Royston wrote: Pitch is one of the most useful and oldest building materials and, unlike the Dorset chalkland, is easily accessible in desert regions.
The Kimmeridge oil shale was used for making armlets in Iron Age and Roman times and this industry was on a substantial scale. Objects of Kimmeridge oil shale have been found on the continent, as far away as Switzerland. ... The Kimmeridge oil shale was used extensively by Iron Age British tribesmen and the Romans for armlets. These were made on a primitive lathe. The residual central disks are known as Kimmeridge coal money. Large numbers have been found. With one of them is shown a beach pebble of oil shale that I polished with carborundum paper and metal polish. This gives an idea of the polished appearance. It is easy to polish and the material seems to have been much valued in antiquity.
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Kimme ... tm#KOS-2-1
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