Micro-Raman characterizations of Pompei'smortars



The ancient town of Pompei offers a unique opportunity to study in detail many aspects of the every day life during the Roman early imperial age. The application of micro-Raman spectroscopy can be of great help in performing a reasonably rapid comparative analysis of the mortars, quite useful to ascertain the degree of uniformity of the technical recipes among the various building firms and the eventual technical evolution in the time; moreover, the individuation of minerals of specific geographical origins can give useful information about the extension of commercial intercourses. An example of a micro-Raman investigation on building materials is reported in this work, concerning the analysis of the mortars coming from different points of the wall in the ‘The House of the Wedding of Hercules’. Remarkable differences between ancient and modern mortars are found, allowing a discrimination that can be useful in the case of historical building which underwent several restoration works. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.