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Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 317–336 | Cite as

Compositional study of mortars and pigments from the “Mosaico della Sala dei Draghi e dei Delfini” in the archaeological site of Kaulonía (Southern Calabria, Magna Graecia, Italy)

  • Domenico Miriello
  • Raffaella De Luca
  • Andrea Bloise
  • Luigi Dattola
  • Giuseppe Mantella
  • Flavia Gazineo
  • Alessandra De Natale
  • Maria Teresa Iannelli
  • Francesco Antonio Cuteri
  • Gino Mirocle Crisci
Original Paper

Abstract

This work focuses on the archaeometric study of mortars and pigments coming from the “Mosaico della Sala dei Draghi e dei Delfini”, the oldest and most complex Hellenistic mosaic of the Magna Graecia, located in the Hellenistic baths of the archaeological site of Kaulonía (Southern Calabria, Italy). From this mosaic, mortar samples belonging to different stratigraphic sequences and coloured filling mortars were analyzed through polarized optical microscopy (OM), microanalysis scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and Raman spectroscopy.

To study the executive technique and the typology of pigments used in the mosaics of the Magna Graecia, it was considered another mosaic of Kaulonía: the “Mosaico della Casa del Drago”, the first polychrome mosaic discovered in the ancient city, which represents the figure of the dragon. From this last mosaic, one sample of painted surface lime was collected and compared with the coloured filling mortars of the Mosaico della Sala dei Draghi e dei Delfini.

In addition, a sample of Jurassic limestone with red mineralizations, from the north of the city of Stilo, was sampled to study the provenance of the pigments used.

To this day, research has not yet focused on the compositional study of the Hellenistic mosaics of Kaulonía. For this reason, this work wants to give, for the first time, information about the executive techniques of these mosaics and the composition of mortars and pigments, increasing the knowledge on the production technology of the mosaic in the Hellenistic period and, in particular, in the archaeological site of Kaulonía.

Keywords

Kaulonía Magna Graecia Hellenistic mosaic Mortars Pigments Production technology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Soprintendenza Archeologia della Calabria that have supported this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenico Miriello
    • 1
  • Raffaella De Luca
    • 1
  • Andrea Bloise
    • 1
  • Luigi Dattola
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Mantella
    • 3
  • Flavia Gazineo
    • 3
  • Alessandra De Natale
    • 3
  • Maria Teresa Iannelli
    • 4
  • Francesco Antonio Cuteri
    • 5
  • Gino Mirocle Crisci
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia, Ecologia e Scienze della Terra (DiBEST)Università della CalabriaArcavacata di RendeItaly
  2. 2.Arpacal, Centro Geologia e AmiantoCastroliberoItaly
  3. 3.Giuseppe Mantella Restauro Opere D’ArteIsca sullo IonioItaly
  4. 4.Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly
  5. 5.Università Mediterranea di Reggio CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly

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