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Diagnostic Multidisciplinary Investigations for Cultural Heritage at Etna Volcano: A Case Study from the 1669 Eruption in the Mother Church at the Old Settlement of Misterbianco

  • Authors: Bottari C.; Capizzi P.; Martorana R.; Azzaro R.; Branca S.; Civico R.; Fucile M.; Pecora E.
  • Publication year: 2022
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Misterbianco is located on the southern flank of Mt. Etna (Unesco site), in eastern Sicily (Italy). This site, also known as Monasterium Album, has a long and tormented history linked with volcanic activity of Mt. Etna and regional sepismicity. This site received much attention in the 2000s when excavation works brought to light a 14th century church remains below the thick layer of the 1669 lava. This study documents the first diagnostic multidisciplinary survey performed at this site 350 years after the eruption: the investigations were performed by using techniques such as ground-penetrating radar, infrared thermography, a terrestrial laser scanner and a drone survey to analyze the site’s topography, to adequately map the hidden structures inside the building and to identify fractures and deformations in the church. Starting from the site history, we present the results of the multidisciplinary approach aimed at reconstructing the historical events that led to the damage in the church.