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The stones of the Sanctuary of Delphi -Northern shore of the Corinth Gulf -Greece

Abstract : The choice of stones by the ancient Greeks to build edifices remains an open question. If the useof local materials seems generalized, allochthonous stones are usually also present but lead to obvious extracosts. The current work aims to have an exhaustive view of the origins of the stones used in the Sanctuary ofDelphi. Located on the Parnassus zone, on the hanging wall of a large normal fault related to the CorinthRift, this Apollo Sanctuary is mainly built of limestones, breccia, marbles, as well as more recent poorlyconsolidated sediments generally calledpôrosin the literature. To overpass this global view, the differentlithologies employed in the archaeological site have been identified, as well as the local quarries, in order tofind their origins. The different limestones are autochthons and come from the Upper Jurassic–Cretaceouscarbonate platform of the Tethys Ocean involved in the Hellenides orogen. Those limestones of theParnassus Massif constitute the majority of the rock volume in the site; a specific facies of Maastrichtianlimestone called“Profitis Ilias limestone”has been used for the more prestigious edifices such as the ApolloTemple. The corresponding ancient quarry is located few kilometers west of the sanctuary. Then, slopebreccia has been largely used in the sanctuary: it crops out in and around the site and is laying on top of thecarbonates. Finally, thepôrosappear to be very variable and seven different facies have been documented,including travertine, oolitic grainstone, marine carbonates and coarse-grained sandstones. All these recentfacies exist in the south-east shore of the Gulf of Corinth, although–except for the grainstone–the quarriesare not yet known
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Marilou de Vals, Renaldo Gastineau, Amélie Perrier, Romain Rubi, Isabelle Moretti. The stones of the Sanctuary of Delphi -Northern shore of the Corinth Gulf -Greece. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Société géologique de France, 2020, 191, pp.11. ⟨10.1051/bsgf/2020011⟩. ⟨hal-02865449⟩

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