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Geoscientist Online

Global Heritage Stone

fsdyjThe designation of Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR) is intended to assist in the recognition of the materials from which so much of the ‘built heritage’ is constructed and to ensure their supplies for future projects (including restorations). The utility of the designation will depend, of course, on its relationship to local laws and regulations and, whilst such matters are discussed at length in some of the papers in this work, this reviewer was not convinced that a clear and unambiguous case (other than one of general worthiness) has been made.

According to the introductory remarks supplied by the editors, most of the papers included in this work reflect presentations made at the EUGS General Assembly in 2013, supported by contributions from other authors ‘enthusiastic about the concept’ of GHSRs (and the related designation Global Heritage Stone Province, GHSP, a geographical area containing two or more GHSRs). The responsibility for awarding these accolades falls to the Heritage Stone Task Group (HSTG), a joint project between the IUGS and the IAEG.

The guidelines and checklists designed by the HSTG are well-documented and contextualised in this work, but several of the papers necessarily(?) repeat these, an issue which this reviewer found somewhat irksome and one of the few negative points of the book. The papers vary greatly in length and technical detail and cover proposals for specific GHSRs, reviews of history and utilisation of specific rock types (shamefully this reviewer had to Google ‘Scottish rubble’….), the description of potential GHSPs (e.g. southern Slovenia and the Minas Gerais region of Brazil) and details of the variety of rock types used in particular settings (St Petersburg, the Via Roma of Turin).

The editors have done well in compiling such a broad range of papers and this has prevented the book from becoming a collection of rather sterile technical papers of specialist interest only. It is a compilation full of interest to the ‘general’ reader and this reviewer genuinely enjoyed reading it. There are detailed histories and descriptions of some old friends (larvikite, Carrera Marble) and many fascinating technical and historical details of stones and provinces which are surely poorly known to many readers of Geoscientist.

This could be an important volume to have to hand for those involved in geoheritage projects and many of its papers would be of interest to the more general reader, one who just ‘loves’ rocks (and who doesn’t….).

Reviewed by Trevor F Emmett

GLOBAL HERITAGE STONE: TOWARDS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF BUILDING AND ORNAMENTAL STONES  by D. Pereira, B.R. Marker, S. Kramar, B.J. Cooper and B.E. Schouenborg (editors). Geological Society Special Publication No. 407. Published by The Geological Society London 275 pp (hbk) ISBN: 9781862396852 List Price: £90.00. W: Bookshop .