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Title: Mortars and Renders: The Case of the Roman Villa Horta da Torre Fronteira, Portugal
Authors: Ditta, A
Carneiro, André
Galacho, Cristina
Moita, Patrícia
Editors: Veiga, João Pedro
Keywords: Horta da Torre
Roman mortars
Horta da Torre; Roman mortars; characterization; provenancemulti-analytical approach
Issue Date: 14-Mar-2024
Publisher: Heritage | MDPI
Citation: Ditta, A.; Carneiro, A.; Galacho, C.; Moita, P. Mortars and Renders: The Case of the Roman Villa Horta da Torre Fronteira, Portugal. Heritage 2024, 7, 1589–1617. https://
Abstract: The archaeological site of villa Horta da Torre in Portugal reveals distinctive architectural features within the context of Roman villae in Hispania. Notably, the triclinium was designed with an artificial cascade originating from a double apse wall, and the walls were adorned with mosaic tessellae panels and marble skirting. During the Roman era, the surrounding area belonged to the former province of Lusitania, with Augusta Emerita serving as its capital. This study examines 11 mortar samples from various contexts and functions, such as masonry, preparatory, render, and opus signinum mortars. A set of complementary analytical techniques was employed to determine the textural and mineralogical compositions of the mortars. The aim was to gain insights into the production techniques and the selection of raw materials within the geological context of this rural construction. It was observed that the processing of raw materials and production techniques did not always adhere to the rules of Vitruvius. A comparison with other villas revealed comparatively less meticulous attention to sand selection and precise layering for mural painting. Nevertheless, it was noted that in preparatory layers for the supranucleus and nucleus tesserae, ceramic pieces were intentionally added to improve the mortar. The binder used was calcitic lime, likely obtained from locally sourced limestone. The nature of aggregates is diversified but consistent with the local geological provenance within a radius of less than 3 km, in accordance with two sand exploration sites. This research aligns with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing specifically to SDG 11 and Target 11.4, which “aims to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage”
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HERCULES - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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