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Paleo = a prefix that means "prehistoric" (as in paleontology) or "early or primitive" (as in Paleolithic).

Paleolithic = the oldest of the three divisions of the Stone Age, begins around 500,000 years ago and ends with the Mesolithic around 7000 BCE.

Paving = stone slabs on passage and chamber floors. In a megalithic tomb, when paving stones are superimposed on each other it may indicate several phases of use.

Paragon = a model of excellence or perfection

"Paragon" derives from the Old Italian word "paragone," which literally means "touchstone" and comes from the Greek "parakonan," meaning "to sharpen." The prefix "para-" means "before" or "beside" and is found in many English words including "paradox," "paramedic," and "parallel." The second half of "parakonan" comes from "akonï," meaning "whetstone."

Parian ware = Parian is a type of bisque porcelain. It was named after Paros, the Greek island known for its fine-textured, white marble of the same name Parian ware provided a lower cost alternative to carved marble. A notable advantage was that it could be prepared in a liquid form and slip cast into a prepared mould - a quality lending itself to mass production. Objects made in Parian ware tended to be busts and figurines such as might be carved from marble, and much more rarely dishes and small vases.

Perch = a traditional unit of volume for stone and other masonry. A perch of masonry is the volume of a stone wall one perch (16.5 feet) long, 18 inches high, and 12 inches thick. This is equivalent to exactly 24.75 cubic feet, 0.916 667 cubic yards, or about 0.700 842 cubic metres.

Petrichor = The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell. It would also be a good word to refer to quarry sap.

[From petro- (rock), from Greek petros (stone) + ichor (the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology).

Philosopher's stone = the philosophers' stone (Latin: lapis philosophorum) is a legendary alchemical substance, supposedly capable of turning base metals, especially lead, into gold; it was also sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality. The discovery of the philosopher's stone was known as the Great Work.

Numerous synonyms were used to make oblique reference to the stone, such as "white stone" (calculus albus, identified with the calculus candidus of the book of Revelation, and consequently taken to be a symbol of heaven). Many of the medieval allegories for a Christ were adopted for the lapis, and the Christ and the Stone were indeed taken as identical in a mystical sense.

Pluton = in geology a pluton is an intrusive igneous rock (called a plutonic rock) body that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies. In practice, "pluton" usually refers to a distinctive mass of igneous rock, typically kilometers in dimension, without a tabular shape like those of dikes and sills. Batholiths commonly are aggregations of plutons. The most common rock types in plutons are granite, granodiorite, tonalite, monzonite, and quartz diorite.

Nicolas Pisano = important 13th century Italian sculptor , Northern Gothic. Sometimes called the father of modern sculpture.

Porphyry = porphyry has the reputation of being one of the hardest stones to work. Michelangelo was said to try a piece but gave up. It is so named because of its typical colour, similar to purple. Traditionally porphyry was a rock extracted used in ancient Egypt and quarried from the mountain Jebel Dhokan in the Egyptian desert. In ancient times porphyry was used for columns and vases, sarcophagus, busts, etc. The Romans fell in love with the stone and exploited Egyptian quarries, using thousands of workers. Porphyry has always had a great symbolic value: the 'divine' emperors lived surrounded by porphyry: from being born in rooms clad with porphyry to being buried in a sarcophagus made of porphyry. Commercial interests today market various stones under the name porphyry.

Portal dolmen = rectangular burial chamber which is narrower and lower towards back, with two portal stones at entrance. Mainly Irish and Welsh.

Portal stones = large stones forming the entrance to a structure, usually a tomb.

Port-hole = a circular hole, often in entrance stone to chambered tomb, or made by semi-circular holes in facing contiguous stones. Also in orthostats and capstones. Some writers refer to the hole of the spirit to indicate the symbolic function of the port-hole through which the soul of the dead could come and go.

Placophobia = fear of tombstones.

Polyandrium = a cemetery. Originally a cemetery for the victims of great battles.

Pumice stone = pumice is a light, porous igneous rock, formed from the foam of lava. It is used as an abrasive in both solid and powdered forms, and as a powder it is much used as a polish for marble sculpture

Prehistoric stone work = prior to the discovery of steel, most stone work was done by abrasions of some sort after rough hewing of the stone with block hammers. Bronze, the hardest metal before steel, was too soft for anything but the softest of stones. The ancient Greeks used the ductility of bronze to trap small granules of carborundum, that naturally occurs on the island of Milos, thus making a kind of file for abrading stone.

Psephology = the study of elections and voting, and their statistical analysis in the prediction of results. (From Greek psephos (pebble) + -logy (study). The ancient Greeks used pebbles as ballots to register votes in elections. In fact, that's where the word ballot comes from. A ballot is, literally, a little ball (diminutive of Italian balla). Psephocracy, the word for a government decided by election, is related to pebbles.


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