In Morocco, in 2002 a week was spent on a guided tour of the main cities, Marrakesh, Fez, and Rabat, with half a day at Volubilis, described as ‘the most remote base of the Roman Empire’. From memory and from photographs there is no sign of large amounts of cipollino marble or indeed of any fragments. Nor are there any specific references. ‘Volubilis is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a large Roman town on the fringes of the empire. The archaeological remains of several civilizations are to be found there, representing all the phases of its 10 centuries of occupation, from prehistory continuously through to the Islamic period. The ruins of Volubilis, which consist of no more than half of the original town, are located on a commanding site at the foot of the Jbel Zerhoun, bordered by two wadis, Khoumane and Ferdasa. The buildings of Volubilis are for the most part constructed using the grey blue limestone quarried nearby on the Zerhoun massif. They are notable for the large number of mosaic floors still in situ. Although they do not attain the artistic level of other North African mosaics, they are lively and varied in form and and subject matter’.3
However, here again Lazzarini refers to ‘the use of cipollino, (this time) for cornices, generally of few centimetres in height, most commonly in sectilia, and almost ubiquitous in the Roman Provinces, even the most distant, such as can be found at Sala, present day Chellal (not far from Rabat, Morocco) and at Palmyra, one a city on the extreme western boundary, and many other cities on the eastern fringe of the Roman Empire’.4
3 Archaeological Site of Volubilis – UNESCO World Heritage Centre http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/836 16/11/2011
4 Lazzarini, L., 2007, p.185.