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GPR investigations at San Nicolò Church: a case-study from the 1669 eruption in the old settlement of Misterbianco (Etna, Sicily)

  • Autori: Bottari C.; Capizzi P.; Martorana R.; Civico R.; Canzoneri A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2024
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Misterbianco, located on the southern slope of Mt. Etna (eastern Sicily), was destroyed in the past by two catastrophic events that raised the old town to the ground. The first was the great eruption of 1669, whose lava front buried dozens of villages encountered along its path, entirely destroying the architectural heritage of Etna's southern flank. The second event was the disastrous 1693 Val di Noto earthquake, which caused major destruction throughout south-eastern Sicily, also damaging the few still standing buildings in the town. The GPR survey performed at this site, 350 years after the eruption, allowed a first attempt of planimetric reconstruction of the San Nicolo Church. Starting from the site history, we present the results of an integrated approach that involves history, volcanology and geophysics aimed at addressing future archaeological excavations for the protection of archaeological and monumental assets in a difficult setting as this volcanic environment.