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Material: Prokonnesian Marble

A medium to coarse grained white marble, often with grey streaks, was quarried in enormous quantities on Marmara Adası, ancient Prokonnesos/Proconnesus. This activity had begun by at least the 6th century BC and continued well into the Byzantine period. Indeed the quarries were well-placed to fulfil the needs of the new capital at Constantinople from the 4th century AD onwards. The marble quarries on the island cover a large area, over 40 km², centred on the harbour at Saraylar, from where material was exported. In the Roman period Prokonnesian marble was mainly used for architectural elements and sarcophagi. The accessibility of the quarries via sea made Prokonnesian marble one of the most widely distributed white marble even though it does not match Luna or Parian marble in terms of its quality. At Rome, Prokonnesian marble is used in large quantities from the 2nd century AD onwards and it is also becomes the import of choice in the Adriatic, in much of central North Africa, in the Levant and around the coasts of Asia Minor, though it is rarely imported far inland.

Alternate Names

Marmo Proconnesio

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