The Asiatic marbles of the Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli

Attanasio D., Bruno M., Prochaska W., YAVUZ A. B.

JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE, vol.40, no.12, pp.4358-4368, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.06.032
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4358-4368
  • Keywords: Hadrian's Villa, Marble provenance, EPR, Isotopes, Strontium analysis, Goktepe, Docimium, PROVENANCE, DATABASE, WHITE
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Multi-method provenance studies, including petrographic, isotopic, electron paramagnetic resonance and trace chemical analyses, have been carried out on 20 white, 9 black and 1 red artifacts purposely selected to investigate the use and distribution of sculptural marbles at the Hadrian's Villa. A large fraction of the marbles tested (21 samples, 70%) are shown to be from Asia Minor, mostly originating from the recently discovered site of Goktepe near Aphrodisias (15 or 71%). All the 9 black samples investigated and 6 out of 11 white Asiatic marbles are from Goktepe, the remaining being Docimium marble from Iscehisar (4 samples) and Aphrodisias marble from the city quarries (1 sample). The single red sculpture tested proved to be Carian red marble from the Iasos quarries, whereas non-Asiatic marbles include 3 Carrara and 6 Pentelicon samples. The selection of marbles tested is preliminary and incomplete, but, despite this, the results are noteworthy, especially since the marble of other sculptures from the Villa has already been identified as Goktepe. Together with other published results, the marble distribution at the Hadrian's Villa seems to suggest that the use of sculptural marbles in the Roman world underwent considerable changes around the turn of the 1st and the 2nd century AD. The evidence supporting this hypothesis is briefly summarized in the conclusions. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.