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PETROGRAPHIC AND ISOTOPIC CHARACTERIZATION OF THE MARBLE OF THE ISLAND OF TINOS (GREECE)

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Most outcrops of good-quality crystalline marble in Mediterranean countries were exploited in Greek and Roman times. Hence, a wide variety of marble is now found in archaeological excavations. The precise determination of the provenance of a marble object is of great archaeological importance, and is now mostly obtained by coupling the petrographic study of a thin section with the analysis of the C and O stable isotopes, or by stereomicroscopy and EPR. The existing databases are considerable but still insufficient, because our knowledge about and study of ancient Mediterranean quarries remain incomplete. The contribution of this research is to add new petrographic and isotopic data on small quarries on the Greek island of Tinos that were exploited in antiquity. This marble belongs to the same geological horizon; it is quite pure, sometimes dolomitic and characterized by a low-T, high-P metamorphism that produced a limited recrystallization (MGS varying from 0.64 to 2.50 mm) on marine limestone protoliths. The petrographic features are quite distinctive: the fabric is strongly lineated and often stressed; and the accessory minerals are ubiquitary quartz, ore minerals, graphite and muscovite. As far as the isotopic data are concerned, 13CPDB varies from 1.1 to 2.7, and 18OPDB from −1.7 to −11.4. Both the features and the data have been compared with those of similar marbles used in antiquity, showing that their combination mirrors the fingerprint of the Tinos marble.
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Keywords: C AND O STABLE ISOTOPES; GREECE; MARBLE; PETROGRAPHY; QUARRIES; TINOS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratorio di Analisi dei Materiali Antichi, Dipartimento di Storia dell’Architettura, I.U.A.V., S.Polo 2468/B, 30125 Venice, Italy

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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