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Fragment of marble, Cyprus, 246–222 BCE

Could this piece of stone once have been part of a Greek temple, or the base of an ancient statue? The carving on this stone is over 2,000 years old; the stone itself, millions of years. The block was dug up by archaeologists on the island of Cyprus, at Salamis.

Marble was a very valued stone in the ancient world, as it is today, admired for its beauty and hardness. It is a variety of limestone, formed millions of years ago by immense heat and pressure inside the Earth’s crust. The Greeks used marble to build statues and fine buildings.

Did you know?

Marble is not damaged by fire, wind or water, so a marble statue could last thousands of years.

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