Analytical characterization of ancient mortars from the archaeological roman site of Pisões (Beja, Portugal)


The analytical characterization of mortar samples from the roman archaeological site of Pisões, located in Southern Portugal, were carried out by means of X-ray diffractometry (XRD), thermogravimetry (TGA-DTA), optical and electron scanning microscopy (SEM-EDS), potentiometry and combustion analysis. The Pisões archaeological complex includes a villa rustica, characterized by well-preserved mosaics and thermal baths, as well as a mill and a mausoleum. Countryside villae epitomized the Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula for over six centuries (2nd century BCE–4th century CE). Nevertheless, most of the Roman villae identified in Portugal have not yet been systematically explored and studied. This study provides valuable data on the construction materials and techniques used in Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula. The careful selection of raw materials and the use of natural and artificial pozzolanic materials can explain the favourable state of conservation, mechanical strength and long-term durability of these mortars. 

BORSOI, G.; SANTOS SILVA, A.; MENEZES, Priscila; CANDEIAS, A.; MIRÃO, J. Analytical characterization of ancient mortars from archaeological roman site of Pisões (Beja, Portugal). Construction and Building Materials, v.204, p.597-608, 2019.

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