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Κροκεάτης Λίθος

Κροκεαί - Λεβέτσοβα - Κροκεές Λακωνίας

Krokeatis lithos...also known as
Lapis Lacedaemonius or Lacedaimonius,
Marmor Lacedaemonium, Green Porphyry,
Porfido verde antico, Viride or Porfido serpentino verde .....

From the anncient quarries in
Croceae -Levetsova-Lebetsova-Krokeai- Krokees, Laconia Greece

' Lapis Lacedaemonius '--It was found in the barren hills of southern Lakonia as described by Pausanias (3.21.4). It is said that the ancient quarrying area lies off the Sparta-Gythion road at Psephi. Deposits are also supposed to have been near Aghios Stephanos. This site was on the sea in antiquity and the islet of Trinasos could have been a export point for transmission of materials overseas. This stone was used quite often in the Minoan period and somewhat in the Mycenaean times. In the Hellenic periods, there is no clear evidence from artifacts, but it appears to was seen as a 'curiosity.' In the time of Rome, it was everywhere throughout the empire. Overall, it was a much awed and very popular stone.
from>> http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/7849/spfacts.html

What Rome was Built with: A Description of the Stones Employed in Ancient ...

By Mary Winearls Porter


The Remains of Ancient Rome
By John Henry Middleton


Archaeology of the Iliad: The Mycenaean Culture

Traded goods recovered from the wreck off Cape Gelidonya included precious metals such as gold, silver, and electrum, ivory from both elephants and hippopotami, ostrich eggs, raw stone material such as gypsum, lapis lazuli, lapis Lacedaemonius , carnelian, andesite, and obsidian; spices such as coriander, frankincense, and myrrh; manufactured goods such as pottery, seals, carved ivories, textiles, furniture, stone and metal vessels, and weaponry; and agricultural produce of wine, olive oil, flax, hides and wool.



The Palace of Minos
Industrial Quarter

The area to the north of the Domestic Quarter was dedicated to storage facilities and small workshops-in the lower levels, at least. A doorway near the east end of the East-West Corridor led into a suite of that included a cellar room where the filled contained a cache of flecked green porphyry known as lapis Lacedaemonius along with a couple of unfinished amphorae made out of the same material. The stone had clearly fallen from the level above when the floor collapsed so Evans conculded that there must have been Lapidary's Workshop upstairs.



the Minoan Workshops

This was the Lapidary's Minoan Workshop, where fragments of andesite ( lapis lacedaemonius , see photo ) were found, which the craftsmen were working on when the palace was destroyed.

.......Leander was busied just now in a matter peculiarly con. genial to him, the destruction of an ancient building in order to enrich with its columns and precious marbles a new Christian church. At the hour appointed, Marcian found him in the temple of Minerva Chalcidica, directing workmen as to what they should remove; before him lay certain mouldings in green porphyry (the precious lapis Lacedaemonius ), which had been carefully broken from their places, and he was regarding them with the eye of a lover. For the first few minutes of their conversation, Marcian felt mistrust, as the deacon appeared to have no intelligence of any secret purpose in this meeting; but presently, still gossiping of stones, Leander led him out of the temple and walked in the shadowy public place beside the Pantheon.

........Evidence from both Crete and the site of Ayios Stephanos at the head of the Gulf of Laconia indicates that the green-flecked porphyry known as lapis Lacedaemonius , available only in southern Laconia, was being sought by Minoan lapidaries (a {lapidary} is a craftsmen working in hard stones to produce items such as seals and vessels) as early as early LM IA. In addition, there are grounds for believing that one or more Minoan potters might have been resident at Ayios Stephanos in the late MH (= MM IIIB) period, although it is not known whether such artisans came from Crete itself or from the Minoan colony on Kythera. Two signs incised on an otherwise nondescript ground stone implement found in a surface level at Ayios Stephanos have also been tentatively identified as constituting a short Linear A inscription.

.........Throughout the Middle Bronze Age Ayios Stephanos was a medium-sized port which relied on trade, fishing and metal-working. It maintained close links with Kythera and Crete, and exported the rare stone lapis lacedaemonius ; this material was turned into luxury goods in Cretan palatial workshops. A Linear A inscription is known (almost the only one on the Greek mainland), but Ayios Stephanos was neither a Minoan settlement like Kastri on Kythera, nor a heavily Minoanized one like Phylakopi on Melos. Ayios Stephanos lay just beyond this zone and kept its mainland culture.

As the interior of Laconia grew in prosperity, the site declined. Trade must have collapsed after the destruction of many settlements in Crete at the end of Late Minoan IB. In addition, the approach of the Eurotas delta, after which Homeric Helos was to be named, must have caused the harbour to begin to silt up, giving an advantage to a rival centre at Ayios Strategos on the other side of the bay. In LH IIIA1 Cretan influence was renewed, as the LH IIIA2 Early pottery attests; raw lapis lacedaemonius was exported to Knossos.

from>> http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~semitic/wl/digsites/Europe/AyiosStephanos2006/


A rich green porphyry or basalt was also largely used, but not in such great masses as the red porphyry . It has a brilliant green ground covered with rectangular See also light green crystals of felspar . This is the lapis Lacedaemonius (wrongly called by the modern Romans " serpentino "), so named from its quarries in Mount See also Taygetus in Lacedacmonia (Paus. iii . 21, 4; Plin . H.N. xxxvi . 55; Juv. xi .


Ancient Green Peloponnesian Porphyry

This porphyry is the most well known and precious among ancient porphyries and is Pliny the Elder's Lapis lacedaemonius . Roman stonecutters called it serpentine porphyry, which is the name still commonly used today because of its vague resemblance to the spotted skin of a snake.

History and Uses of Limestones and Marbles

By Sarah Maria Burnham


I20 Porfido serpentino verde (or porfido verde di Grecia , porfido verde antico or simply serpentino ): andesite to diabase porphyry with large, light to medium green or yellowish phenocrysts in a dark green groundmass. Source - Laconia between KroKeai and Stephania (near ancient Sparta), Peloponnese, southern Greece. Quarried - 1 st c. BC through Roman period. This porphyry and the MP imperial porphyry (see E1 above) were, volumetrically, the two colored decorative stones most heavily used by the Romans. Greek name - krokeatis lithos (stone of Crokeatis); Roman name - lapis lacedaemonius or marmor lacedaemonium (= stone or marble of Lacedaemon, which is another name for Sparta); and Italian name - translates as "green serpentine porphyry". References and Photos - M85 (p 66; 731 in pl 22), G88 (p 141-144), MSG89 (p 279-281; f 121a-121d), AN89 (14 on p 112), DW92 (p 158; b in pl 1), PB98 (p 6; pl 13-16) and R01 (pl 18: A1-A4).

Buildings: 123, 147, 189, 190; SCB.

Uses: rare wall veneer.

Encyclopedia Britannica (pub. 1911)

Porphyry (Petrology) ........Another famous porphyry, hardly less beautiful, is the verde antique , porfido verde antico, or marmor lacedaemonium viride of Pliny , which was obtained between Lebetsova and Marathonisi in Peloponnesus . It has the same structure as the red porphyry as it contains large white or green felspars in a fine ground-mass. The green colour arises from the abundant formation of chlorite and epidote in the large felspars and throughout the rock. In ancient times it was much used as an ornamental stone.......
University of Torino (Italy)
...... Another famous porphyry of ancient times is the Green Porphyry, found in Greece, in the province of Laconia, close to the city of Sparta; it was also called Serpentine Porphyry. This porphyry is easily recognisable by the presence of crystals of light green feldspar in an olive green matrix.

These two porphyries are cited in the edict of Diocleciano (Blanco, 1999), the only document which indicates the price of "marble" not elaborated in ancient times. The red and green porphyry were the more expensive materials, reaching a price of 250 dinars per cubic feet (a foot is around 30 cm).

complete article

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