Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 914

Corsi 914, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 914  
Name and quarry location: Africano, from Sigacik (ancient Teos), Izmir Province, Turkey  
Geological description: Tectonic breccia-conglomerate of poorly-sorted largely recrystallised limestone clasts in a sparry calcite matrix coloured dark brown by included ferruginous matter (oxidised chlorite). It has abundant stylolites, some are white, other iron-stained orange-brown. Fractures are filled with calcite.  
Comments: The Africano quarries had been long lost when Corsi wrote his catalogue, and he did reach the right conclusion for the provenance of Africano. The site of the ancient quarries, at Sigacik (ancient Teos) in Turkey, was only rediscovered in 1966 by Michael Ballance who found samples of the stone around a curious lake called Kara Göl. This turned out to be a flooded quarry. A second quarry was found at Beylerköy, about 15 km away. Large quantities of stone were extracted and used in Italy and northern Africa in the first and second centuries AD. The palate of colours of Africano is distinctive: mottled pink, red and green fragments in a matrix which is often dark grey or black.  
References: Borghini (1997) 133-135; Bostock (1855) bk 36, ch 8; Corsi (1825) 47-49; Corsi (1845) 99-100; Gnoli (1988) 174-178; Higgins (1996) 142; Lazzarini (2002c) 250-251; Mielsch (1985) 54-55, taf. 13; Price (2007) 136-137; Ward-Perkins (1966)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 1. Marbles; Section 2. Veined marbles; Species 3. Africano marble  
Corsi's text: 49.19/ S12.2 Marmo Africano  

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