This paper investigates the provenance of the black limestone of the monument known as Bocco, named after the king of Mauretania who presented Silla with this work as a sign of his submission to the power of Rome. A multi-method approach, comprising petrographic observations, carbon and oxygen isotope composition and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra characteristics, was used for this purpose. The monument is part of a reconstruction of a rectangular base (approx. 8 × 2 m) which is likely to have served as the base for a bronze statuary group and is currently composed of six blocks of limestone whose exterior is engraved with a fine frieze. The results of the different analyses were compared with the data of a published database of the most important black limestone quarries exploited during Roman times in the Mediterranean area. The petrographic and physico-chemical parameters did not prove to be very effective in determining the provenance of the black limestone of Bocco; the isotopes result even raised some uncertainty as to whether all six blocks came from the same quarry, though this doubt was dispelled by the EPR data and, above all, by the evident petrographic similarity between them. Differences in the isotopic composition of the various blocks may be due to an in situ rock alteration process caused by interaction with an aqueous fluid. It was, however, impossible to determine with certainty the origin of the material of the stone artifact using the database available; it is possible that the black limestone of Bocco came from an ancient quarry that is likely to be located in north western Africa but has not yet been uncovered. An alternative hypothesis, according to which the limestone used for the monument of Bocco came from the ancient quarry of Ain el Ksir, one of the Tunisian quarries present in the database, is also discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Determining the provenance of black limestone artifacts using petrography, isotopes and EPR techniques: The case of the monument of Bocco / Brilli, Mauro; Occhiuzzi, Manlio; Conti, L.; Giustini, F.; PENSABENE PEREZ, Patrizio; De Nuccio, M.. - In: JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 0305-4403. - 38:6(2011), pp. 1377-1384. [10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.005]

Determining the provenance of black limestone artifacts using petrography, isotopes and EPR techniques: The case of the monument of Bocco

BRILLI, MAURO;OCCHIUZZI, Manlio;PENSABENE PEREZ, Patrizio;
2011

Abstract

This paper investigates the provenance of the black limestone of the monument known as Bocco, named after the king of Mauretania who presented Silla with this work as a sign of his submission to the power of Rome. A multi-method approach, comprising petrographic observations, carbon and oxygen isotope composition and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra characteristics, was used for this purpose. The monument is part of a reconstruction of a rectangular base (approx. 8 × 2 m) which is likely to have served as the base for a bronze statuary group and is currently composed of six blocks of limestone whose exterior is engraved with a fine frieze. The results of the different analyses were compared with the data of a published database of the most important black limestone quarries exploited during Roman times in the Mediterranean area. The petrographic and physico-chemical parameters did not prove to be very effective in determining the provenance of the black limestone of Bocco; the isotopes result even raised some uncertainty as to whether all six blocks came from the same quarry, though this doubt was dispelled by the EPR data and, above all, by the evident petrographic similarity between them. Differences in the isotopic composition of the various blocks may be due to an in situ rock alteration process caused by interaction with an aqueous fluid. It was, however, impossible to determine with certainty the origin of the material of the stone artifact using the database available; it is possible that the black limestone of Bocco came from an ancient quarry that is likely to be located in north western Africa but has not yet been uncovered. An alternative hypothesis, according to which the limestone used for the monument of Bocco came from the ancient quarry of Ain el Ksir, one of the Tunisian quarries present in the database, is also discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
black limestone; epr; petrography; stable isotopes
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Determining the provenance of black limestone artifacts using petrography, isotopes and EPR techniques: The case of the monument of Bocco / Brilli, Mauro; Occhiuzzi, Manlio; Conti, L.; Giustini, F.; PENSABENE PEREZ, Patrizio; De Nuccio, M.. - In: JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 0305-4403. - 38:6(2011), pp. 1377-1384. [10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.005]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/380262
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