Three ancient marble quarries found in Greece, with unfinished columns

1665104800 Three ancient marble quarries found in Greece with unfinished columns 780x470 1

Three ancient marble quarries in the municipality of Caristo, on the island of Euboea. The discovery was made by the companies that carried out installation work for wind farms in the area.

The first quarry appeared near the road works to the wind farm located northwest of the town of Amigdalia. It presents two mining fronts, the first higher, carved in rows of natural rock. Carved rectangular blocks appeared here on-site as well as two partially finished columns, which were left incomplete when the quarry was abandoned, probably destined to form part of a temple.

The second quarry was found near the road to Trikorfos, with two mining faces and evidence of carving. A few meters to the east of the quarry, a gravel pile was found, the only material evidence of mining activity.

The third quarry discovered is located northwest of the town of Trikorfo, it is larger than the first and has three mining fronts in the shape of a rectangle open on one side. Three large piles of gravel appeared here, as well as rectangular stone blocks with carving traces situated on a slope, indicating that they were ready to be transported.

In the main area, three semi-finished columns appeared, one next to the other, and archaeologists believe that there may be more under the ground and surrounding vegetation. Also a small circular construction to collect water, covered with slate plates, which could have been used to wash tools.

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These ancient quarries exploited by both Greeks and Romans, according to Evangelia Maniatis, the archaeologist who directs the excavations, testify to the importance that the extraction of marble from Caristo had in ancient times in the economy of the island of Euboea. the famous caristian columns they take their name from this place, as Strabo mentions:

Caristo is at the foot of Mount Oque; and in its vicinity are Estira and Marmario. In Marmario are the quarries from which the Caristian columns come, as well as a sanctuary of Apollo Marmarino, the starting point to cross the strait and arrive at Halas Arafenides. In Caristo the stone is also extracted, which is spun and woven to make the towel cloth that, when stained, can be passed through the fire and cleaned in the same way that dirt is washed from a dress in the laundry (Strabo, Geography X–6)


Caristo marble was also known as Cipolin marble (i.e. onion stone), and could only be obtained on the island of Euboea. It is greenish-white in color, with thick undulating green veins. It was widely used in Rome from the 1st century BC, causing the quarries to become imperial property. They were also exploited by the Byzantines until well into the 5th century AD.

It is not the first time that half-finished columns have been found in quarries on the island. In fact, in the nearby town of Myloi there are slightly more spectacular.


Greek Ministry of Culture