Limestone Learning Center

Marble with the classic marble look of powder white and grey veins

A Brief History of Marble

How Marble Made It’s Mark in History

Marble is a stone that has been loved for ages and ages. Many, if not most, cultures in the world have marble somewhere in their history. Marble comes from limestone that has been compressed and exposed to heat over time. Marble’s signature look of powder-pale white with stretched grey veins is what many people think of when they think of marble. Because of the popularity of that timeless look, that is what many people think of when they think of marble. However, marble can come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Keep reading to learn more about how marble made it’s mark in history.

Marble in Ancient Egypt

Though it was not milled in quantities as a great as limestone, some marble has been found within the tombs of pharaohs and high-ranking officials. The great pyramids are a sight to be seen outside of Giza, in Egypt. Marble vessels were placed within the kings’ tombs that held their organs, including their hearts and lungs, so that they would have them in the afterlife. The marble vials would be carved in the shape of sacred animals, inlaid with gold or other delicate carvings, and placed next to the king’s sarcophagus, which was also inlaid with marble, and/or gold. Marble and gold were the finest building and decorating materials in Ancient Egypt, and they were adored by all.

Marble in Ancient Greece

When one thinks of Ancient Greece, the first images that come to mind is probably men and women in togas, crowned with green wreaths, the Trojan War, and a parade of gleaming white marble. Ancient Greece, though, didn’t just use marble for fine homes and excellent public spaces. Marble was also used to create some of the most beautiful art for that period. The Venus de Milo is one of the most famous sculptures that has ever graced the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, and it was carved out of marble in Ancient Greece. Just like the sculpture, marble itself is a standard of beauty in Ancient Europe for buildings, and art.

Marble in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Europe’s love for marble survived the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire to make its way into the floors of  the most majestic cathedrals and palaces.  Marble was mined from different parts of different countries, milled, processed, carved, and carefully shipped to be loved by many. The finest homes, usually reserved for royal families, featured marble floors and marble fixtures, too. Marble fixtures like sinks and clocks would peak in popularity among the European bourgeois in the 19th century.

Marble in Renaissance Asia

The shining marble star of Asia is the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal is a gorgeous white marble mausoleum constructed in the mid-17th century by a king for his favorite wife. The structure is located near a river, and attracts thousands from all over the world every year.

Marble has made an impression in many places all over the world and continues to bring new love and light to homes.