Stanislav Houzar: Mineralogicko-petrografické odd., Moravské zemské muzeum, Zelný trh 6, CZ-659 37 Brno, e-mail:;

Karel Malý: Muzeum Vysočiny Jihlava, Masarykovo náměstí 55, CZ-586 01 Jihlava, e-mail:

Abstract: The marbles from the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands (Českomoravská vrchovina) were one of the most important raw materials in this region in the past. They were used since the Medieval ages, mostly to burn lime in local kilns; is some cases, they were used as a decorative or building stone; e.g., the Nedvědice and Žďár marbles were commonly used at the Pernštejn Castle, in the church in Doubravník, and in some buildings in Žďár nad Sázavou and Brno. Small artworks such as sculptures or crosses made of local marble also are significant in the region. In this paper, twenty small areas of marble occurrences (crystalline limestones and dolomites) and some individual localities are briefly characterized. Relatively recently, research has begun on the provenance of some marbles used in various historical buildings. Usually the most reliable information comes from archival sources (they often bring quality results, e.g. in the case of contracts for the supply of marble or lime) and old ethnographic publications. The information from mineralogical-petrological and geological research of individual marble localities is more recent. Some simple and inexpensive methods, such as data from geological maps, discrimination of calcite, dolomite and impurities by coloring methods (e.g. alizarin or CuSO4 • 5H2O) and fluorescence under UV light are quite useful. In particular, detailed research of mineral associations is recommended. Specific mineral assemblages, typical for the individual marble types, are the most important for determination of their provenance. In other cases, it is necessary to follow a detailed microscopic and especially chemical study of minerals (microprobe WDS method), or X-ray methods. However, the use of whole-rock chemistry, individual trace elements and stable isotopes C and O may be ambiguous due to the isotopic heterogeneity of most marble bodies. In such cases, a major problem is the lack of data from the original historic marble quarries. It is also necessary to distinguished marble samples from partially burnt pieces from limekilns.

Key words: marble source, historical buildings, provenance studies, methodology, Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, Czech Republic

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