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The appellation ‘Belgian black “marbles”’ usually designates dark fine-grained limestones present in the Paleozoic substrate of south Belgium. They have been extracted mostly in Frasnian (Upper Devonian) and Viséan (Lower Carboniferous) strata, in various different localities (Namur, Dinant, Theux, Basècles, Mazy-Golzinne among others). Nearly devoid of fossils and veins, they take a mirror-like polished finish, with a pure black colour. These limestones were already known during Antiquity but were only intensively exploited from the Middle Ages. Many different uses were made of these stones, for architecture, decoration or sculpture, in religious or civil contexts, following all the successive styles,...

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