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Marble decoration of the Roman theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche region, Italy) : an archaeological and archaeometric multi-method provenance study

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Abstract
This paper presents the results of the characterisation, provenance determination, quantification (by count and weight) and contextualisation of the white and coloured marbles used for decorating the Roman theatre of Urbino (Marche region, Italy). The main goals of the paper are to contribute to a better understanding of the trade and use of marble in the region of central Adriatic Italy in Roman times, and to demonstrate the socio-cultural importance of architectural décor in Roman society, especially through comparison of the Urbino case with contemporary theatres in the Western Mediterranean. Macroscopic characterisation of white and coloured marbles was followed by thin section petrography, X-ray diffraction and stable isotopic analysis (∂18O and ∂13C) for eight marble samples. In total, twenty-six marble varieties have been identified in the Urbino theatre assemblage. Mineralogical-petrographic and archaeometric analysis shows the presence of white marbles from Carrara (Italy) and Proconnesos (Asia Minor), and greco scritto from Hasançavuslar (Ephesos, Turkey). Coloured marbles, mainly africano, breccia di sciro, breccia medicea, cipollino verde, pavonazzetto and giallo antico, as well more prestigious lithotypes as granito misio, porfido rosso and serpentino, can be traced back to Italy, Greece (mainland and Aegean islands), Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa. Particularly important is the earliest Roman in situ identification of breccia medicea. Compared to other Roman theatres in the Western Mediterranean, the Urbino theatre stands out for the sumptuousness of its marble renovation, especially in terms of the number of marble varieties. Like other Roman towns in central Adriatic Italy (e.g. Suasa, Trea and Urbs Salvia), Urvinum Mataurense shows a strong integration in the Roman Mediterranean marble trade, with a clear connection with the Greek/Eastern world.
Keywords
Urbino, Roman theatre, marble provenance, breccia medicea, petrography, stable isotopes

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MLA
Taelman, Devi, Chiara Delpino, and Fabrizio Antonelli. “Marble Decoration of the Roman Theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche Region, Italy) : an Archaeological and Archaeometric Multi-method Provenance Study.” JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE 39 (2019): 238–250. Print.
APA
Taelman, D., Delpino, C., & Antonelli, F. (2019). Marble decoration of the Roman theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche region, Italy) : an archaeological and archaeometric multi-method provenance study. JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, 39, 238–250.
Chicago author-date
Taelman, Devi, Chiara Delpino, and Fabrizio Antonelli. 2019. “Marble Decoration of the Roman Theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche Region, Italy) : an Archaeological and Archaeometric Multi-method Provenance Study.” Journal of Cultural Heritage 39: 238–250.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Taelman, Devi, Chiara Delpino, and Fabrizio Antonelli. 2019. “Marble Decoration of the Roman Theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche Region, Italy) : an Archaeological and Archaeometric Multi-method Provenance Study.” Journal of Cultural Heritage 39: 238–250.
Vancouver
1.
Taelman D, Delpino C, Antonelli F. Marble decoration of the Roman theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche region, Italy) : an archaeological and archaeometric multi-method provenance study. JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE. 2019;39:238–50.
IEEE
[1]
D. Taelman, C. Delpino, and F. Antonelli, “Marble decoration of the Roman theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche region, Italy) : an archaeological and archaeometric multi-method provenance study,” JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, vol. 39, pp. 238–250, 2019.
@article{8611646,
  abstract     = {This paper presents the results of the characterisation, provenance determination, quantification (by count and weight) and contextualisation of the white and coloured marbles used for decorating the Roman theatre of Urbino (Marche region, Italy). The main goals of the paper are to contribute to a better understanding of the trade and use of marble in the region of central Adriatic Italy in Roman times, and to demonstrate the socio-cultural importance of architectural décor in Roman society, especially through comparison of the Urbino case with contemporary theatres in the Western Mediterranean. Macroscopic characterisation of white and coloured marbles was followed by thin section petrography, X-ray diffraction and stable isotopic analysis (∂18O and ∂13C) for eight marble samples. In total, twenty-six marble varieties have been identified in the Urbino theatre assemblage. Mineralogical-petrographic and archaeometric analysis shows the presence of white marbles from Carrara (Italy) and Proconnesos (Asia Minor), and greco scritto from Hasançavuslar (Ephesos, Turkey). Coloured marbles, mainly africano, breccia di sciro, breccia medicea, cipollino verde, pavonazzetto and giallo antico, as well more prestigious lithotypes as granito misio, porfido rosso and serpentino, can be traced back to Italy, Greece (mainland and Aegean islands), Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa. Particularly important is the earliest Roman in situ identification of breccia medicea. Compared to other Roman theatres in the Western Mediterranean, the Urbino theatre stands out for the sumptuousness of its marble renovation, especially in terms of the number of marble varieties. Like other Roman towns in central Adriatic Italy (e.g. Suasa, Trea and Urbs Salvia), Urvinum Mataurense shows a strong integration in the Roman Mediterranean marble trade, with a clear connection with the Greek/Eastern world.},
  author       = {Taelman, Devi and Delpino, Chiara and Antonelli, Fabrizio},
  issn         = {1296-2074},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE},
  keywords     = {Urbino,Roman theatre,marble provenance,breccia medicea,petrography,stable isotopes},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {238--250},
  title        = {Marble decoration of the Roman theatre of Urvinum Mataurense (Urbino, Marche region, Italy) : an archaeological and archaeometric multi-method provenance study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2019.03.009},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2019},
}

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