Marbles specifications and History


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What 'the marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate.
It is used since antiquity as a material for sculpture and architecture. In this sense the term is used to indicate other stones "polishable", ie whose surfaces can be made bright by polishing.

Geological and chemical
The marble is formed through a process of metamorphic sedimentary rocks such as limestone or dolomite, which causes a complete recrystallization of calcium carbonate which are predominantly composed and gives rise to a mosaic of crystals of calcite or dolomite (mineral) . The 'combined action of temperature and pressure during processing of the sedimentary rock marble, leading to progressive obliteration of original textures and structures in the rock, resulting in the destruction of any fossils, sedimentary layering, or other structure in the rock original.
The color of marble depends on the presence of mineral impurities (clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, nodules of flint), existing granules or layers within the original sedimentary rock.During the metamorphic process such impurities are shifted and recrystallised due to the pressure and heat. The white marbles are a result of the metamorphosis of limestone free from impurities.

The marble in the history
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The low index of refraction of calcite that allows light to "penetrate" into the surface of the stone before being reflected, gives this material (and especially the white marble), a special light, which made it particularly popular for sculpture. Recall, for example, that the artist and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti favored the white Carrara marble for his works.
The word derives from the greek marmaros, with the meaning "shining stone".

Industrial use of marble
The marbles are not colored a source of pure calcium carbonate, which is used in a wide variety of industries. The marble powder is a component of dyes and varnishes, toothpastes and plastics. It is also used in the paper industry where kaolin has supplanted.

Types of slots
The classification as a parameter provides the characteristics of the territory that is home to the quarry, giving rise to two predominant types, lowland and mountain caves. We define the hollow of the plain in which all operations are performed at a lower level of the campaign. This feature implies a problem due to any groundwater that seeped below the water table, make it wet yards, then become necessary pumping stations and canal systems for their removal, very expensive to remedy.
The caves are open to share hilly or mountainous caves of the mountain are defined and they also pose a problem, the difficulty of achieving them in fact requires the construction of roads often long and expensive because of the generally rugged territory. It happens that the high cost of such work is not sustainable from a single extraction, it is therefore necessary to organize the hollow like a basin where mining companies will access the most. In some areas where the economy due to marble is very important, as for example in the province of Massa Carrara, the costs due to the construction of access roads to the quarries are funded by government.

The slabs of marble
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The marble, after extraction from the quarries by means of saws "" diamond "", or by using pressurized water technology, can be worked in the form of flat sheets. These vary from a minimum thickness of 1 cm, up to a maximum thickness of about 30 cm: plates with thickness of less than one centimeter would be excessively brittle, poorly resistant to bending stress and shear, while thicknesses above allow the marble slab to overcome the stages of processing and transport avoiding cracking or breakage of the material.
A plate with a thickness of more than a foot takes the name of "solid".
The slabs of marble are used as a finish, for example for covering floors and walls sometimes.
Since this is a porous material tends to absorb oily substances, that is why it is sometimes subjected to specific protective treatments.
The cost of a slab of marble varies depending on the value of the marble, the origin and the type of processing is adopted, as well as, of course, the geometric dimensions.

Marble slab
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For marble slab includes a marble slab "poor" completely plated (coated) plates (approximately 5 mm thick) of one or more marbles. The marbles veneered were used, for example, as plans for furniture for high commissions. With this technique the masons of the past obtained prized marble tops, saving considerably on the use of marbles notoriously expensive.

Marble of Carrara
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Once the boxes, the blocks were to go down between debris flows marble called "quarry". Historically, the descent of the blocks along the steep rocky slopes of the quarries has been risky business and technical issues, and was carried out with increasingly sophisticated methods As the economic and social conditions of the region evolved . The first rudimentary method of transportation is called "momentum" and was to do the boulder rolled down the slopes, without any control, until it stops on a bed of finer debris. The procedure is widely practiced in ancient times, was so dangerous that it was prohibited by law when it affirmed the method of "lizzatura".
The lizzatura is a traditional method of transporting marble skid, still practiced in the early decades of the twentieth century. Basically the block of marble was firmly fixed to a wooden sled retained upstream by a system of ropes sliding. The slide was gradually lowered down the slope by a team of men who loosened the ropes and controlled the path of the slide. At lizzatura attended twelve men: it was a very dangerous team. In front of the slide was placed on the running head, usually the team's most experienced workers, with the delicate task of controlling the descent proceeded for the better. The chief contention prepared the "wallpaper" on the ground in front of the race, and gave the signal to mollatori to loosen or tighten the cables at the right time. The "wallpaper" was sturdy planks of cherry wood, shaving and the youngest of the company, which were added before loading proceeded hand in hand this down, allowing it to glide unimpeded.Another very important figure in the "contention" was the "mollatore", also called "the man of pyro," which had the task of slowly loosen the ropes that held up the block, so that the load came down slowly and gather speed. The lizzatura was one of the more risky of the entire production cycle: if the load is freed from the ropes, and gathered speed, it was common for men to overwhelm one or more of the team, with serious consequences. The work of lizzatura ended when the cargo arrived at the "hill", that was the place where the blocks of marble were freed from the ropes and loaded on wagons pulled by oxen, which had the task of transporting the marble workshops, sawmills or at the nearby Port of Marina di Carrara.
Since the last decades of the nineteenth century, said the rail transportation of marble, by building a dedicated railway line shortly after the unification of Italy. The Rail Marble was used for nearly a century to transport the marble in competition with the traditional lizzatura, convoys of wagons pulled by oxen and the first attempts of the road transport and road tractors. Built between 1876 and 1890 the railroad connecting the main centers of the three storage blocks of Carrara marble basins - Torano, Miseglia Colonnata and - with the sawmills in the plains, the port of Marina di Carrara and the national rail network.The construction of the track represented a significant engineering feat given the means of the time: they had to overcome a height difference of 450m total length of 22km and a maximum slope of 6 percent, through a large number of bridges and railways.
The "marble" long worked to replace the road network, but the construction of ever more numerous ways of entrenchment and the resulting competition with the modern means of road transport made it uneconomic. After a short labor, the railroad ceased its activities in 1964 and his path was largely dismantled. Some sections were processed in the streets.
The transport of marbles on the street began to emerge about since 1920, with the expansion and modernization of roads bound for the extraction basins. The first mechanized transport vehicles were "tractor" internal combustion, traditionally called "ciabattone". From post-war road transport became predominant, especially with the introduction of "Deuz", German-made trucks. Currently, all excavated from the marble quarries is transported by truck to the port of Marina di Carrara, or routed to other destinations.

Destination of the marble quarried
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Much of the extract is maintained at the marble block was not processed and sent directly to the port of Marina di Carrara, which is still managing the majority of shipments, especially abroad. Almost all the rest of the marble is extracted rather small slabs of different thickness and then polished to provide raw material for panels, ornaments, stairs, marble and other accessories. To do the sawing and polishing are in operation in the province of Massa Carrara and Verona over a hundred mills which, for equipment and the degree of specialization, work with marble and granite from around the world.
In any sawmill granite work special frames with steel blades spaced at a distance corresponding to the thickness required by the slabs. Each frame is embossed with a horizontal motion and a continuous decrease, while the blades - which does not have teeth - they serve only to push the water into the cracks and silica sand that is used for abrasive action and deepen the cut.
A fraction of the marble quarried is processed in the laboratories of sculpture in Carrara, Massa, Pietrasanta and surrounding areas. Employees in this work are divided among stonemasons, modelers, sculptors and ornamentalists. In Carrara has established an "Professional Institute for Industry and Handicrafts of Marble," which is capable of conferring a specific qualification for workers in this field.

History of the marble in the ancient
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The marble has been widely used since antiquity as a material for sculpture and architecture. The low index of refraction of calcite, which is mainly composed, allows light to "penetrate" into the surface of the stone before being reflected, and what gives this material (and especially white marble) a special luminosity,
The term "marble" derives from the greek marmaros, with the meaning "shining stone", and was used to denote any stone "polished", ie the surface which could be made into polished by grinding. In archaeological studies and art history are then included among the "marbles" other rocks that are not such in terms of geological and chemical, such as granite and porphyry, the diorites, basalts, alabaster, limestone or particularly hard .

The marble in prehistory and early history
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The realization of the first marble objects dating from Neolithic times ("age of polished stone") in the Cyclades, where the marble is particularly abundant (especially in the islands of Paros and Naxos), are the first small idols and sculptures larger , dated from the late fourth and third millennium BC ((3200-2000 BC), characteristics of the artistic production of the Cycladic civilization.
Some varieties of marble originating in the Peloponnese ("ancient green porphyry" and "antique red marble") were used as part of the Minoan civilization.
In ancient, since the time predynastic, different varieties of granite, diorite, basalt and alabaster were processed for the realization of ritual vessels. Since the II dynasty began the use of syenite, a granite rock that was used for coating the pyramids of Chephren and Mycerinus.

The Botticino marble
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Botticino marble is a kind of beige marble quarried from Botticino, in the province of Brescia. The basin has existed for two thousand years, when the marble was used by the Romans to the ancient buildings Brixia (Roman Forum). To date, the pool of Brescia is the second most important basin in the excavation of dimension stone in Italy, after the basin of Carrara. For some years there is a registered trademark that identifies the material coming from classic zone.
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The Onyx
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Onyx is a variety of chalcedony, or microcrystalline quartz in compact masses, opaque, or semi-opaque, uniform, covering the reddish-brown and the entire range of gray to black. If it occurs in massive form and stratified called chert, a material widely used by humans in prehistoric and ancient times for the preparation of sharp objects and jewelry.
Like all varieties of quartz is very hard (6 to 7 on the Mohs scale).
Is formed primarily in filoniano-hydrothermal environment of low temperature and metamorphic, or, secondly, because of the hardness of the quartz, in sedimentary rocks debris.
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The Greek marbles

Ancient Greece was full of marble quarries, with numerous varieties of fine white marble (Pentelic Tasio, nassio, Parian).
The use of marble was so widespread since the origins of Greek sculpture and architecture from the classical era, especially from the monuments and temples of the Acropolis of Athens in the fifth century BC (The Parthenon was built entirely of Pentelic marble blocks).

Antique yellow marble
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The so-called antique yellow marble is a variety of marble used by the Romans. The modern name corresponds to the Latin "marmor numidicum (ie" marble of Numidia).
Was mined in quarries located near the ancient city of "Simitthus", now the village of Chemtou, in Tunisia.
It is a marble yellow uniform, ranging from bright yellow to lighter shades, nearly white, with veins dark yellow or reddish, or brown, and angular clasts of various sizes and various colors (various shades of yellow, red pink, brown).
From the point of view petrographic is a crystalline limestone (disappeared), compacted by an accentuated diagenesis.
From the second half of the second century BC was used by the Numidian kings. Pliny the Younger, in his Naturalis Historia (XXXVI, 49) attributes their introduction to Rome by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 78 BC, who used the blocks to the threshold of his house.Suetonius (Life Iulii, 85) reports that Caesar ordered the construction of this marble in a column in the Forum Honorary Roman Augustus used it for the columns of the peristyle of his house on the Palatine with the marble and marble portasanta pavonazzetto and also had wide use in his Forum.
The caves soon became imperial property, and this variety of marble was widely used for column shafts and wall and floor coverings in public buildings in the city closest to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and in particular, was exported to the Italian peninsula. It was also used for statues of barbarians or wild beasts, in relation to its origin. In the third century quarries probably came running out and the old yellow was gradually supplanted by yellow breccias from other sources and less valuable. It mentioned the Edict of Diocletian's price, in the early fourth century, where it sets the price quite high.

The Roman marbles
The influence of Greek culture, the marble was considered in ancient Rome and the material is especially valuable as new territories were conquered Rome, he began to imports. The high costs due to transport from quarries often distant from the place of employment, made him initially a luxury, and its use for public monuments, or for the rich decorations of the interior surfaces of private homes.
In the early republican era temples built entirely in white marble (second century BC temple of Hercules in the Forum Boarium, temple) used Greek marbles imported from quarries, probably accompanied by workers able to perform the processing (Greece had become the province Roman in 146 BC) and intentions of the commissioners, were to impress the "public" with the massive use of a material so expensive and culturally significant.
At the same time began the importation of certain varieties of colored marbles (among the most popular "old yellow", the "African", the "pavonazzetto", the "chive"), which were used, first entered into fragments in mosaic textures , and then into large slabs, wall and floor coverings for the interior of the rich patrician houses.
Also during the second century BC began quarrying of Luni (Luna marble, today's "Carrara marble"), which represented a substitute for good quality and cheaper (for lower transport costs) of white marble imported from Greece.


Paving slabs of marble and antique yellow pavonazzetto exedra of the Forum of Trajan in Rome

With the Augustan age, other varieties of marble were imported ("Old Red", "chive").After the conquest of Egypt (31 BC) also began importing Egyptian stones, whose quarries passed by the royal property of the Ptolemaic rulers, the imperial property, and therefore were used only in the most important public monuments took Emperor ( red porphyry, various types of granite, basanite, various types of alabaster).
The quarries of marble became progressively more important properties of all imperial and careful organization of the processing and supply to Rome, he allowed a widespread diffusion of the use of varieties in all major cities of the Roman Empire. The properties of the imperial quarries ensured the availability of materials needed in large public housing programs, while the surplus was sold for private use. In particular the spread sheets for the lining of internal walls and floors, and column shafts in different colored marbles, which enriched the interiors of public monuments and richer houses.
Cave of the other varieties were privately owned and had a more limited distribution, regional, or for decorative or furnishing smaller where conditions of quarries and veins from which was extracted material did not permit to quarry large blocks: Some of these marbles were particularly sought after for their rarity. The colored marble were used for the sculptures with "exotic theme" (for example of barbarian prisoners) or in relation to the subject represented.
The use of different varieties depended on the shipping cost (given the difficulty of land transport for large weights, the distance from the sea and / or the lack of a navigable waterway could make it prohibitively expensive, at least for the use private), by the possibility to extract large quantities of large blocks, from changes in the mode of extraction.
Since the end of the second century A.D. Also in Italy the Luna marble was gradually supplanted by Proconnesian marble, a white marble from the small island of Proconnesus, in the Sea of ​​Marmara, favored by the proximity of the quarries to the sea, so the blocks could be extracted directly loaded onto ships for transport . The abundance of veins exploitable for large items and organization of labor in the quarries, which produced artifacts semirifiniti or fully completed (with capitals, the column shafts, with sarcophagi) made it possible to further reduce costs and fostered the spread of in later centuries this marble (marble was used for the construction of Constantinople).
Ancient colored marbles
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Colored marble flooring in the insula of Jason Magnus at Cyrene (Libya)
List of varieties (lithotypes) marble (stones polishable) used in ancient times and particularly during the Roman Empire.
Egyptian Marbles
Basanite or "bekhen stone" (lapis basanites). It exists in two variants: a siltstone (fine) and greywacke (slightly more coarse-grained): both are of metamorphic origin, color uniform dark (dark gray to gray-green). The quarries are on the rock walls on both sides of the Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
Granite Forum (marmor Claudianum). It is a tonalitic gneiss, of metamorphic origin. The quarries are large, can be found on Gebel Fatira (Mons Claudianus), in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. A model with finer grain comes from mining sites in places within walking distance (Wadi Umm Huyut). It takes its name from the number of column shafts used in the Forum of Trajan in Rome.
Red granite or syenite, or "granite of Aswan" (thebaicus lapis, lapis pyrrhopoecilus). It is a granite of magmatic origin. The quarries are located in Shellal, north of Aswan (ancient Syene), Upper Egypt.


Tetrarchs statues of ancient red porphyry, at the Basilica of San Marco in Venice

Red porphyry, or "ancient red porphyry" (lapis Porphyrites). It is a rock andesitic, with the presence of hematite and piemontite of magmatic origin. The quarries are located on the Jebel Dokhan (old name: Mons Mons Porphyrites or Igneus), a mountainous area located west of Hurghada, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
Alabaster cotognino or "Egyptian alabaster" (lapis alabastrites). It is a calcareous alabaster of sedimentary origin. Abundant and widely distributed already in pre-Roman, nine are known extraction sites, particularly near the city of Hatnub. It comes in a variant milky white opaque, fine-grained, and one that varies from beigegiallastro to brown, variable grain and fibrous appearance, often stratified into layers of varying thickness.
Shaded coral breccia or "red and yellow breccia Egyptian" (perhaps knekites lithos). It is a breach limestone, with white to yellowish clasts immersed in a reddish cement for the presence of hematite. Used and rare pre-dynastic Egypt in Roman times. Do not know the quarries.
Green breccia of Egypt, or "green breccia old" (hecatontalithos). It is a conglomerate puddingoide on a green background (but there is also a variant in a red background), of metamorphic origin. The quarries are two mining sites in the mining district of basanite.
Black and white granite (marmor tiberianum). It is a quartz-diorite magmatic origin. The quarries of the two known varieties ("black and white granite of Santa Prassede", with darker color, and "black and white granite in Cairo," with a lighter color) are located at Wadi Barud, about 10 km south east of the granite quarries of the Forum, and are small.


The column of the flagellation of Santa Praxedes, which takes the name of the granite column
located at the Wadi Umm Shegilat, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, not far from those of red porphyry. It has large elongated crystals blacks, prevailing on a white ground, sometimes with shades of pink. It takes its name from a trapezoforo (support for table) stored in the chapel of San Zeno church of Santa Praxedes in Rome, where he was believed to be the column to which Jesus Christ had been bound during the flagellation.
Black granite of Syene, or "Egyptian black granite," or, roughly, "Egyptian diorite" (lapis thebaicus). It is a wheat-diorite magmatic origin. The quarries are located near those of red granite, south of Aswan.
Granite of Wadi Umm Fawakhir. It is a wheat-diorite magmatic origin. The quarries are located in Wadi el-Sid, from the quarries of basanite. It comes with pink spots, black and white, grain variable.
Forito of green granite gray. It is a quartz-diorite magmatic origin. The quarries are located in Wadi Umm Balad, on the western slopes of the Jebel Dokhan, from the quarries of red porphyry. It has a fine-grained and homogeneous, and a greenish color, with areas prone to gray or brownish.
Green granite formed. It is a gabbro of magmatic origin. The quarries, in the several mining sites are located at Wadi Maghrabya. It comes in various shades of green and grain variable.
Granite Green Chair of San Lorenzo and green granite of the chair of St. Peter, or "ofite" (lapis ophytes). It is a metagabbro of metamorphic origin. The quarries of the two varieties (distinct from the more or less fine grained), can be found at the Wadi Wadi Umm wikalas and Semna, in a complex of mountains in ancient times called Ophyates Mons, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. The two varieties are named after the round on the frontals of the episcopal thrones cosmateschi the basilicas of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls and St. Peter's in Rome.
Black serpentine porphyry. It is a trachi-andesite of magmatic origin. The quarries are located near those of red porphyry, on the Wadi Umm Towat, south-western slopes of the Jebel Dokhan.
Egyptian green porphyry (Lapis hieracites ancient name). Variant with dark green background of red porphyry, coming from the same quarries.
Moschinata coil or "green marble frog" (perhaps identifiable with the pencil batrachites).It is a serpentinite of metamorphic origin. The quarries are located at Wadi Atallah, not far from the mining district of basanite.
African marbles
Antique yellow marble (marmor numidicum). It is a crystalline limestone (disappeared).The quarries are located near the ancient city of Simitthus today Chemtou village in Tunisia.


Statue of Dacian in gray marble morato, in the courtyard of the Palace of the Conservators (Capitoline Museums)

with intense black tones and fine grain. The quarries were located in the village of Ain el Ksir, not far from those of ancient yellow marble. There are also other varieties of "antique black marble" from other areas. "
Alabaster sheep. It is an alabaster travertine, with limotite and hematite, and is presented in two main variants: the most common corrugated layers variously deep red or yellow ocher, alternating with layers rose (which depending on the cut occurs in bands or zoned spots and irregular). A second variant called "alabaster sheep minute" light red dot on white background which can make the cut according to the impression of a sheepskin.The quarries are located in the village of Ain Tekbalet, near the city of Oran, Algeria.
Marble of Asia Minor
Violet granite or "granite troadense" (marmor troadense). It is a quartz-monzonite, with porfiroblasti (crystals) of potassium feldspar and has a light gray, white or purple with crystal clear and small black inclusions, and there is a variety with finer and less obvious crystals. The quarries are located on the sides of Cigri Dag, near the ancient city of Neandria.
Misio gray granite. It is a wheat-diorite anfibolica with black hornblende crystals, and the color is gray, with fine and uniform. The quarries are located in the ancient city of Perperene, not far from Pergamon.

THE Marble chives
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Stem smooth marble column chives, preserved in the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum in Rome.

The cipolin has a variety of marble used by the Romans. The modern name corresponds to the Latin "marmor carystium (ie" Karystos marble).
Was mined in several quarries located on the southwest coast of the island of Evia, in Greece, between the present town of Karystos and Styra. Some of these store fronts ancient quarries extracting over 100 m long.
It is a greenish-white marble, covered by thick ribs undulating green, bluish and tends to trail by thick layers of mica. The background color and grain tends to darken depending on the geographical location of the quarry source from south to north.
From the point of view petrographic is a metamorphic rock, crystalline marble saccharoid (crystals between 0.2 and 0.6 mm), with colored veins dall'epidoto and chlorite.
Already used by the Greeks, was imported to Rome from the first century BC. Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia, says that this marble columns decorated the house in Rome Mamurra rider Claudio, who was engineer of Caesar in Gaul. The quarries became imperial property and then cipolin spread in all cities of the empire. The continued extraction and use extensively even in the fifth century in the Byzantine period.
It was mainly used for column shafts, including large and mostly smooth (an example are the columns of the pronaos of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum in Rome). Are also known sculptures, like the figure of the crocodile, which decorated the water of the "Canopus" at Villa Adriana in Tivoli, and was made of this material to mimic the natural color of the scales of the animal.
Variety of marble quarries of similar appearance are also in the Iberian Peninsula (cave of Anasol), Apuan Alps, in northeastern Greece and Serbia


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