MARBLE PROVENANCE

 

EPR spectroscopy has been proved to be a powerful tool for marble characterisation and provenance investigation since it was first applied on marble samples, in the early 80ís. The advantage of EPR spectroscopy over other analytical techniques is that more than two parameters can be used for discriminating between different quarries. Except for Mn2+ concentration in the calcitic and dolomitic lattice, EPR gives many other parameters characterising the lattice structure and the presence of impurities.

In combination with EPR spectroscopy the Maximum Grain Size (MGS), determined easily with an optical microscope, proves very useful for quarry discrimination. All the EPR parameters, as well as the MGS, were statistically tested in order to verify which distribution, normal linear or normal logarithmic, fits better the natural occurrence.

An extended databank has been created in the Laboratory of Archaeometry during the last ten years, with the EPR parameters for the most important ancient quarrying sites: Penteli, Hymettus, Naxos-Apollonas, Naxos-Melanes, Southeast-Naxos, Paros, Thassos-Aliki, Thassos-Vathi, Vermio, Kozani, Pieria, Ephessus, Afrodisias, Proconnesus, Dokimeion.

The Laboratory undertakes the analysis for provenance identification of the marble of any monument on a routine basis with a very high rate of secure identification. For difficult cases where the provenance cannot be easily clarified, more techniques are added in the study, as the sample is not destroyed by the EPR analysis.

The sample required is a small chip from a position on the monument where broken surfaces already exist. This type of sample is undoubtedly much better than a drilled powder, as it can provide important information on the marble grain size and texture. The sample in a coarse ground form is preserved for any future analysis or reference.

 

Sample submission forms: Greek / English

Contact person: Dr. Yannis Maniatis, maniatis@ims.demokritos.gr