Carbonate rocks in the Mediterranean region – from classical to innovative uses of building stone
José P. Calvo, Manuel Regueiro, 2010. "Carbonate rocks in the Mediterranean region – from classical to innovative uses of building stone", Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past, B. J. Smith, M. Gomez-Heras, H. A. Viles, J. Cassar
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Carbonate rocks are present in many geological formations of the Mediterranean region, thus having favoured their common use as building stone for the many civilizations that inhabited the area throughout history. The wide presence of carbonate rocks has been supplemented by a large variety of rock types that can be found in monumental, funerary and normal constructions. Five main carbonate rock types used as building stone can be differentiated: metamorphic marble; banded fine-grained limestone; shell limestone; travertine; and brecciated–nodular carbonate rocks. In most cases these carbonate rocks have been traditionally used, although new rock types are currently marketed. Nowadays, several Mediterranean countries are major producers of carbonate building stone that is marketed for its ornamental and decorative characteristics. Italy, Spain and Turkey are placed in high rank positions of the global carbonate ornamental stone market, whilst Greece, France, Croatia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia produce mainly for internal consumption.