Parian marble Quarry

Quarry

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Many famous statues were carved from Paria marble. Exampels are the statue of the Venus of Milo (now on the Louvre) and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Parian marble is a pure-white marble already quarried here during the classical era. The original quarries, which were used from the 6th century BC onwards, can still be seen on the north side of the island on the slopes of its central peak.

Another meaning for Parian Marble is a tablet, otherwise known as the Parian Chronicle or the Marmor Parium, which is the earliest extant example of a Greek chronological table. It has been in Oxford since 1667, and is one of the greatest treasures of the Ashmolean Museum.

The marble, which was exported from the 6th century BC onwards, was used by Praxiteles and other great Greek sculptors. It was obtained by means of subterranean quarries driven horizontally or at a descending angle into the rock. The marble thus quarried by lamplight was given the name of Lychnites (from lychnos, a lamp). Several of these tunnels are still to be seen. At the entrance to one of them is a bas-relief dedicated to Pan and the nymphs. Several attempts to work the marble have been made in modern times, but it has not been exported in any great quantities.

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