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Monuments: Carrara Quarries

Carrara (near ancient Luna) is famed for its quarries of white and grey marble and has been the centre of the international marble trade for the best part of the last 500 years. Marble was first quarried here in the Etruscan period but large scale extraction did not occur until the mid 1st century BC and intensified significantly in the reign of Augustus. More

Many of the largest monuments erected in Rome in the late 1st century BC, 1st and 2nd centuries AD were built in in marble from Carrara. Marble from Carrara was shipped from the port of nearby Luna to where it was transported first by sledge then waggon down the steep mountainsides. Quarrying at Carrara seems to have slowed in the late 2nd century AD, perhaps due to the silting of the harbour at Luna. Work at the quarries remained much reduced until the Renaissance when demand for marble increased once more.

Dolci, E. (1980). Carrara cave antiche: materiali archeologici. Carrara.

Dolci, E. (1988), 'Marmora Lunensia: quarry technology and archaeological use', in N. Herz and M. Waelkens (eds). Classical marble: geochemistry, technology, trade (NATO ASI series. Series E, applied sciences 153). Dordrecht; London: 77–84.

Pensabene, P. ‘The quarries at Luni in the 1st century AD: final considerations on some aspects of production, diffusion and costs’, in A. Gutiérrez Garcia-Moreno, P. Lapuente Mercadal, and I. Rodà de Llanza (eds). Interdisciplinary studies on ancient stone: proceedings of the IX Association for the Study of Marbles and Other Stones in Antiquity (ASMOSIA), Conference (Tarragona 2009) (Documenta 23). Tarragona: 731–43.


ObjectType object (7)
Luna Marble (Archaeometric identification)  
post bc 50 



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