CURSO ONLINE EN DIRECTO - Un Imperio de mármol: piedras ornamentales y canteras en la Península Ibérica en época romana

30.Sep - 02.Oct

Cod. X78-20

Official language of the activity: Spanish

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Ornamental stones, and especially marble, were the material of choice for Roman architects, sculptors, decorators, epigraphists etc. They symbolised the luxury that had been achieved by the Empire, and this ornamental culture also found its way to the western reaches, the Iberian Peninsula, the inhabitants of which made use of it so that their cities would emulate the metropolis, Rome, as far as possible. The spread of ornamental stone succeeded in making Roman geography visually uniform, but it also activated some extraordinary machinery to mine materials, engage in trade, and encourage ornamental culture.

The best-known quarries are the Aegean's white marble deposits and the Arabian desert's porphyry resources, but there were quarries with many other types of rock the length and breadth of the Empire. Specialized research has now produced more accurate information. The composition of igneous and metamorphic rocks makes it possible to identify specific markers for each zone of origin, and this is now helping to gain a better insight into distribution networks and identify a singular heritage. In fact, the landscapes arising from mining activity, the quarries, provide a polyhedric vision with both aesthetic and archaeological components.

There can be no doubt that the Iberian Peninsula is now the scenario for the most advanced research in this field, and major quarries have been discovered at various geographic locations. These new contributions have made a considerable addition to knowledge of the utilisation of ornamental rocks on the peninsula in sculpture, epigraphic supports, cladding for buildings etc., and also the international networks trading in the most highly prized resources.

The Course will enumerate stone resources on the Iberian Peninsula in Roman times, focusing on the production cycle of the most representative ornamental rocks in a global examination from their extraction at quarries to re-use, and also dwelling on trade and the ornamental uses to which they were put.


To present a new line focusing on the Roman era of mining and manufacture of ornamental stones for buildings, public spaces and luxury objects.


Introduce the results of recent research into marbles and quarries on the Iberian Peninsula.


Map the production cycle of ornamental rocks in a global examination from their extraction at quarries to re-use, and also dwelling on trade and the uses to which they were put.

Activity directed to

  • University student
  • Students not from university
  • Teachers
  • Professionals
  • All public


  • Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia Gordailua
  • Irungo udala
  • Oiasso museoa
  • Streaming course
    • Art and Culture
    • History
  • 30.Sep - 02.Oct
  • Online streaming
  • Spanish
  • Academic Validity: 30 hours