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Date stones = an old custom still common even today, in which a carved stone is incorporated into a new structure and indicating the year of construction. Often referred to as 'corner stones' and accompanied by some ceremony in the presence of an official person of note.

Detritus = loose fragments or grains that have been worn away from rock; debris; disintegrated or eroded matter: poetically: the detritus of past civilisations. [French détritus, -Latin detritus, from past participle of dterere- to lessen, wear away.]

Debris = in geology debris usually refers to large rock fragments left by glaciers, volcanic eruption, water flow, mud flows etc.

Diabase = (dolerite) is a mafic, holocrystalline, sub-volcanic rock like volcanic basalt or plutonic gabbro. In North American usage, the term diabase refers to the fresh rock, whilst elsewhere the term dolerite is used for the fresh rock and diabase refers to altered material.

Diamond wire = a twisted wire, designed in such a way that diamond fragments can be held in the twist, or attached with industrial adhesive. Used to cut stones.

Diastrophism = in geology refers to any distortion, dislocation or twisting. A general term for effects caused by the forces which have disturbed and dislocated the earth's crust, and produced the greater inequalities of its surface. The word diastrophic means of or pertaining to diastrophism. Diastrophism can be divided into orogeny or epeirogeny.

Dilapidate = a word that derives from the past participle of the Latin verb 'dilapidare' meaning 'to squander or destroy.' That verb was formed by combining 'dis-' with another verb, 'lapidare' - to pelt with stones. The Latin root of lapidare, 'lapis' means 'stone'.

Diorites = a variety of greenstone, consisting of hornblende combined with a triclinic feldspar , albite or oligoclase

Direct Carving = also called taille direct carving without recourse to accurate enlarging from preliminary models or maquettes, using devices such as pointing machines.

Disarticulation = Neolithic burial practice in which limbs were separated from bodies before final interment. It is not clear whether the bones were first de-fleshed, or whether fresh corpses were dismembered.

Dolerite = see diabase above

Dolina (or doline) = a depression or basin in a karstic limestone region, esp. one that is relatively extensive and funnel-shaped. These vertical cavities, also called swallow-holes, sink holes, or dolinas, are formed from the dissolution of the rock along crack lines or joint that then serves as channels for descending rain-water. The funnel-shaped hollows common on the surface of the karst are termed ponors. Many of these are largely filled with red earth, formed by the decomposition of the limestone. They are then known as dolinas, from the Russian word for valley.

Dolomite = is the name of a sedimentary, carbonate rock.

Dolmen = simple megalithic burial chamber with three or more uprights and one or more capstones. Any Neolithic monument consisting of a large, flat stone supported by two or more rocks (like a table). It used to be believed that such monuments were altars for human sacrifice or cannibal feasts. With the advent of modern day grave-robbing and archaeology, dolmens were discovered inside of burial mounds with the supposed meal underneath the table. Science concluded that they formed a vault and supposed that exposed versions were either incomplete tombs or windblown remains. Cromlechs and dolmen is the same thing, but since French is considered more chic than Welsh, the latter term is preferred by the scientific community these days.

Dressing = to prepare the face of a block.

Drill = to drill is to bore a hole into some material,and the drill is the implement that does so. The earliest spiral or twist drill was the bow drill. Eventually other sources of energy, such as compressed air or electricity were adapted to produce the required rotary action needed. The rotary drill might abrade the material or slice off thin amounts as it creates the hole. The rotary drill can sometimes be adapted to have an additional impact, as in the hammer drill. Special drills, like the stone core drill cuts a circular hole leaving an intact stone plug.

The traditional stone drill is a different tool: it is a cruciform chisel hit with a hammer at a 90% angle to the stone and rotated slightly with each blow of the hammer. It crushes the stone as it makes the hole.

Drove = a masons chisel, the drove is a tool used to smooth off roughly finished stones. When first cut from the quarry, stones frequently have large grooves, droves, left from the splitting process. The droving chisel is used for the next stage, rendering flat the surface of the stone.

Drumlin = a long, narrow, whale-shaped hill of gravel, rock, and clay debris, formed by the movement of a glacier.

Dry stone walling = walling built without any cementing material. The stones are arranged carefully in courses, with many smaller stones filling the gaps between as needed.

Dun = a Gaelic word meaning a fortified place; to archaeologists a dun is a small dry stone fort, usually dating to the Iron Age or later, and found mainly in the west of Scotland.


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