Materiales de Construcción, Vol 62, No 305 (2012)

Archaeometric investigation and evaluation of the decay of ceramic materials from the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pavia, Italy

M. Setti
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy

A. Lanfranchi
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy

G. Cultrone
Departamento de Mineralogía y Petrología, Universidad de Granada, Spain

L. Marinoni
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy


We performed an archaeometric study of the ceramic materials from the façade of the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pavia (Italy). We obtained useful information about the firing temperatures, the provenance of raw materials and the type of oven used. The ceramics used in the façade are mineralogically rich in quartz, feldspar and phyllosilicates, and newly formed calcium silicate phases were detected in some samples. Microtextural observations revealed the presence of incipient reaction rims, phyllosilicate sintering and partial vitrification of the matrix. Ceramics show high porosity (32 to 45%) and pore sizes of between 0.4 and 1.3 µm. Our study of the different types of decay collected on the façade of the church (green and black patinas and efflorescences) revealed the presence of gypsum, whewellite, thenardite and moolooite.


Ceramic; Petrography; Pore size distribution; Decay

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