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Eurolithos Newsletter No. 4 - Sept 2021

what left to do

Smile, partners!" Tom Heldal and other Eurolithos consortium members met on September 20 to agree upon a time plan to complete the remaining actions before the project ends on October 31. Some of the most important deliverables left are Eurolithos atlas (map services and country atlases (WP3), uploading of the directory of ornamental stone resources (WP4), guidelines for assessing heritage values of ornamental stone resources (WP5) and functional harvesting system for national databases to the EGDI platform (WP6). 

The consortium also discussed the scientific volume to be published early 2022 in the NGU Bulletin series. 

Consortium members meet on Teams 20 September. Valentina Cetean, Head of GeoResources, Geological Institute of Romania,  encourages partners: Smile everyone: Eurolithos has a lot to contribute!


In collaboration with another GeoEra project, Mintel4EU, Eurolithos made a test case for the application of the UNFC to ornamental stone resources. The study explores how the UNFC method can be applied in a holistic way for a specific Norwegian resource, the larvikite, which is employed as an ornamental stone all over the world. By combining geological, environmental and land-use planning data, UNFC categories are defined for this particular resource. We hope this methodology can have qualities for application also at other sites.

Six types of larvikite: Polished slabs, each approximately 15 cm wide. Black and pale larvikite are not currently in production.


WG5 has completed 7 of the 12 proposed case studies to identify tools to assist in the valorisation of stone resources – and aims to complete more. Such tools can lead to the development of policy that will ensure better recognition of stone-built heritage, improved conditions for SME's and better protection of stone resources in land-use planning. In addition, the case studies help WG5 to develop brief guidelines for best practice, to be completed by October 2021.

Assessment of large quarry landscapes (Iddefjord granite quarry, Norway)

Responsible: NGU -- Author: Tom Heldal -- Theme: Value assessment


The author outlines several concepts for assessing non-economic values of large quarry landscapes, ranging from their connection to built heritage to the historic landscape and as well their role as markers of key historical events.


Refer to the full case study and/or view this short slide show.

Download pdf

The montage on the left represents the use of the Iddefjord granite used for the world-famous Vigeland sculpture park in Oslo and how it adds to the value of the resource. Clockwise from the left: the Monolith sculpture, the granite block's transport container, and the mini-museum found today at the quarry site.


Montage left: Măgura hill has been confirmed to be the

main source of stone for the World Heritage site: the Dacian fortresses of the Orastie mountains (from Case Study)

Heritage assessment of a historical quarry (Magura Calanului, Romania)

Responsible: Geological Institute of Romania; Author(s): Valentina Cetean, Aurora Pețan: Theme: Value Assessment

The site of the Dacian fortresses achieved Unesco World Heritage status in 1999. However, the source of the stone – the 'geosite' Măgura Călanului quarry - lacks the designation as a protected site. The authors describe the need for a detailed, systematic and meta-disciplinary study of the quarries to demonstrate how the resource is connected to historical-cultural monuments. Other Eurolithos participants could contribute by identifying key sites in their country and sharing experiences with other members. Such shared experience could be the basis for conservation policy for quarries linked with a regions cultural history. 

Download pdf 

Magura Calanulia

Heritage assessment of quarry landscapes (Pučišća, Brač, Croatia)

Responsible partner(s): HGI-CGS--Author(s) –Željko Dedić, Marija Horvat, Vlatko Brčić --Theme: Value assessment


Location of the ancient and today quarries near Pučišća, the island of Brač, Republic of Croatia

HGI-CGS led this case study that explored a system of best practices in the identification, description, and interpretation of features of quarrying. The limestones quarries in Brač and quarry landscape were investigated and characterised along several axes: geology, history, crafts and technology and impact on the landscape. The authors argue for the conservation and management of quarries in Brač; Plate, Stražišće and Rasohe and the designation of the quarry landscape as cultural heritage. 

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Open data solutions for linking ornamental stone resources with buildings (Trondheim, Norway)

Responsible partner: NGU -- Author(s): Tom Heldal, Kjersti Mølmann -- Theme: Stone in constructions 

The connection between stone constructions and the employed ornamental stone resources is crucial for future maintenance and restoration activities. In addition, these connections will enhance locally sourced stone resource production that can contribute to sustainability and ensure that future constructions are in harmony with local and traditional material use. The authors consider an open data solution that can better determine the link between stone constructions and the stone resource. Making this connection more recognisable is a crucial part of the resource's intrinsic value. 

Download pdf

Survey123 application “Stone in construction.”

Open data

Traditional crafts in modern stone production (Norway)

Responsible partner: NGU -- Author(s): Tom Heldal -- Theme: Stone in constructions 

This case study shows that traditional crafts dating back to 11th century are still essential for the production of the Oppdal schist. Even though advanced technology is employed in schist processing, traditional crafts are needed for several modern-day applications. The author analysed the numerous steps in the schist production, which represents a craft that needs further documentation, attention and preservation. The analytical methods applied could be transferred to other sites as a part of the value assessment

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Traditional Craft

Splitting of slabs along the thin mica layers

Sustainable exploitation of ornamental limestones in Maciço Calcário Estremenho (Portugal)
Responsible partner: LNEG -- Author(s): Jorge Carvalho; José Vitor Lisboa -- Thematic focus: Sustainability and ornamental stone


Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros (PNSAC) is one of the world's most important sites for producing ornamental limestones. Is it possible to balance the need for continued extraction of ornamental stone while considering conservation in a nature reserve? 

Value or relevance classes are assigned after characterising an area's geological, ecological, and geological heritage aspects. After this joint valorisation activity, decisions on management and extraction are made on a case-by-case basis.

The authors conclude that the "key to the success of this case study was the development of a partnership between the association representing the extractive industry and the Portuguese environmental authority."

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Examples natural heritage subjected to protection measures in at a Portuguese national park – Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros


Best practices of natural stone valorization for the preservation of stone-built heritage: the case of platy limestone as a characteristic element of cultural landscape along the Eastern Adriatic coast

Responsible partners: Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), Croatian Geological Survey (HGI-CGS) -- Thematic focuses: Ornamental stone resource value assessment, Stone and built heritage -- Authors: Matevž Novak and Snježana Miletić (GeoZS)

The authors describe the need for sustainable stone use in the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region to allow for stone extraction while preserving the cultural and natural landscape. Legislative changes could make the local natural stone available for restoration projects in selected areas. A White Paper for Sustainable Tourism had been drafted pointing to legislative changes needed to protect the stone heritage in the region.


Amendments to legislation are urgent to ensure natural stones can be extracted and used for the preservation of stone heritage buildings.

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Typical architectural elements of cultural landscape of the Eastern Adriatic coast. Reproduced from Novak (2015)

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Please help to develop and keep this newsletter vibrant by sending all your news and views, meeting announcements, links to recent publications, photos, etc. to Anne Liinamaa-Dehls

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166

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