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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2011, Vol.38(11), pp.3060-3071
    Description: This work focuses on the petro-archaeometric analysis of several transport amphorae dated back from 4th to 2nd century BC which were found in various archaeological excavations recently carried out in Messina and Milazzo (north eastern Sicily). These amphorae, generally known as Graeco-Italic, raise the problem of the identification of their production areas. Petrographic analyses proved the presence of two groups characterised by the presence of coarse metamorphic or volcanic inclusions and one group with finer metamorphic inclusions. Multivariate statistical analyses made it possible to detect the production area of the amphorae with metamorphic inclusion in north eastern Sicily, comparing them with locally produced bricks and clay sediments cropping out near the ancient cities. On the contrary, the studied amphorae rich in volcanic inclusions have petrographic and chemical features which can be attributed to production areas in the Campanian region. ► Archaeometric analyses were performed on Graeco-Italic amphorae found in Sicily. ► The results have permitted to identify a production area located in north eastern Sicily. ► The importation of Graeco-Italic amphorae from the Campanian area were hypothised.
    Keywords: Graeco-Italic Amphorae ; Clayey Sediments ; Bricks ; Petrographic Analysis ; Xrf ; Multivariate Statistical Analysis ; History & Archaeology
    ISSN: 0305-4403
    E-ISSN: 1095-9238
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: X-Ray Spectrometry, March-April, 2014, Vol.43(2), p.83(10)
    Description: Byline: Germana Barone, Vincenza Crupi, Francesca Longo, Domenico Majolino, Paolo Mazzoleni, Simona Raneri, Valentina Venuti In this paper, a multi-technique approach, at different scale of observation, is used to characterize a group of decorative stones and to permit to distinguish rocks with similar aspect but coming from different areas. In particular, the samples under study are sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, widely used as building blocks of modern and historical constructions and sculptures. The petrographic and mineralogical features of such rocks were performed by optical microscopy and Raman and Fourier transform infrared absorbance spectroscopies. These techniques permitted to obtain a complete structural, textural, and mineralogical characterization. At elemental level, the investigation was carried out by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). In particular, XRF and Raman measurements were collected using portable instrumentations, whose advantages for the in situ analysis have been pointed out. The obtained results evidenced the high discriminant capability of the portable XRF for the decorative stones especially when this method is coupled with mineralogical and petrographic information. In this context, we propose to create a database for precious ornamental stones, which could be a starting point for a non-destructive characterization, even useful for provenance study and/or certification of origin. Copyright [c] 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Keywords: Metamorphic Rocks -- Methods ; Metamorphic Rocks -- Analysis
    ISSN: 0049-8246
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2010, Vol.37(4), pp.713-726
    Description: This work focuses on petro-chemical characterisation of the volcanic inclusions often found within the fabric of many ceramic remains from various archaeological sites in eastern Sicily. Petrographic observations and EMP analyses revealed that volcanic glass is strongly influenced by chemical modifications during the firing process, whereas clinopyroxenes keep their original composition unaltered thus constituting an effective tool for provenance attributions. Multivariate statistical analysis of the latter can in fact unambiguously discriminate between different productive areas by comparisons with pyroxenes from volcanics belonging to distinct magmatic provinces. The method proposed here was tested on ceramic remains of different ages and typologies found in southern Italy.
    Keywords: Pottery ; Clinopyroxenes ; Southern Italy ; Multivariate Analysis ; Productive Centres ; History & Archaeology
    ISSN: 0305-4403
    E-ISSN: 1095-9238
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2011, Vol.399(9), pp.3147-3153
    Description: We report on a non-destructive study of Sicilian ceramic fragments of cultural heritage interest, classified as “proto-majolica” pottery and dating back to the twelfth to thirteen centuries AD. The analytical approach used is based on the employment of two totally non-invasive spectroscopic techniques: X-ray fluorescence (XRF), using a portable energy-dispersive XRF analyser, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, using synchrotron radiation as a probe (SR-XAS). XRF measurements allowed us to collect elemental and spatially resolved information on major and minor constituents of the decorated coating of archaeological pottery fragments, so providing preliminary results on the main components characterizing the surface. In particular, we assigned to Fe and Mn the role of key elements of the colouring agent. With the aim of obtaining more detailed information, we performed SR-XAS measurements at the Fe and Mn K-edges at the Italian BM08 beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France). The experimental data were analysed by applying principal component analysis and least-squares fitting to the near-edge part of the spectra (X-ray absorption near-edge structure) to determine the samples’ speciation. From the overall results, umber, a class of brownish pigments characterized by a mixture of hydrated iron and manganese oxides, has been ascribed as a pigmenting agent. Figure Fe K-edge XANES spectra of selected proto-majolica samples and reference compounds (FeO, Fe3O4, Fe2O3, Fe+SiO2). D pigmented, L not pigmented.
    Keywords: X-ray fluorescence ; X-ray absorption spectroscopy ; Non-destructive methods ; Pigments
    ISSN: 1618-2642
    E-ISSN: 1618-2650
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  • 5
    In: European Journal of Mineralogy, June 2015, Vol.27(3), pp.267-267
    Description: It is now an established concept within the scientific community that an interdisciplinary approach is fundamental in studying the wide and complex universe of materials of Cultural Heritage, whose characterization needs adequate strategies in view of preserving art and archaeological artifacts. In this context, the Italian Gruppo Nazionale di Mineralogia (GNM) and Georisorse, Ambiente e Beni Culturali (GABeC), under the aegis of Societa Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia (SIMP), with the support of University of Catania, organized an International School on Innovative methodologies for the characterization, diagnosis and conservation of the Cultural Heritage, held in July 2014 in Catania and Siracusa (Sicily, Italy). Lectures were delivered by an international, interdisciplinary panel of experts; the school was attended by an international audience of 53 young researchers. More details about the school can be found in the website https://sites.google.com/site/schoolgabec2014/.
    Keywords: Lectures ; Cultural Resources ; Diagnosis ; Communities ; Culture (Social Sciences) ; Strategy ; Conservation ; Universe ; Ores and Raw Materials (MD);
    ISSN: 0935-1221
    E-ISSN: 16174011
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Applied Surface Science, 01 October 2013, Vol.282, pp.165-173
    Description: A self-cleaning photocatalytic coating based on TiO nanoparticles has been applied to and calcarenites. TiO sol was applied directly to the surface or after a SiO intermediate layer. Photocatalytic activity of the coatings (TiO and SiO /TiO ) was assessed under UV irradiation through methyl orange dye degradation tests. Good photodegradation activity and satisfactory compatibility between the sol and the surface of the investigated limestones is obtained. A self-cleaning photocatalytic coating for limestone materials, based on TiO nanoparticles obtained by the sol–gel process has been studied. TiO sol was applied directly to the surface or after a SiO intermediate layer. The selected test materials are the and the calcarenites, limestones of outcropping in the South Eastern Sicily (Italy). SEM–EDS, XRD and Raman investigations were carried out to characterise the TiO nanoparticles and coating. Nanocrystalline anatase and, to a lesser extent, brookite forms are obtained. To evaluate the harmlessness of the treatment, colorimetric tests, water absorption by capillarity and crystallisation of salts measurements were performed. Photocatalytic activity of the TiO colloidal suspension and of the coatings (TiO and SiO /TiO ) was assessed under UV irradiation through methyl orange dye degradation tests. The results show good photodegradation activity and satisfactory compatibility between the sol and the surface of the investigated limestones.
    Keywords: Sol–Gel Titania ; Nano-Sized Tio2 ; Limestone ; Self-Cleaning Coating ; Photocatalysis ; Anatase and Brookite ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0169-4332
    E-ISSN: 1873-5584
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  • 7
    In: X‐Ray Spectrometry, January 2013, Vol.42(1), pp.8-15
    Description: The preciousness of historical artifacts leads to the performance of nondestructive and/or microdestructive analyses, especially when the archeological finds are stored in museums. The PXRF spectrometry represents a powerful technique for the chemometric study of the materials, in alternative to the more usual destructive X‐ray‐based methods. A large set of limestones belonging to several formations cropping out in the Hyblean area (south‐eastern Sicily, Italy) was analyzed by means of a PXRF instrument. The main goal was to test the PXRF potentiality for the discrimination of rocks with similar features and to create a chemical database of carbonate rocks, which were commonly used in the past in the manufacturing of sculptures and stone artifacts. Fluorescence data were processed by means of multivariate statistical analysis. In particular, principal components analysis and linear discriminant analysis were applied. The results allowed us to classify the samples belonging to different formations and to distinguish different rock typologies within each formation. Finally, the investigation showed that the analytical PXRF data can be suitable for a substantial characterization of stone materials and this could be extended to museum materials belonging to cultural heritage. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Keywords: Museums ; Carbonates;
    ISSN: 0049-8246
    E-ISSN: 1097-4539
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Cultural Heritage, April 2012, Vol.13(2), pp.229-233
    Description: In the present work, an analytical characterization of painted plaster samples coming from ancient buildings dated back to 2nd cent. B.C., located in Licata (Sicily, Southern Italy), has been carried out. The investigation has been performed through different spectroscopic techniques: X-ray fluorescence (XRF) using an handheld energy-dispersive XRF analyzer, scanning electron microscopy equipped with an Energy Dispersive Spectrometry microanalysis detector (SEM-EDS) and Fourier transform infrared absorbance spectroscopy (FT-IR). The main goal is to identify the plaster and pigments material. In particular, the XRF investigation of surfaces is the first step for a preliminary elemental characterization. Then, through SEM-EDS measurements, a quantitative analysis of the chemical composition of the plaster and the pigmenting agents along with eventual components related to deterioration processes has been obtained. Finally, FT-IR absorbance spectra have proven to be a useful tool to investigate the molecular nature of the used materials.
    Keywords: Xrf ; SEM-Eds ; Ft-IR ; Plasters ; Pigments ; Visual Arts ; History & Archaeology
    ISSN: 1296-2074
    E-ISSN: 1778-3674
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Earth Sciences, 2011, Vol.62(6), pp.1263-1272
    Description: Noto is an important Baroque urban center in south-eastern Sicily, which was completely reconstructed after the severe earthquake of 1693. Most of its monuments and historic buildings were built in Pietra di Noto stone, a pale cream calcarenite, quarried in outcrops located near the city. This stone, still currently used as building material, is undergoing many forms of alteration and degradation, which cause significant damage to monuments. In this study, three commercial protective products were tested on some Noto calcarenite samples from quarries, with the aim of assessing their protective effectiveness. In particular, petrographic analyses by optical microscopy were carried out for textural characterization of the stone materials. Capillary water absorption, porosimetric and colorimetric procedures, UV radiation and salt crystallization aging tests were performed to better evaluate interactions between protective products and substrate.
    Keywords: Stone conservation ; Historic building materials ; Protective treatments ; Calcarenite ; Noto ; Sicily
    ISSN: 1866-6280
    E-ISSN: 1866-6299
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Rendiconti Lincei, 2015, Vol.26(4), pp.485-497
    Description: The excavations at Mount San Paolillo (Catania, Italy) led to the discovery of a Prehistoric site that still represents the most important evidence of Middle and Late Bronze Age settlement in this area. During the excavations, archeologists located a hut, a store for ceramic storage vessels, and a pottery workshop, all of which provided a large quantity of heterogeneous ceramics with apparent typological parallels in other areas of Sicily, such as Syracuse, Augusta, and Messina. A large number of specimens were selected in order to cover all the macroscopic types and the main classes. The results identified four petrographic fabrics. Most of the ceramics are characterized by abundant tempers consisting of volcanic rock fragments and occasionally of grog. Only a few samples contained common fine-grained quartz. The groundmass ranges from non-micaceous to very micaceous. In some cases, there is evidence of mixed clays. Analysis of the chemical composition of the ceramics revealed the existence of two groups with low and high CaO contents. The high Fe 2 O 3 content (more than 8.7 wt%) is probably due to the use of temper from altered pyroclastic rocks which are of local provenance as SEM-EDX data suggest, even if petrographic and chemical results suggest that different raw materials may have been used. The data provided by these archeometric analyses have made a significant contribution to the study of Middle and Late Bronze Age pottery from the Catania area, by offering insights into the methods, production processes, and high technical level of the prehistoric craftsmen.
    Keywords: Prehistoric pottery ; Sicily ; Petrographic analysis ; Chemical analysis
    ISSN: 2037-4631
    E-ISSN: 1720-0776
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