Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Marble is metamorphic limestone that keeps traits of colour from white to variously patched or streaked with green, gray, brown, or red that maybe traced and identified to their origin. Traditionally marbles have been imported from Europe and those older found in Valparaiso originally came as ballast weight from places such as Carrara (white), Galway (streaked green), Novara (pink), etc.
Therefore, in Valparaiso you might find samples of diverse origin like those shown at the photos herein.
Halls of larger buildings, cemeteries and churches are the best places where these rocks maybe dated and identified. Valparaiso is full of them and they might be used to teach geology and history to its citizens.
Some of them are absolutely identifiable by its texture and colour. Others, require petrographic analysis. A typical example is found at the local cemeteries where everybody says that Carrara marble is the material used for all gravestone work. Nevertheless, as an example, there are historical and anecdotical records providing information about nitrate sailing ships carrying marble and cobblestones as ballast weight from the british islands to Valparaiso, Chile. The question left, where all that marble has gone?.