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Parian marble: Wikis


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The Parian marble is a fine-grained semitranslucent pure-white and entirely flawless marble quarried during the classical era on the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea.

It was highly prized by the ancient Greeks for making sculptures. Some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture were carved from Parian marble, including the Medici Venus and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. 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. The Parian's main rival in antiquity was Pentelic marble, which is also flawless white, albeit with a uniform, faint yellow tint that makes it shine with a golden hue under sunlight. Italian Carrara marble is also flawless white with a uniform faint grey tint.

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 Parian Ware is an artificial substitute for marble made from unglazed porcelain, developed in 1842 in England.


  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology, Timothy Darvill (2002)

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