Historical information

A granular metamorphic rock, marble is derived from limestone or dolomite and composed of calcite or dolomite interlocking grains. Heat and pressure from overlying sediments form it from limestone buried deep in Earth's crust. Graphite, pyrite, quartz, mica, and iron oxides can affect rock texture and colour.

This specimen was found in Carrara, Italy. Carrara marble is the most common marble found in Italy, and it gets its name from the region where it is located. The marble was also called Luna marble and was used as a decorative element in buildings and sculptures. It has been quarried since Roman times in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of Tuscany, just outside the city of Carrara in the province of Massa and Carrara.


Marble is one of the most popular and expensive rocks used in sculpture, architecture, interior decorations, statues, table tops, and novelties. It is available in various colors and textures depending on the chemical composition. The strength of the rock and its ability to hold finer details have made it a favorite among designers.

This specimen is part of a larger collection of geological and mineral specimens collected from around Australia (and some parts of the world) and donated to the Burke Museum between 1868-1880. A large percentage of these specimens were collected in Victoria as part of the Geological Survey of Victoria that begun in 1852 (in response to the Gold Rush) to study and map the geology of Victoria. Collecting geological specimens was an important part of mapping and understanding the scientific makeup of the earth. Many of these specimens were sent to research and collecting organisations across Australia, including the Burke Museum, to educate and encourage further study.

Physical description

A solid hand sized Marble (metamorphic rock) predominantly white with specks light grey and ochre