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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Marble Past, Monumental Present: Building with Antiquities in the Mediaeval Mediterranean. It considers the implications of the Roman ?marble footprint,? and gives some brief account of the relationship between population levels and the retrieval (and destruction) of earlier structures, evidence of which is often visible in archaeological digs. It bemoans the scarcity of reliable documentation which can detail how marble was reused, and with what end in view. The chapter also underlines marble scarcity by introducing the frequent marble substitutes from limestone to stucco (often made with powdered marble) and painted walls, as well as the various latitudinarian concepts of what marble actually is. Finally, it summarizes the geographical and chronological plan of subsequent chapters.

Keywords: marble; Mediaeval Mediterranean



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