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A dense, fine-grain sedimentary rock that is an intermediate between Shale and Slate. Argillite is composed of Clay and Aluminum silicate. It can be found in white, gray, and red colors. Some varieties split into slate-like sheets. Argillite has been used for sinks, counter tops, roofing, and walkways. Argillite is also known as a traditional carving material used by the Haidas, native Americans that inhabit the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. The stone is easily carved when moist, but brittle when dry.


Synonyms and Related Terms

argillyte; argellite; argillaceous slate;argilita (Esp.); argilito (Port.); argilliet (Ned.)

Resources and Citations

  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996 Comment: argillyte
  • Anne Grimmer, Glossary of Building Stone Terms, A Glossary of Historic Masonry Deterioration Problems and Preservation Treatments, National Park Service, Washington DC, 1984 Comment: argellite
  • Caring for your Collections, Arthur W Schulz (ed.), Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , New York, 1992
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998