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GIUSEPPE MONTANA

STUDIO ETNOARCHEOMETRICO DI MALTE AEREE A LEGANTE GESSOSO NELL’AREA DELLE MADONIE (SICILIA SETTENTRIONALE)

  • Autori: Montana, G.; Polito, A.; Randazzo, L.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • Parole Chiave: gypsum-based mortars, traditional kilns, Northern Sicily
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/72246

Abstract

The Madonie Regional Park, which covers an area of about 400 square kilometres, is an ideal context where environment and man activities are still mixed harmoniously. In the last years a variety of ethno-archaeometric investigations have been carried out in order to study various aspects of the "material culture" of this territory. In particular, the research was focused on the production of majolica which have had a great importance since the early decades of the 16th century thanks to the geolithological features of the Madonie area, particularly rich in clayey raw material. The traditional building techniques of the Madonie which involve several typologies of building materials (used for ordinary masonry, decorative elements, in the manufacture of artificial aggregates) were also influenced by the geological characteristics of the territory. In this direction, several studies have been recently organized in order to identify the ancient sources of raw materials and the reconstruction of the so-called "productive chain". The present contribution is aimed to the characterization of gypsum-based mortars locally made and widely employed on building tradition of the Madonie area. These were made using gypsum as raw material extracted in the same area and fired in special furnaces that today are testified only by few ruins. The examined samples are representative of gypsum mortars used on local stone-built structure. The study, enriched by documentary/ethnographic research on traditional kilns, locally called "carcare", was conducted by means of mineralogical and petrographic methods (XRD, optical microscopy and SEM-EDS) with the aim to characterize historic mortars in terms of composition and texture and recover the ancient recipes and also localize the source area of raw materials. The data obtained will be useful for planning the restoration (integration or replacement) of historic buildings in the area.