Alabaster is a pale mineral that's soft enough for carving, like marble. In museums, you're likely to see statues and vases carved from alabaster.
The root of alabaster is a Greek word meaning "perfume vase," alabastros. You'll also find ancient tomb carvings, windows in medieval cathedrals, and Egyptian sarcophagi made of alabaster. Alabaster is usually white, and because it is translucent, seems lit from within. For this reason, it often describes a pale complexion that seems to glow from the inside.