Alabaster of Volterra: An Easy to Model Stone Formed Thousands of Years Ago

Dec 07, 2022 204

BY: Laura Morelli

Since ancient times, the people of central Italy have mined alabaster from the hills of the Tuscan countryside. The ancient Etruscans prized alabaster for its durability over centuries, not to mention its beautiful coloration, natural veining, and luminous effects when held up to the light. It has long been used to craft vases and urns, small decorative objects, as well as larger sculptures.

Alabaster was the Etruscans’ material of choice for cinerary urns sculpted in honor of their ancestors and designed to hold their ashes. Today, the ancient Etruscan city of Volterra, southwest of Florence, remains a center for alabaster craftsmanship. 

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