It was highly prized by ancient Greeks for making sculptures. Some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture were carved from Parian marble, including the Medici Venus, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
The original quarries, which were used from the 6th century BC onwards, can still be seen on the north side of the island on the slopes of its central peak. The Parian's main rival in antiquity was Pentelic marble, which is also flawless white, albeit with a uniform, faint yellow tint that makes it shine with a golden hue under sunlight. It is today mined mostly on the neighbour island of Paros, Naxos, in the mountains near the village of Kinidaros.
Parian ware is an artificial substitute for marble, originally a brand name for a variety of unglazed biscuit porcelain, developed in 1842 in England. This is cast in moulds, typically for small busts and figurines, rather than carved.
- Venus de Milo
- Peplos Kore
- Lycian sarcophagus of Sidon
- Statue of Augustus from Prima Porta
- Hermes and the Infant Dionysus
- Parthenon's roof tiles
- Napoleon's tomb
- The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology, Timothy Darvill (2002)