25 January 2010

Ancient floor mosaics' substrate (2009)

Title: Study of materials and technology of ancient floor mosaics' substrate
Author: Vincenzo Starinieri
University: University of Bologna (Italy)
Year: 2009
Type of document: PhD thesis
Download: http://amsdottorato.cib.unibo.it/... (pdf, 4.6 Mb)

Ancient pavements are composed of a variety of preparatory or foundation layers constituting the substrate, and of a layer of tesserae, pebbles or marble slabs forming the surface of the floor. In other cases, the surface consists of a mortar layer beaten and polished. The term mosaic is associated with the presence of tesserae or pebbles, while the more general term pavement is used in all the cases. As past and modern excavations of ancient pavements demonstrated, all pavements do not necessarily display the stratigraphy of the substrate described in the ancient literary sources. In fact, the number and thickness of the preparatory layers, as well as the nature and the properties of their constituent materials, are often varying in pavements which are placed either in different sites or in different buildings within a same site or even in a same building. [...]

Table of contents (compact version):

1. Introduction
1.1. Definition and relevance of the topic
1.2. Objectives of the research
2. Theory
2.1. The mosaics‟ substrate in the ancient treatises
2.2. Modern studies on mosaics‟ substrate
2.3. Mosaic conservation: an overview of the modern practice
2.4. Definition of mortar
2.5. Components of a mortar
2.6. Types of mortar
3. The Case Studies
3.1. Introduction
3.2. The ancient city of Dion
3.3. The “Villa Romana delle Muracche” in Tortoreto
3.4. The archaeological area of St. Severo, Classe
3.5. The “Cortile Romano” in the Archaeological Museum of Florence
3.6. The Palace of Aegae in Vergina
4. Materials and Methods
4.1. In situ analyses and sampling
4.2. Laboratory analyses
5. Results and Discussion
5.1. Results of the analyses
5.2. Discussion
5.3. Practical application of the results
6. Conclusions
6.1. Results of the research
6.2. Suggestions for further work

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