EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Stone materials applied in funerary art in historical cemeteries in Brazil

Antônio Costa
Antônio Costa
  • Federal University of Minas Gerais, Geology, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (

In cemeteries dating back to the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth and forming part of the cultural heritage of Brazil is a great variety of stone materials applied. Integrating cultural tourism routes, these spaces can also be used for the dissemination of geological information. To study these applications, three were chosen and the most iconic being the Campo Santo Cemetery in the city of Salvador, State of Bahia, which dates from 1844. From the state of Minas Gerais, two were chosen. The oldest belongs to the Third Order of San Francisco, from the city of São João Del Rey and was opened in the first half of the nineteenth, while the youngest, the Bom Fim located in Belo Horizonte, dates from the early twentieth century. Among the applied materials, those of national origin and others imported were identified. In the first group stand out the green schists, granites and gneisses, while in the second marbles and limestones represent the most used rocks. From the group of marble and limestone applied stand out materials of Italian and Portuguese origin, which will be considered in this work. Of the Italians, the Carrara marbles are the most frequent, while of the Portuguese predominate the Lioz type, followed by Encarnadão and, more rarely, the Sintra Blue and Negrais Yellow, all from the Lisbon-Sintra region. In the studied cemeteries, the use of marble from Carrara predominates in the tombs of the Bonfim cemetery, while Lioz marble was the most used type in the production of tomb art in the other two, which often brings records confirming its production in companies located in Lisbon or in the city of Porto. For Lioz some of its main characteristics were confirmed, such as the frequent presence of rudist fossils and their calcitic composition, typical of types historically extracted in the regions of Pero Pinheiro and Sintra. It was generally identified as a microcrystalline limestone, bioclastic, with slight chromatic variations ranging from white to beige, rosy or pink cream, with the presence of yellowish stains. Following the Lioz, another Portuguese limestone called Encarnadão appears. For this type there are chromatic variations ranging from pinkish to reddish tones, passing through shades of salmon. The Lameiras type is identified by the reddish hues. Other features found, such as the presence of stylolites, were used to identify subtypes described in the literature, such as Encarnadão Chainette present in Salvador tombs, and more rarely in São João del Rey. Other Portuguese limestones, such as Negrais yellow and Sintra blue, extracted in the Lisbon / Sintra region, were observed in ornamental applications on tombs, mainly from Campo Santo Cemetery in Salvador. While the first one is characterized by the golden yellow coloration, the second one is distinguished by the bluish-gray coloration. With very rare presence can be mentioned the use of other limestone materials, such as the Arrábida breccia, present in ornamental details.

How to cite: Costa, A.: Stone materials applied in funerary art in historical cemeteries in Brazil, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2698,, 2020.