Monday 3 January 2011

Article: The source of stone building materials from the Pompeii archaeological area and its surroundings

I've just been sent a copy of this new paper on Pompeii's building materials:

Pia Kastenmeier, Giovanni Di Maio, Giuseppina Balassone, Maria Boni, Michael Joachimski and Nicola Mondillo - The source of stone building materials from the Pompeii archaeological area and its surroundings, p. 39-58.
Abstract - This work is part of a large-scale survey carried out by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI) of Berlin, which aim to locate the sources of raw building materials employed throughout various archaeological sites on the Sarno River plain (Pompeii, Nuceria, Stabiae, Longola, etc.) while also reconstructing the paleo-environments of this area during the Olocene. The present paper reports the preliminary results of a multidisciplinary project on the ancient stones used for construction in the town of Pompeii and other archaeological areas nearby (6th century B.C.- A.D.79). The building stones used in these areas (volcanic and sedimentary carbonate rocks) have been analysed for their geological, mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical features and have been compared to rocks cropping out on the Sarno River plain - the possible provenances for these building material. Our data indicate that most of the stones employed for the edifices in Pompeii and other related archaeological sites between 6th century B.C. and A.D. 79 originate from local quarries, mainly situated in several localities on the Sarno River plain itself and in surrounding areas.

It is also well worth looking up the website of the journal this article was published in - Periodico di Mineralogia - as this is not the only Pompeii/Vesuvius article they have included, and wonderfully it looks as if most things are free downloads!

1 comment:

Eric Poehler said...

I recently read this article with great interest and feel compelled to congratulate Pia et al. for a great contribution to both (a much desired) scientific clarity in our vocabulary of stone types as well as very interesting new data set on sourcing such stones.

My only complaint is a self-interested one: only one street paving stone was used in the data! Were more tested? Will more be tested?


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