snake, because it was used in Hellenistic times for amulets to ward of the effects of snake bites, a superstition that persisted in Roman times.  
References: Borghini (1997) 228; Corsi (1845) 210-211, 217-218; Harrell (2010a); Lazzarini (2002c) 237-238; Mielsch (1985) 70, taf.24; Price (2007) 231  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 16. Granites; i. Antique granite  
Corsi's text: 205.16 Granito antico. Marmor Syenite. Marmo Sienite... [trovata] presso la città di Siene sul confine fra Egitto, e l'Etiopia... Pyrrhopoecilon... Psaronion...Aethiopicum perchè... era Siene sul confine dell' Etiopia.  

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