Like all ancient peoples, the Romans used the natural materials available to them to build and decorate their buildings. Among these natural materials were the stones that were most easily obtainable, such as Nocera tufa, Sarno limestone, and volcanic rock.
With the conquest of Greece and Asia Minor, however, came the importation of marble and precious stones, which became increasingly widespread in public and private architecture.
This phenomenon can also be observed in Pompeii, where the originally-used local stones were gradually replaced with marble and other colored stones. The highly-prized texture of marble was also skillfully imitated with painting techniques.