The reason for supplying only Mons Claudianus granodiorite (granito del foro) to special Roman projects becomes clear in the following excerpt:
"In Egypt, only one outcrop was considered, the granodiorite of Mons Claudianus. Grey 'granitic' rocks are also found in limited outcrop in Calabria in southern Italy. They are extensively altered and rarely usable. Plutonic rocks outcrop in Macedonia and Thrace. Those in Macedonia are again very altered, but workable material is to be found to the east of Xanthi, although the rock has a pink tinge which usually serves to distinguish it from the granito del foro.
The distribution of Mons Claudianus granodiorite is curious. Far from the pan-Mediterranean diffusion previously suggested, it appears to have a very tight and restricted usage.
It is certainly present in Diocletian's Mausoleum in Split. All the remaining positive identifications are in Rome and in Hadrian's Villa just outside Rome. What is more, if we exclude the secondary usage in the churches and palazzi of Rome, Mons Claudianus rock appears to feature only in the more imposing public buildings, Trajan's Basilica Ulpia being a prodigious example.
The distribution and restricted use contrasts markedly with that of other great decorative stones such as the granite from Aswan, or marble from the Cipollino quarries in Euboea, all of which suggests that Mons Claudianus may have been a rather special stone, perhaps restricted to the emperor himself.
The relationship seems to be reflected in the written evidence.
A number of ostraca from Mons Claudianus suggest that finished artefacts were to be reported to the procurator caesaris (information from A. Bulow-Jacobsen). If this is the case, the rock seems to have been the subject of an imperial monopoly, and quite distinct from other stones involved in the Imperial ratio marmorum or 'marble bureau' in Fant's (1992) apt translation."
Peacock et al 1994
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Post Edited (17-Jun-15 01:55)