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Quarrying, transport and preparation Ofmarble in the Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

Mediaeval builders wishing to use marble had to quarry it from the ample workings left by the Greeks and Romans, find suitable materials, or find classical stockpiles of fresh material. It probably presented greater extraction difficulties than limestone, a layered material. At some stage the marble had to be transported, preferably by sea, and finally prepared for use. This chapter addresses these elements in order, distinguishing at every stage between Christianity (East and West) and Islam, where conditions and even skills seem to be different, and where marble and limestone were certainly quarried during our period. Mediaeval authors were well aware of both extraction and transport problems. The quarrying of marble and other stones by the Romans was often a smoothly industrialised process feeding projects large and small, and keeping stockpiles filled, some of them large.

Keywords: Christianity; Greeks; Islam; marble; Mediaeval builders; Romans

10.1163/ej.9789004170834.i-634.26
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004170834.i-634.26
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