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ARCHAEOMETRY

 
Research Group: Vincenzo Morra (Responsible), Piergiulio Cappelletti, Alberto De Bonis, Vincenza Guarino, C. Rispoli, S.F. Graziano C. Di Benedetto
 

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Where does this amphora come from? How was it fired? What are the raw materials used to produce it? These are some of the questions that archaeologists ask when they discover an ancient ceramic artefact. Geologists can answer them through archaeometric investigations. Archaeometry (literally, the measurement on ancient objects) consists of the application of scientific techniques to the analysis of archaeological materials and of cultural heritage goods.
Researchers at the DiSTAR have been involved for a long time in the mineralogical and petrographic investigation of ceramic materials (tableware, cooking ware, amphorae, bricks, etc.) and related raw materials, as well as stones (stone tools). The main aim of these studies is the identification of the production sites of the artefacts and the retracing of commercial and cultural exchanges between ancient populations. But not only this: for example, archaeometric investigation can make it possible to reconstruct the conditions for the production of ancient ceramic artefacts, including firing temperatures and the treatment of the raw materials (levigation, use of temper), chosen according to the end-use of the products.
The materials studied by the DiSTAR research group are dated from prehistory to the Middle Ages and come from several archaeological sites in Campania, including Cuma, Naples, Pompeii, Ischia, Benevento, Caudium, Cales, Alife, Fratte, Pontecagnano, Paestum, Moio della Civitella, as well as from extra-regional contexts, such as Pian della Tirena, Laos and Santa Severina in Calabria and Scarlino in Tuscany. In addition, many are the investigated artefacts coming from Asian and African sites, such as Aksum (Ethiopia), Adulis (Eritrea), Kassala (Sudan), Friday Mosque (Isfahan, Iran), Dahan-i Gulaman (Sistan, Iran), Koj Tepa (Samarkand, Uzbekistan).
 
 
Mortars and plasters
Along with the studies on ceramic materials, the research group on geomaterials (in parallel to archaeometry) is also active since late 80’s in the study and the characterization of another important sector of geomaterials: mortars and plasters. As regards the study of these materials, products realized form the transformation (aerial and hydraulic binders) and the use of geological products (aggregates), the analytical techniques are once again those typical of rocks: thin section study (microscopy polarized light) and stratigraphic (binocular microscope), RX diffraction, FT-IR spectroscopy, especially for the characterization in the sector of cultural and archaeological materials. Indeed it is important to know which ones were the traditional materials used historical, monumental and private building sector, both as regards the techniques of preparation of the mortar, but especially for the identification of the pigments of mineral origin used for the realization of the paint layers . There are many examples of studies from the DiSTAR in this area, including the implementation of Piano del Colore of the city of Naples and the study of mortars and plasters of the Roman villas of Stabia (Villa Arianna, Villa San Marco) and the study carried out in collaboration with prestigious American universities (UC Berkeley, Dr. M. Jackson) and Italian industries (Italcementi and CimProgetti, dr. G. Vola) in the project ROMACONS for the characterization of Roman concrete (using pozzolana and Neapolitan Yellow Tuff) used for the realization of important ports of the Mediterranean area (Alexandria, Kersonisos and Baia among others)
Also the line for the characterization of materials used in the construction sector, with the possibility of characterization (according to the different UNI standards) both of geomaterials used as inert (Los Angeles and MicroDeval tests)and the characterization of concretes and mix design with lightweight aggregate (ALE, lightweight aggregates foams) produced from waste products of other technological sectors (sludge from sawing and polishing of ornamental stone and ceramic materials), the latter project also allowed the realization of a patent trademark. Important collaborations are active with Italian (ISTEC-CNR, dr. M. Dondi, dr. C. Zanelli) and international (ISIM, ing. P. Marone) research institute
 
Tobermorite from Pompeiopolis harbour. A: SEM image of platy crystals; B: SEM image of acicular crystals
 
Concretes from Roman harbour: A: Calcite grains; B: Calcite grain, BSE image (POM 12)
 
The group works with geologists from the Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie dell'Università degli Studi del Sannio: Alessio Langella, Celestino Grifa, Mariano Mercurio and Chiara Germinario.
In addition there is the collaboration with archaeologists and anthropologists from national and international research centers, including Alfonso Santoriello e Angela Pontrandolfo (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Gianluca Soricelli (Università del Molise), Giovanna Greco, Luigi Cicala, Bianca Ferrara, Antonella Tomeo, Marco Pacciarelli (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Rodolfo Fattovich, Bruno Genito e Andrea Manzo (Università degli Studi di Napoli l'Orientale), Lara Maritan, Rebecca Piovesan, Claudio Mazzoli (Università degli Studi di Padova), Carlo Peretto (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Ninina Cuomo di Caprio, Priscilla Munzi e Laëtitia Cavassa (Centre Jean Bérard - CNRS France), Giuseppe Cultrone (Universidad de Granada), Verena Gassner (Università di Vienna). There is also active collaboration with several Soprintentenze
 
 
Most important publications:
 
De Bonis, A., Cultrone, G., Grifa, C., Langella, A., Morra, V., 2014. Clays from the Bay of Naples (Italy): New insight on ancient and traditional ceramics. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 34, 3229-3244. J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 34, 3229–3244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2014.04.014.
 
De Bonis, A., Febbraro, S., Germinario, C., Giampaola, D., Grifa, C., Guarino, V., Langella, A., Morra, V., 2016. Distinctive Volcanic Material for the Production of Campana A Ware: The Workshop Area of Neapolis at the Duomo Metro Station in Naples, Italy. Geoarchaeology 31, 437–466. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.21571
 
De Bonis, A., Cultrone, G., Grifa, C., Langella, A., Leone, A.P., Mercurio, M., Morra, V., 2017. Different shades of red: The complexity of mineralogical and physicochemical factors influencing the colour of ceramics. Ceram. Int. 43, 8065–8074. doi:10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.03.127
 
De Bonis A, D'Angelo M., Guarino V., Massa S., Saiedi-Anaraki F., Genito B., Morra V. (2017). Unglazed pottery from the masjed-i jom’e of Isfahan (Iran): technology and provenance. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 9, p. 617-635, ISSN: 1866-9557, doi: 10.1007/s12520-016-0407-z
 
Ferrara, B., Guarino, V., De Bonis, A., Morra, V., Grifa, C., Langella, A. 2017. La ceramica a vernice nera del santuario di Hera alla foce del Sele: primi risultati delle analisi archeometriche, in: Serritella, A. (Ed.), Fingere ex argilla. Le produzioni ceramiche a vernice nera del golfo di Salerno, Proceedings of the conference (Salerno 1 marzo 2013), Ergasteria 5, Pandemos (Paestum) 55-70.
 
Germinario, C., Cultrone, G., De Bonis, A., Izzo, F., Langella, A., Mercurio, M., Morra, V., Santoriello, A., Siano, S., Grifa, C., 2016. The combined use of spectroscopic techniques for the characterisation of Late Roman common wares from Benevento (Italy). Measurement. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2016.08.005
 
Grifa, C., De Bonis, A., Guarino, V., Petrone, C.M., Germinario, C., Mercurio, M., Soricelli, G., Langella, A., Morra, V., 2015. Thin walled pottery from Alife (Northern Campania, Italy). Period. Mineral. 84, 65–90. http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2015PM0005.
 
Grifa, C., Cavassa, L., Amore, O., Barra, D., De Bonis, A., Fischer, C., Germinario, C., Izzo, F., Langella, A., Kakoulli, I., Mercurio, M., Morra, V. 2016. The Via dei Sepolcri workshop in Pompeii: A snapshot of the ceramic crafting activity before 79 AD eruption. In: ISA 2016. 41st International Symposium on Archaeometry. Book of Abstracts. Kalamata, Greece, 15-21 maggio 2016, p. 74-75, ISBN/ISSN: 978-618-80277-2-5
 
Guarino,V., De Bonis,A., Faga,I., Giampaola,D., Grifa,C., Langella,A., Liuzza,V., Pierobon Benoit,R., Romano,P., Morra,V. (2016a) Production and circulation of thin walled pottery from the Roman port of Neapolis, Campania (Italy). Period. Mineral. 85, 1, 95-114, http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2016PM618
 
Izzo F., Arizzi A., Cappelletti P., Cultrone G., De Bonis A., Germinario C., Graziano Sossio F., Grifa C., Guarino V., Mercurio M., Morra V., Langella A. (2016). The art of building in the Roman period (89 B.C. – 79 A.D.): Mortars, plasters and mosaic floors from ancient Stabiae (Naples, Italy). CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING MATERIALS, vol. 117, p. 129-143, ISSN: 0950-0618, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.04.101
 
Munzi, P., De Bonis, A., Guarino, V., Morra, V., Grifa, C., Langella, A. 2017. La ceramica a vernice nera dell'insediamento di Moio della Civitella: problemi, metodi e primi risultati di una ricerca, in: Serritella, A. (Ed.), Fingere ex argilla. Le produzioni ceramiche a vernice nera del golfo di Salerno, Proceedings of the conference (Salerno 1 marzo 2013), Ergasteria 5, Pandemos (Paestum) 83-96.
 
Rispoli C., Stanislao C., Esposito R., Cappelletti P., Morra V., Fedele L., Gialanella C. (2014). Analysis of building stone materials used in Flavian Amphitheatre in Pozzuoli (Italy): types and provenance. In: The Future of the Italian Geosciences - The Italian Geosciences of the Future. vol. Rend. Online Soc. Geol. It., Suppl. n. 1 al Vol. 31, p. 272, Milano, 10-12 Settembre 2014
 
Scarpati C., Perrotta A., Sparice D., Calcaterra D., Cappelletti P., Morra V., Tufano L (2016). Napoli: una città vulcanica. In: Guide Geologiche Regionali, Campania e Molise. vol. 11, p. 55-68, Roma:Società Geologica Italiana
 
Guarino V., Arienzo I., Cappelletti P., D’Antonio M., De Bonis A., Peña J.T., Tibbot G., Morra V. (2016). Minero-petrographic and geochemical characterisation of pottery from Pompeii. RENDICONTI ONLINE DELLA SOCIETÀ GEOLOGICA ITALIANA, vol. 40, p. 871, ISSN: 2035-8008, doi: 10.3301/ROL.2016.79
 

BALASSONE G., TOSCANO M., CAVAZZINI G., DE BONIS A., D’ORAZIO L., JOACHIMSKI M., WEIHE H., PROCHASKA W., MONDILLO M., MORMONE A., PETTI C., SOLPIETRO A. (in press). The history of the “Virgin with Child” sculpture (Ottaviano, Naples, southern Italy): Hypotheses from archaeometric multi-technique investigations. Journal Of Cultural Heritage, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2013.09.002

 

CAPRIGLIONE C., DE BONIS A., DE TOMMASO G., GUARINO V., IULIANO M., MARINO D., ET AL. (2012). Grandi dolii protostorici d’impasto dalla Calabria centromeridionale. Contributo allo studio cronotipologico, tecnologico e funzionale. Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, 62, 331-362. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1400/206940

 

CHIARAZZO G., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2004). Indagini “archeometriche” sulla ceramica medievale di Miseno (Grotta Dragonara). Quaderni di Archeologia Medievale VI. All’Insegna del Giglio, Firenze, pp. 261-264.

 

DE BONIS A. CULTRONE G., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2014). Clays from the Bay of Naples (Italy): New insight on ancient and traditional ceramics. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 34(13), 3229-3244, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2014.04.014

 

DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., CULTRONE G., DE VITA P., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2013). Raw materials for archaeological pottery from the Campania Region of Italy: a petrophysical characterization. Geoarchaeology, 28(5), 478-503, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.21450

 

DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., GUARINO V., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2012). Argille campane quali materie prime di produzioni ceramiche archeologiche. In: Scienze Naturali e Archeologia. Il paesaggio antico: Interazione uomo/ambiente ed eventi catastrofici. Napoli, 14-16 ottobre 2010, Roma: Aracne, pp. 111-118, ISBN/ISSN: 9788854835252, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4399/978885483525220

 

DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MERCURIO M., PERRONE M.L., MORRA V. (2010). Archaeometric study of roman pottery from Caudium area (Southern Italy). Periodico di Mineralogia, vol. 79 (2), 73-89, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2010PM0011

 

DE BONIS A., CAVASSA L., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2009). Le ceramiche comuni di Cuma. In: Les céramiques communes d'Italie et de Narbonnaise. Napoli, 2, 3 novembre 2006, NAPOLI ed. Michel Pasqualini, pp. 309-330, ISBN:9782903189976; ISSN:1590-3869.

 

DE SIMONE G.F., MARTUCCI C.S., GRIFA C., DE BONIS A., GUARINO V., MORRA V. (2012). Late antique connectivity: a snapshot of regional trade in AD 472 Campania. In: SOMA 2013. Identity and Connectivity. Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology, Florence, Italy, 1-3 March 2012. Firenze, 1-3 Marzo 2012, OXFORD: Archaeopress (B.A.R. Series), pp. 971-980, ISBN/ISSN: 9781407312064

 

DI MARTINO P., FARNETANO D., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., BARATTOLO F., TROJSI G., TUSA S. (2005), “Indagini mineralogiche e petrografiche su ceramiche neolitiche da Partanna (TP). Atti del Congresso AIAR 2006, Caserta.

 

FARNETANO D., DI MARTINO P., GRIFA C., BARATTOLO F., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., TROJSI G., TUSA S. (2005), “Indagine paleontologia sulle ceramiche neolitiche e sulle argille affioranti presso Partanna (TP)” Atti del Congresso AIAR 2006, Caserta.

 

FERRARA B., GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., MORRA V., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A. (in press). The sanctuary of Hera at river Sele mouth: archaeometric analyses for the reconstruction of black-glaze ware production at Paestum. In: Greco G., Cicala L. (Eds.), Archaeometry. Comparing experiences. Quaderni del Centro Studi Magna Grecia 19 - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Pozzuoli (NA), Italy: Naus Editoria. ISBN: 9788874780358.

 

FERRARA B., TOMEO A., GRECO G., GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., MORRA V. (in press). Cuma, the Forum: Typological and Archaeometrical Analysis of some Vascular Classes from Sondages Inside the Temple with Portico. In: Greco G., Cicala L. (Eds.), Archaeometry. Comparing experiences. Quaderni del Centro Studi Magna Grecia 19 - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Pozzuoli (NA), Italy: Naus Editoria. ISBN: 9788874780358.

 

GENITO B., MORRA V., MASSA S., SAIEDI-ANARAKI. F., DE BONIS A., GUARINO V. (2014). The unglazed ceramic productions from the Masjid-i-jumʻa of Isfahan: a first archaeological and archaeometric approach. Newsletter di Archeologia CISA, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Volume 5, pp. 318-354.

 

GIAMPAOLA D., FEBBRARO S., DE BONIS A., GUARINO V., MORRA V., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A. (in press). The pottery workshop area at Piazza Nicola Amore, Naples. Black-glaze and common ware production: archaeology ad archaeometry. In: Greco G., Cicala L. (Eds.), Archaeometry. Comparing experiences. Quaderni del Centro Studi Magna Grecia 19 - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Pozzuoli (NA), Italy: Naus Editoria. ISBN: 9788874780358.

 

GRIFA, C., DE BONIS, A., LANGELLA, A., MERCURIO, M., SORICELLI, G., MORRA, V. (2013). A Late Roman ceramic production from Pompeii. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40(2), 810-826. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.08.043

 

GRIFA C., DE BONIS A., GUARINO V., CAVASSA L., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2012). Una produzione di Blu Egizio da Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli). In: Scienze Naturali e Archeologia. Il paesaggio antico: Interazione uomo/ambiente ed eventi catastrofici. Napoli, 14-16 ottobre 2010, Roma: Aracne, pp. 165-172, ISBN/ISSN: 9788854835252, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4399/978885483525229

 

GRIFA C., CULTRONE G., LANGELLA A., MERCURIO M., DE BONIS A., SEBASTIÁN E., MORRA V. (2009). Ceramic replicas of archaeological artefacts in Benevento area (Italy): Petrophysical changes induced by different proportions of clays and temper. Applied Clay Science, 46(3), 231-240, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2009.08.007

 

GRIFA C., MORRA V. (2009). La production de céramique commune à Pompéi. Studio petrografico sui reperti ceramici. In: Les céramiques communes d'Italie et de Narbonnaise. Napoli, 2, 3 novembre 2006, NAPOLI ed. Michel Pasqualini, pp. 101-103, ISBN:978-2-903189-97-6; ISSN:1590-3869.

 

GRIFA C., MORRA V., LANGELLA A., MUNZI P. (2009). Byzantine ceramic productions from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli). Archaeometry, 51(1), 75-94, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00416.x

 

GRIFA, C., LANGELLA, A., MORRA, V. (2009). Ceramiche tardo antiche da Pompei. Le analisi archeometriche. In: Les céramiques communes d'Italie et de Narbonnaise. Napoli, 2, 3 novembre 2006, NAPOLI ed. Michel Pasqualini, pp. 670-681, ISBN:9782903189976; ISSN:1590-3869

 

GRIFA C., DE BONIS A., MERCURIO M. (2009). Rilevamento e caratterizzazione del patrimonio lapideo ornamentale del centro storico della città di Benevento. In: Letture di georisorse e ambiente, Atti della Scuola Estiva GABeC “ I Materiali Lapidei: tra Georisorsa e Beni Culturali” a cura di G. Saviano. Museo di Arte e Giacimenti Minerari, Latina, 23-26 Giugno 2009. Vol. 2, pp. 125-135, ISBN/ISSN: 9788896082010.

 

GRIFA C., MORRA V., LANGELLA A. (2007). “Mineralogical and petrographical features of historical bricks from Benevento”. Atti del Congresso Internazionale CITTAM “Costruire in Pietra”. Luciano Editore, pp. 176-185.

 

GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., MUNZI P. (2006). “Ceramica altomedievale dal Castrum di Cuma (Campi Flegrei): aspetti peculiari di una produzione”. Atti della 10a  Giornata di archeometria della Ceramica. Roma 5-7 Aprile 2006.

 

GRIFA C., MORRA V., LANGELLA A., CULTRONE G., SEBASTÌAN E. (2006). “Technological features of glazed Protomajolica Ware from Benevento (Italy). In Heritage, Weatering and Conservation edited by R. Fort, M. Alvarez de Buergo, M. Gomez Heras & C. Vasquez-Calvo. Taylor & Francis/Balkema, pp. 123-135.

 

GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2005), “Analisi Archeometriche sui materiali ceramici” Progetto KYME 2.1 Les niveaux d’epoque bizantine. Centro Studi Jean Berard. In stampa.

 

GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., MUNZI P., DE ROSSI G. (2005), “Studio archeometrico su ceramica dipinta a bande altomedievale dai Campi Flegrei (Napoli)”. Atti del Congresso AIAR 2006, Caserta.

 

GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2005). Il sito di via Lepanto a Pompei: brevi note sul Tardoantico in area vesuviana. Appendice. In: Volpe, G., Turchiano, M. (Eds.), Paesaggi e insediamenti rurali in Italia Meridionale fra Tardoantico e Altomedioevo. Atti del Primo Seminario sul Tardoantico e l’Altomedioevo in Italia Meridionale, Foggia 12-14 febbraio 2004. Edipuglia, Bari, pp. 528-532.

 

GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., SORICELLI G. (2005). Pantellerian Ware from Miseno (Campi Flegrei, Napoli). Periodico di Mineralogia, 74(1), 69-86.

 

GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., MORRA V. (2012). Le analisi archeometriche. In: Bianca Ferrara. Il santuario di Hera alla foce del Sele. La ceramica a vernice nera. vol. 15,2 , pp. 30-44, POZZUOLI: Naus Editoria, ISBN/ISSN: 9788874780280

 

GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V., PEDRONI L. (2011). Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from Cales (Italy). Periodico di Mineralogia, 80, 455-470, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2011PM0030

 

MORRA V., DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., CAVASSA L., PIOVESAN R. (2013). Minero-petrographic study of cooking ware and Pompeian red ware (Rosso Pompeiano) from Cuma (Southern Italy). Archaeometry, 55(5), 852-879. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2012.00710.x

 

MORRA V., DE BONIS A., GRIFA C. (in press). Geological Outlines of Studied Archaeological Sites. In: Greco G., Cicala L. (Eds.), Archaeometry. Comparing experiences. Quaderni del Centro Studi Magna Grecia 19 - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Pozzuoli (NA), Italy: Naus Editoria. ISBN: 9788874780358.

 

MUNZI P., GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A., MORRA V. (2012). Le ceramiche ellenistiche del santuario periurbano settentrionale di Cuma. In: FACEM. Vienna, 4-5 May 2012, Vienna: FACEM Università di Vienna, pp. 1-12

 

MUNZI P., GUARINO V., DE BONIS A., MORRA V., GRIFA C., LANGELLA A. (in press). The fourth century black-glaze pottery from the northern periurban sanctuary of Cuma. In: Greco G., Cicala L. (Eds.), Archaeometry. Comparing experiences. Quaderni del Centro Studi Magna Grecia 19 - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Pozzuoli (NA), Italy: Naus Editoria. ISBN: 9788874780358.

 

C. Stanislao, C. Rispoli, G. Vola, P. Cappelletti, V. Morra, M. de Gennaro (2011). Contribution to the knowledge of ancient Roman seawater concretes: Phlegrean pozzolan adopted in the construction of the harbourat Soli-Pompeiopolis (Mersin, Turkey). PERIODICO DI MINERALOGIA, vol. 80, p. 471-488, ISSN: 0369-8963, http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2011PM0031