We may next take up the materials and
the technical processes of Greek sculpture. These may be
classified as follows:
(1) Wood. Wood was often, if not
exclusively, used for the earliest Greek temple-images,
those rude xoana, of which many survived into the historical
period, to be regarded with peculiar veneration. We even
hear of wooden statues made in the developed period of Greek
art. But this was certainly exceptional. Wood plays no part
worth mentioning in the fully developed sculpture of Greece,
except as it entered into the making of gold and ivory
statues or of the cheaper substitutes for these.
(2) Stone and marble. Various
uncrystallized limestones were frequently used in the
archaic period and here and there even in the fifth century.
But white marble, in which Greece abounds, came also early
into use, and its immense superiority to limestone for
statuary purposes led to the abandonment of the latter. The
choicest varieties of marble were the Parian and Pentelic.
Both of these were exported to every part of the Greek