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  • Writer's pictureТимофей Милорадович

History of marble

When you think of Italy, and especially Sicily, you immediately mentally see beautiful statues, ancient temples, churches and palaces created from marble, shining with beauty and purity.

The name "marble" comes from the Greek verb mármaron or marmáirein - "to shine, to sparkle." Since ancient times, this stone has been appreciated for its bright purity and radiance.

Marble is a precious and semi-precious stone of extraordinary beauty and a variety of colours and structures. You can watch these stones for hours, and you will not be bored.

Because it resembles a reflection of the sky, a picture or diagram of the universe, the sun and stars, forests and fields, mountains and rivers, fruits, leaves, trees. Your imagination will be inspired and come to life when you look at marble.

Therefore, nothing is surprising that at first the ancient Greeks, and then the ancient Romans, having carefully examined this stone, began to give a firm shape to everything valuable to them. So there appeared smooth roads and pavements, clean and durable water tanks, dishes for food.

Marble floors, ceilings and walls were clean and cool in the hot season, and they protected from wind and water in the cold season. Different types of marble were used for furniture, interior and exterior of buildings.

For sculptures, multicoloured marble was used, accurately depicting living real people. Marble is created by nature, and marble figures seem breathable.

The Romans liked to make sculptures, picking up coloured pieces of marble, for clothes - darker and faces and bodies - lighter. Roman statues look realistic and eternal at the same time.

In Sicily, mosaic floors and pavements are especially beautiful. They look like carpets made of multicoloured stone, give a feeling of cleanliness and comfort. You are at home, feeling easy and well in the streets, as well as in buildings.

It is safe to say that this shining stone protects people's health from harmful influences for hundreds and thousands of years.

People who have grown up in marble streets naturally become great aesthetes, masters of taste and connoisseurs of cleanliness and health.

Not everyone knows that Italians and Sicilians not only have excellent taste, but they are ones of the healthiest and cleanest people on the planet.

When you look at the game of shades of marble, it is very easy to start thinking about the universality of the laws of the universe, about the eternity and rationality of the organization of this world.

You discover ideas for your creativity and understand that beauty could not emerge from a meaningless accident. Everything in this picture is too harmonious.

Let's imagine the events that lead to the formation of marble. Somewhere at the bottom of the sea, hot streams of mineral-rich water come out from the faults, because the hot lava comes up close to the bottom.

Salts, carbonates, having cooled and calmed down in seawater, settle in the form of domes. Different types of marble contain from 50% to 98% calcium carbonate. Carbonates serve as a skeleton that bears inclusions of metals, getting coloured stone from dark red to green in all shades.

In the process of marble formation, substances brought by water from land get added. Now carbonate domes look like reefs populated by shells, molluscs and algae.

Century after century they become thicker, accumulating the layers in which debris, sediment and clay intersperse. Shifts in the earth's crust unexpectedly raise such a dome above the water.

The reef becomes a mountain under the sun and changes colour as if burned out. The stone acquires a shiny white, yellow and pink colour.

The creation of marble in nature looks like a universal scheme, reminiscent of any other natural process on earth. But all the more obvious is the greatness of the meaning of creating beauty from the substances of the underground, terrestrial, water and air kingdoms.

This is a complete transformation cycle that gives people ideas on how everything works on earth. Marble reflects the diversity of process capabilities. This is all in everything and each element in its place. Like everywhere in nature.

People in their world of ideas, trying to create system structures for organizing the exchange of data, energies and substances to solve their problems and produce useful products, draw tips for themselves in natural processes.

Natural neural networks also make up a picture that is reminiscent of marble. This is why natural marble so attracts the eye and enlivens the imagination. It remains to realize this and take note!

When you look at marble, thoughts of eternity naturally come. More precisely, about the eternity and universality of the laws of creation. And that is probably why the Romans received inspiration to realize the most daring ideas with the help of marble.

And in turn, the creation of marble values made the Romans what they were. Organized power, the greatness of harmony and order, subordinate to beauty, - read in Roman statues, theatres and palaces.

Because the extraction and processing of marble required great effort, skill and ingenuity. Cement was invented by the Romans for bonding marble slabs.

Blocks of marble were carved from the mountains and loaded onto oxen, which sometimes even died under the weight of stones. Later, marble began to be transported by boat and ship to distant countries of the East and Asia. The transportation routes were called marble.

In the Renaissance, new values made Italians look at their traditional craftsmanship differently. The mental model of the world has become different.

Instead of pagan columns, refined Christian cathedrals, churches and palaces appeared, which we still see in the squares and streets of Italy and Sicily.

Renaissance masters like Nicola Pisano and Michelangelo have worked with marble. To create new images in workshops in Italy often used material that was already in the streets.

It is very symbolic that the beautiful marble, which served a beauty and inspiration in antiquity, served the same in the Middle Ages and serves in our time, changing its shape.

Plates and smaller parts were carved from marble columns, the masons of Rome did that.

Later, gunpowder for mines was used for quarrying marble in quarries. But this damaged the stone and increased the amount of waste. Later, special saws and machines for loading and transportation were invented, the stone was transported by rail.

Marble with its natural beauty and structure is interesting in that it requires human intelligence when working with it if you use all the capabilities of a stone.

The advent of modern technology cannot supplant human labour in modern marble workshops; the competencies of masters accumulated over the centuries cannot be replaced by machines.

Working with marble makes people now as strong and organized as it did thousands of years ago.

One of the "newest" deposits of marble - in Sicily, is Mount Cofano, the nearest town is Custonaci. This marble is amazing, it is called the pink pearl or the pearl of Sicily for its pink-pearl colour, shimmering in shades.

This marble can be used in interior decoration, for sinks and bathtubs, as well as for external cladding.

The marble of Sicily creates an amazing sensation of warmth and tenderness, as does Sicily itself. Today, Sicily marble can be seen not only throughout Italy, but also in many countries of the world in the form of interior and exterior decoration in public and residential buildings. It is exported in the form of blocks and processed pieces, sheets and plates.

When I look at this marble, I want to smile, my mood is up. Healing effect.

Marble mining in Сustonaci looks relatively easy - they cut the mountain starting from the top using machines, saws with diamond wire, machine tools with computer equipment, and autoloaders.

It can be an interesting excursion for those who love construction and engineering, or simply would like to pick up material for finishing their buildings. Today, the most important buildings for life are made with this stone.

Sicilian stone seems to give a new reading of the biography of the earth and human culture, written in stone. You can see it, you can touch, learn more, coming here. Take a look how much tenderness and potential of this stone is revealed in buildings that are not made for the sake of narrow everyday goals, but for the joy of spirit and talent, for the sake of God, for the sake of love.


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