Deterioration of stone and mineral materials from the Roman Imperial “Cilla of the Antonines” at ancient lanuvium

Gregory A. Pope, Deborah Chatr Aryamontri, Laying Wu, Timothy Renner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The “Villa of the Antonines”, located at the 18th mile of the ancient Via Appia, is so far the least explored of the ancient Roman imperial residences in the area of the Alban Hills. Excavations at “Villa of the Antonines” permit an investigation of subsurface deterioration of cultural stone, addressing two primary questions: (1) What are the deterioration processes in the soil and sediment environment, and how do these compare to subaerial deterioration processes? (2) How might the deterioration impact other methodologies reliant on the analysis of the material, such as use and wear analysis, dating techniques, and provenience by chemical tracers? The deterioration characteristics of materials recovered thus far can be visually described. Marbles are discolored and exhibit a loss of polish and partial to extensive granular disintegration and powdering. Brick varies in color and composition due to manufacturing and material differences, but may also exhibit within-soil alteration. Glass tesserae exhibit frosting and pitting from chemical solution. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) reveals surface microdeterioration such as pitting, etching, and glazing. Qualitative backscatter electron microscopy (BSEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) indicate the distribution of elements, including byproducts of chemical deterioration, likely within the soil environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Geology for Society and Territory - Volume 8
Subtitle of host publicationPreservation of Cultural Heritage
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783319094083
ISBN (Print)9783319094076
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


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