Macroscopic and Petrographic Analyses of the Mortars from the Roman villa of Noheda (Villar de Domingo García, Cuenca)

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The Roman villa of Noheda, located in the municipality of Villar de Domingo García (Cuenca), is one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain and one of the most important museum complexes in Europe. In recent years, several archaeological investigations have been developed (archaeometry of building materials, natural resources, ways and roads). Furthermore, various restoration and consolidation works have been carried out on structures, walls and floors. The archaeological management team requested a characterisation of the mortars found in the coatings of the walls and floors of the complex to identify differences in its production. After checking the rooms, the state of conservation of the elements and the significance of the materials used, several mortar samples were analysed by means of macroscopic techniques before applying a petrographic analysis. The results showed an interesting variety in the distribution of aggregates, a complex microstratigraphy and a range of grain sizes in the mortars from different rooms. Magnesium, silica and aluminium from limestone were found. Crushed and powdered limestone was used as an aggregate with irregular distribution. Calcite nodules were observed as evidence that the mortar had been poorly mixed in preparation.
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