The genesis and characterisation of 'Marmor Misium' from Kozak (Turkey), a granite used in antiquity

De Vecchi G., Lazzarini L., Lunel T., Mignucci A., Visona D.

JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, vol.1, no.2, pp.145-153, 2000 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s1296-2074(00)00162-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.145-153
  • Keywords: Marmor Misium, ancient quarries, granite


'Marmor Misium' was one of the most used granites of antiquity, especially for the manufacture of columns and slabs. It was quarried in the area of Kozak (Turkey) and used locally from the Late Hellenistic period and later, probably at the end of the 1st century AD, exported to Rome and other important Roman towns of the Mediterranean sea. It seems that 'Marmor Misium' continued to be quarried until the Early Byzantine time; it is now still quarried for local use (road paving, etc.). In spite of its historical importance and geological interest, this granite has never been the subject of detailed petrological studies. That is why in this work it has been sampled from various outcrops of the plutonite and in abandoned ancient quarries and characterised petrographically and geochemically. From the petrographic point of view, the plutonites of Kozak are medium-grained biotite-hornblende granite and granodiorite composed of 34.2-53 % (modal) zoned plagioclase, 23.7-35.4 % K-feldspar, 21.4-29 % anhedral quartz, 4.9-10 % brown biotite and 7.7 % green hornblende. These rocks are I-type metaluminous granitoids of high-k calc-alkaline orogenic series forming a crystallised body at a depth of about 10 km. The positive distinction between 'Marmor Misium' and two other granites used in antiquity and macroscopically very similar to it, those from the Elba and Giglio islands (Italy), is easily made by considering the absence of hornblende, the peraluminous character and the lower Sr and Ba and higher Rb contents for the latter. (C) 2000 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS