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Hydrophobic coatings and organic additives in Hellenistic-Roman mortars: the case study of Crete.

Kontogianni, Vasiliki 2022. Hydrophobic coatings and organic additives in Hellenistic-Roman mortars: the case study of Crete. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The thesis evaluated the applicability of Reflectance FTIR micro-spectroscopy for detecting and identifying organic additives in mortar matrices. The advantage of the method to provide spatially resolved data non-destructively, was balanced against reported limitations associated with reflectance spectral distortions and interference of inorganic mortar components in the spectral projection of organic additives. The identification methodology was designed according to these specifications and tested on laboratory prepared analogues of organic additives likely used in ancient mortars and their mortar mixtures of pre-defined concentrations and on ancient mortar samples suspected to contain organic additive in their composition. The evaluation was carried out progressively, beginning from the development of a Chemical Peak Assignment Database (CPAD) that incorporated all the reflectance spectral data obtained from the analogues, exploring approaches of spectra interpretation and determining characteristic reflectance spectral features of organic mortar additives. The methodological outcomes were assessed through a series of identification experiments on laboratory analogues of which the nature of the organic material and its concentration in the mortar mixture were unknown at the time of analysis. Τhe use of Principal Component Analysis as a complementary validation method to the CPAD identification methodology was assessed, following common practices on case studies employing Reflectance FTIR spectroscopy (Sarmiento et al., 2011; Rosi et al., 2010; 2009). The challenges of identification posed by the physico-chemical properties of organic materials and the interference with inorganic mortar components were further studied through the analysis of archaeological mortar samples which were expected to deliver more complex reflectance spectral profiles due to their susceptibility to decay and biological attack. The thesis structure offers a holistic approach to the evaluation of the method, incorporating the theory of Reflectance Spectroscopy and the specifications of the analysed materials into the design and execution of the identification methodology.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
Funders: SHARE Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 April 2022
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 01:30

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