Римске терме 50 година након открића: дијалог наслеђа и заједнице, Чачак, Србија, 29 – 30. октобар 2020.
Конзервација као наука кроз истраживање римских малтера
у оквиру програма Промис
Археолошки институт је носилац научно-истраживачког пројекта под именом Mortar Design for Conservation – Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After из програма ПРОМИС Фонда за науку Републике Србије, који спроводи у периоду од 2020. до 2022. године са Технолошким факултетом Нови Сад и Институтом ИМС. Пројекат обухвата истраживањe римских малтера дела дунавског лимеса на територији данашње Србије. Истраживачки приступ следи концепт мултидисциплинарности у науци повезујући археолошки и архитектонски контекст, начине експлоатације и обраде сировина, као и технологију израде грађевинских материјала. Основни циљ пројекта је допринос научном знању о грађевинским материјалима и технологијама уз подршку одрживој заштити предела из римског периода на територији Србије. Специфични циљеви пројекта укључују: развој базе података која повезује историју, археологију, архитектуру, грађевинарство, геологију, технологију и хемију; дизајн и тестирање кречних малтера за конзервацију заснованих на локалним сировинама и технологијама; стварање препорука за очување будућег Унесковог добра “Frontiers of the Roman Empire – Danube Limes in Serbia”; допринос савременом грађевинарству промоцијом употребе традиционалних технологија и одрживог коришћења природних ресурса уз унапређење живота локалних заједница. Истраживања грађевинских активности у римском периоду на територији српског дела некадашњег дунавског лимеса могу се проширити на друга римска налазишта, али и она из каснијих историјских периода, у Србији и региону. Предложени дизајн малтера би требало да помогне у прекиду скоро искључиве праксе употребе цементног малтера током конзервације у Србији, чија замена кречним малтером представља и један од принципа савремене одрживе изградње. Прилози номинационом досијеу за Унеско показаће спремност извођења конзервације у Србији у складу са научним истраживањима и препорукама међународних организација, а промоција употребе традиционалних вештина у конзервацији помоћи ће у очувању нематеријалног културног наслеђа. Коначно, пројекат може утицати на развој конзервације у Србији где је призната као скуп професионалних вештина, али не и као мултидисциплинарна наука која се у свету убрзано развија.
6th Central and Eastern European Conference on Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (CEEC-TAC6) & 15th Mediterranean Conference on Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis (Medicta2021), Split, Croatia, 20 – 24 July 2021
Roman Danube limes mortars - thermal characteristics and identification of production technology
Snežana Vučetić, Helena Hiršenberger, John Milan Van Der Bergh, Jonjaua Ranogajec
Modern conservation science requires a holistic multidisciplinary research approach to reveal traditional technologies used for production of historical building materials which are a prerequisite for a practical sustainable conservation of the structures. Our research contributes to understanding of building materials and technology used in Roman times on the territory that is today Serbia. The main research task was to design compatible mortars for future conservation works. In order to achieve that first, the mortar samples were collected from different sites located on the Roman Danube limes (period 1st-4th century). Then the comprehensive laboratory investigation followed and physical properties, thermal characterization, raw material compositions, mineralogical and microstructural properties were determined. Several different methods were used: chemical analysis, XRF and XRD for identification of the major crystalline phases and binder/aggregate ratio; FTIR analysis for detailed evaluation of the organic and inorganic components and TGA/DSC for identification of CO2/H2O ratio and index of hydraulicity. The results obtained indicate vast diversity among the examined mortar samples and their properties considering density, binder/aggregate ratio, usage of pozzolans and consequently index of hydraulicity. These results assisted the research team to identify the traditional production technologies of the examined Roman mortar samples and enable responsible conservation approach to the selected objects. Moreover, the information about mortar samples and production technologies enhances scientific understanding of the local communities who lived on the Danube limes in nowadays Serbia centuries ago, as well as their everyday lives and technological progress.
СРПСКО АРХЕОЛОШКО ДРУШТВО, XLIV СКУПШТИНА И ГОДИШЊИ СКУП, Параћин, Србија, 14 – 16. октобар 2021.
Naučno – istraživački projekat MoDeCo2000 (Mortar Design for Conservation -Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After)
Mladen Jovičić, Emilija Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Snežana Vučetić
Projekat MoDeCo2000 (2020-2022), koji je finansiran od strane Fonda za nauku Republike Srbije (Program za izvrsne projekte mladih istraživača - PROMIS), bavi se istraživanjima rimskih maltera na delu dunavskog limesa koji se nalazi na teritoriji današnje Republike Srbije. Cilj projekta je proučavanje dostupnih i upotrebljavanih sirovina, kao i tehnologije izrade maltera tokom rimskog perioda. Istraživanja u okviru projekta donose brojne podatke o provincijskom graditeljstvu i eksploataciji prirodnih resursa, ali i svakodnevnom životu u ovom periodu na teritoriji čitavog dunavskog limesa. Tokom terenskog istraživanja lokaliteta, uzeti su uzorci maltera za zidanje, formiranje jezgra zida i malterisanje, kao i za izradu podova, iz velikog broja građevina koje se nalaze u okviru 23 delimično ili potpuno istražena arheološka lokaliteta na desnoj obali Dunava, a njihov hronološki opseg kreće se od 1. do 6. veka. Uglavnom su uzorkovane građevine vojnog karaktera, ali je među njima i veliki broj civilnih struktura, profane ili funerarne funkcije. Najreprezentativnija građevina je svakako Trajanov most, čijim ostacima je posvećena najveća pažnja tokom daljih laboratorijskih istraživanja. Nakon terenskog rada, uzorci su ispitani u laboratoriji, uz primenu savremenog multidisciplinarnog pristupa, korišćenjem znanja iz arheologije, arhitekture, geologije, građevinarstva, hemije, inženjerstva i nauke o materijalima. Na osnovu dobijenih rezultata, pripremljeni su modeli maltera koji stare u laboratorijskim i realnim uslovima i koji će nakon komparativne analize rezultata i završetka projekta biti preporučeni za konzervaciju spomenika dunavskog limesa u Srbiji. Ovo je vezano za jedan od specifičnih ciljeva projekta MoDeCo2000, koji uključuje formiranje seta preporuka za primenu konzervatorskih mera zaštite budućeg Uneskovog dobra „Granice Rimskog carstva – Dunavski limes u Srbiji“, kao dela nominacionog dosijea za Listu svetskog nasleđa. Projekat bi trebalo da doprinese unapređenju arhitektonske konzervacije u Srbiji u cilju dugoročnog očuvanja spomenika iz svih perioda, a nadamo se da će istraživanja i praktična primena rezultata projekta podstaći uvođenje konzervacije kao izrazito multidisciplinarne nauke u više fakultetskih obrazovnih programa u Srbiji.
Драгослав Срејовић и мултидисциплинарност, Крагујевац, Србија, 29. новембар 2021.
Истраживање малтера дунавског лимеса у Србији. Поглед на античког градитеља кроз лупу савремене науке
Емилија Николић, Младен Јовичић, Ивана Делић-Николић, Снежана Вучетић, Љиљана Миличић, Јоњауа Раногајец
Истраживање употребе грађевинских материјала кроз историју је углавном занемарено у српској археологији. Анализе након ископавања су фокусиране на предмете, док се грађевински материјали - камен или опека, проучавају углавном као фрагменти архитектонског контекста, медијум од којих су израђени предмети, или као носиоци натписа и трагова употребе. Међутим, проучавањем грађевинских материјала као сировина и основних елемената једне грађевине, а посебно малтера, као најкомплекснијег међу њима, могу се добити значајни подаци о грађевинским активностима - од експлоатације сировина до њихове употребе, али и о економским токовима. Као што је највећи број истраживања римске архитектуре до данас везан за монументалне грађевине, углавном са територије Апенинског полуострва, тако су и опсежна истраживања малтера, често за потребе конзервације, најпре спровођена код грађевински најкомплекснијих споменика Римског царства. Употреба грађевинских материјала у малим градовима и војним утврђењима на границама Царства, па и израда малтера, нису биле предмети свеобухватних истраживања. Пројекат Дизајн малтера за конзервацију - Римска граница на Дунаву 2000 година касније (MoDeCo2000), финансиран од стране Фонда за науку Републике Србије, кроз истраживања римских малтера некадашњег дунавског лимеса у Србији повезује хуманистичке, техничко-технолошке и природне науке, доносећи податке важне за допуну или проверу резултата археолошких ископавања дуж дела некадашње римске границе. Рад у оквиру пројекта даће допринос номинационом досијеу за Унескову Листу светског наслеђа и споменик Границе Римског царства – Дунавски лимес у Србији, кроз смернице за употребу малтера током будуће архитектонске конзервације. Археолошка ископавања грађевина и интерпретација њихових резултата уз помоћ анализе архитектуре дају улазне податке, али на крају могу обликовати највредније закључке и решити постојеће дилеме истраживача историјских споменика само кроз повезивање са другим областима науке, тако дајући основу за будућу заштиту самих споменика. Геологија даје улазне податке за хемијска истраживања, док инжењерство материјала носи важну улогу у процесу припреме малтера за конзервацију. Кроз мултидисциплинарни рад се добијају резултати који показују неопходност анализа историјских материјала за потребе проучавања и конзервације споменика, али и развој савремених производа у области грађевинарства.
XIV Meeting of Young Chemical Engineers, Zagreb, Croatia, 24 - 25 February 2022.
Characterization of historical mortars and identification of their preparation technology: Roman military camp Viminacium
Mihajlo Valuh, Emilija Nikolić, Snežana Vučetić
Recent technological developments in the field of material science and applied chemistry have led to the fact that technological research is an inevitable procedure and first step in the diagnosis of historical buildings state. This research required a multidisciplinary approach and brought very valuable scientific knowledge and data for conservation practice [1,2]. The aim of our research paper was detailed characterization of historical mortars from the Roman period: Roman military camp Viminacium . In situ and laboratory examination of the sampled materials included: visual observations, stereo-optical and digital microscopy, spectrophotometry and colorimetry, mineralogical and petrological analyses, physical-mechanical tests, thermal characterization, mechanical and chemical separation of aggregates and binders, and characterization of samples, binders and aggregates. These examinations of historical mortar samples gave information about mortars composition, their technology of preparation, as well as information about their degradation. Data obtained through mortar analyses. Moreover, the obtained results contribute to the knowledge base about Roman mortars on the Danube Limes in Serbia. Furthermore, gained results were taken as the starting point in designing compatible restoration mortar.
Characterization of Roman mortars from two archaeological sites: Trajan's Bridge and Roman castrum Diana, Karataš
Anđela Šiniković, Anja Avramović, Mihajlo Valuh, Emilija Nikolić, Snežana Vučetić
Historical mortars are composite materials made of binders and aggregates that were used in the construction of water tanks, Roman baths, mosaics, aqueducts, frescoes, etc. Due to the specific composition, Roman mortars are characterized by excellent strength and durability, as evidenced by numerous Roman buildings that have been preserved to this day. During the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage buildings, it is necessary to use compatible materials with аppropriate physical, chemical, mechanical and aesthetic properties, which could be used for conservation of the original historical materials without compromising the durability and specificity of the analyzed building. [1-3]. The aim of our work was the examination of the composition, properties, and production technology of Roman mortars from two archeological sites in Serbia (Trajan's Bridge and Karatas, Diana). Trajan’s Bridge was constructed between 103 and 105 AD by the order of Roman emperor Trajan. Diana was an auxiliary fort located near Danube cataracts 8 km upstream from present-day Kladovo. [4,5]. The used methods were: optical microscopy, drilling resistance measurements, XRD, TG, TG-MS, water absorption, mercury porosimetry, SEM-EDS, chemical separation of binders and aggregates, and FTIR analysis. The gained results revealed interesting facts about how advanced the Romans were in the production technology of mortars, which has been stable from the 2nd century until now.
43rd International Symposium on Archaeometry, Lisbon, Portugal, 16th – 20th May 2022
Mortars of the Danube limes in Serbia. Building the Roman frontier
Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Mladen Jovičić, Snežana Vučetić, Jonjaua Ranogajec
The project Mortar Design for Conservation - Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After (MoDeCo2000) explores Roman mortars of the former Danube Limes in Serbia. Its concept encompasses the comprehensive cross-disciplinary research into raw materials and technologies used for the creation of lime mortars, conducted with the aim of providing scientific information that could be used for the proper conservation of this unique serial monument which aims to be a part of the UNESCO WHS List. The sampled buildings were built and used within the time span of the period from the 1st to the 6th century AD. Lime mortars originate from forty military and civilian buildings - legionary fortresses, auxiliary forts, smaller fortifications, and Trajan’s bridge, baths, houses, and tombs. After the research done by archaeologists, architects, geologists, chemists, and engineers of materials, the mortars were examined using stereo optical and digital microscopy; spectrophotometry with colourimetry; analyses of physical and mechanical characteristics; thermal characterisation; and characterisation of samples, binders, and aggregates using XRF, XRD, FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy techniques. For the first time, some of the raw materials found in the region of the Danube in Serbia have been recognized as components of the Roman mortars used at this territory. At the same time, the completely unknown topic of the natural materials with pozzolanic properties used for the Roman mortars in the territory of today’s Serbia has been illuminated, giving us the opportunity to analyze their provenance. Construction and masonry techniques used in the Roman period at the territory of today Serbia followed principles of Roman architecture but used its varieties present in the eastern part of the Empire. They were rational, with the predominant use of local raw materials, but also with the use of hard to deliver materials for the most important military and public buildings, or for wealthy private investors. The research of mortars has confirmed this thesis and contributed to the knowledge of the economy, and trade routes used for the exploitation and transport of building materials, but also investors, masons, or inhabitants, offering insights into different aspects of life in a Roman period along the entire Danube frontier.
The International Conference Florence Heri-Tech, Florence, Italy, 16th – 18th May 2022
Design of compatible mortars for a late Roman tomb in Serbia
Snežana Vučetić, Emilija Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Jonjaua Ranogajec, Helena Hiršenberger
Design of conservation mortars for targeted architectural heritage is always an ambitious and inspiring task, asking for many diverse requirements to be achieved and successfully harmonized. Principally, conservation mortars need to comply with demanding chemical, mineralogical, textural and mechanical compatibility criteria. Additionally, to be applied in situ under real environmental conditions, specific preconditions regarding formation of contact zone (between conservation and original material), tensile strength, porosity and visual properties (colorimetric parameters) have also to be fulfilled. The main aim of our research was design, laboratory and in situ testing and monitoring of compatible mortars for conservation of the Roman military and residential objects along the Danube Limes in Serbia. All 23 archaeological sites and cultural monuments of the Limes that are still reachable, situated near the right bank of the Danube River, were visited. More than 120 different samples of historical mortars, but also stones and bricks, dating between 1st and 6th century were collected. Laboratory activities for the sampled materials included: visual observations, stereo-optical and digital microscopy, spectrophotometry and colorimetry, mineralogical and petrological analyses, physical-mechanical tests, thermal characterization, mechanical and chemical separation of aggregates and binders, and characterization of samples, binders and aggregates using FTIR, RAMAN, XRF and XRD. The rich results obtained enabled our team to design conservation mortars mixtures based on the selected local raw materials. Following laboratory preparation of mortar models and several cycles of mixtures optimization, the newly developed mortars were artificially aged and a detailed comparative analysis of original and laboratory prepared models was done. It served for the selection of promising conservation systems to be tested in real environmental conditions. The systems which successfully fulfilled all the requirements qualified for application on small test areas of the historical buildings, and their behaviour was closely monitored. During all research phases many interesting points about ancient Roman building technologies in distant provinces were revealed, many confirmed initial hypotheses and others fine-tuned the approach, while some original mortar samples still intrigue research team with their exceptional properties. This research project directly leads to production of compatible mortars for the upcoming conservation actions and contributes to the knowledge base about Roman mortars on the Danube Limes. These results also navigate the discovery of some missing pieces of the story about the Roman period at the territory of today’s Serbia. Likewise, this multidisciplinary research work proved again that learning from the past, directly from the original historical mortars using the advanced scientific methods and equipment, gives valuable insights in living habits and technological readiness of people from distant past. At the same time, deeper understanding of the origins of superior mechanical properties of some Roman mortar samples that stand for almost 2000 years has the potential to shape our solutions for modern products that can effectively respond to the needs of green and sustainable architecture of the future.
Међународна колонија конзерватора, рестауратора и музејских радника, Сирогојно, Србија, 23 – 26. мај 2022.
Откривање технологије римских малтера
Анђела Шиниковић, Николина Тепавац
Наше младе колегинице Анђела Шиниковић и Николина Тепавац, студенткиње Катедре за инжењерство материјала на Технолошком факултета универзитета у Новом Саду су приказале резултате експерименталног рада везаног за испитивање римских малтера. Приказани резултати представљају испитивања на узорцима са римских локалитета Трајанов мост, Костол и Караташ, Дијана. У питању су истраживања која су део нaучнoг прojeктa MoDeCo2000: „Дизajн мaлтeрa зa кoнзeрвaциjу – римскa грaницa нa Дунaву 2000 гoдинa кaсниje (Mortar Design for Conservation – Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years after), финaнсирaнoг крoз прoгрaм ПРOMИС oд стрaнe Фoндa зa нaуку Рeпубликe Србиje. Тема њиховог предавања је била Приказ рада: Откривање технологије римских малтера: Дунавски лимес на територији Републике Србије. Поред наведених колегиница, аутори овог рада су и Ања Аврамовић (Технолошки факултет, Нови Сад) и др Емилија Николић (Археолошки институт Београд) руководилац пројекта МоDeCo2000. У току свог предавања колегинице су говориле о методологији испитивања материјала, са посебним освртом на диjaгнoстику стaњa, ин-ситу испитивaњa, узoркoвaњe, лaбoрaтoријскa испитивaњa и интeрпрeтaциjу рeзултaтa. Ментор овог рада је доц.др Снежана Вучетић, шеф Лабораторије за испитивање материјала у културном наслеђу, Технолошког факултета Универзитета у Новом Саду и члан пројектног тима MoDeCo2000.
Radionica "Biologija u konzervaciji", Viminacijum, Srbija, 26 – 27. мај 2022.
Organic remains and their traces in Roman mortars from the Danube limes in Serbia
Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Mladen Jovičić, Snežana Vučetić, Jonjaua Ranogajec
CHEMCH - 6th International Congress "Chemistry for Cultural Heritage", Ravenna, Italy, 4 - 8 July 2022
Lime mortars containing clays for the conservation of the Danube limes
Ljiljana Miličić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Nevenka Mijatović, Biljana Ilić, Emilija Nikolić, Snežana Vučetić, Mladen Jovičić, Jonjaua Ranogajec
During the work on the MoDeCo2000 project financed by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, samples of Roman lime mortar originating from buildings situated along the former Danube Limes in Serbia were investigated with an aim of detecting raw materials and technologies used for their preparation which should be taken into account during conservation practice. The remains of the buildings dated to the period from the 1st to the 6th CE AD form a unique serial monument currently on the Serbian tentative list for the UNESCO World heritage. Laboratory research of sampled mortars showed that their composition depended on the availability of raw materials and that natural resources which are still available today for construction materials in Serbia were used. Lime mortars with the addition of materials with pozzolanic properties showed high compactness, homogeneity, and compression strength during the tests. Although mortars with the addition of natural materials containing minerals from the zeolite group, the origin of which is still being investigated, showed the expected high values of compressive strength, the values were higher in those in which the pozzolanic addition was a clay component. The addition of ground brick as an artificial pozzolanic material led to the formation of mortars with high values of compactness and compression strength, the mortar in which kaolinite was found, with large crushed brick fragments, had even higher values, while the highest values were possessed by mortar without brick, with both clay minerals and those from the zeolite group detected . This paper will present the composition of historical mortars and the technology of their production, as well as the work on the creation of compatible mortar mixtures for the conservation of the Danube Limes in Serbia. Mixtures with the addition of domestic clay used for traditional brick manufacture, domestic and imported kaolin clays , imported and laboratory-produced metakaolin  as well as zeolite of domestic origin, were prepared and tested, and later applied to experimental masonry structures. The potential long-term success of the application of lime mortar mixtures containing mechanically or thermally activated different types of domestic clays will be of exceptional importance for conservation in Serbia.
WAC9 - World Archaeological Congress, Prague, Czech Republic 3 - 8 July 2022
Conservation mortars for the Danube limes in Serbia: Safeguarding the values of cultural heritage
Mladen Jovičić, Emilija Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Snežana Vučetić
Roman sites located within the former military border – Danube Limes, have been explored for over 150 years in Serbia. A large number of fortifications, settlements, and necropolises, belonging to the period from the 1st to the 6th century have been discovered. Serbian institutions have recently initiated the process of their inscription to the UNESCO WH List, joining the transnational property Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, some of them are endangered and exposed to the decay of time, being in isolated areas, flooded, or simply unmaintained. The MoDeCo2000 project, funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, was created with an attempt to make a contribution to their future protection with an innovative methodological approach, comprising the scientific research of construction materials and technologies used and suggestions for the creation of repairing mortars according to the international conservation guidelines and standards. Mortars, bricks, and stones originating from 23 sites were sampled during the project fieldwork and later researched using contemporary laboratory techniques. Based on the research results, the recipes for conservation mortars have been developed. The project's main intention is to promote the essential need of thorough multidisciplinary scientific research for the cause of cultural heritage conservation, connecting archaeology, architectural history, engineering, archaeometry, and conservation science. While creating the database of historical constructions, the project simultaneously delivers recommendations for the future physical protection of the Roman buildings along the Danube in today Serbia and thus contributes to the safeguarding of the Limes multiple values.
1st Central and Eastern European Conference on Physical Chemistry and Materials Science (CEEC-PCMS1), Split, Croatia 26 - 30 July 2022
Investigation of mortars technology applied at the borders of the Roman Empire
Snežana Vučetić, Emilija Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Helena Hiršenberger, Jonjaua Ranogajec
The results of Roman mortars characterisation of the former Danube Limes in Serbia are reported in this paper. The following procedures were used: detailed diagnosis of the defined archaeological sites, in situ characterisation of the building materials, sampling, laboratory analyses, interpretation and utilisation of the obtained results as well as up-to-date literature review of other research groups in the field. These procedures were defined and presented based on the results of the scientific project MoDeCo2000: Mortar Design for Conservation – Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years after, financed through the programme PROMIS. Mortars dating from I to VI century BCE, covering military and civil locations were collected and analysed. Namely, more than 100 samples of various types of mortar from legionary fortress’ ramparts, auxiliary and smaller forts, constructions within them, as well as bridges, city ramparts, baths and villas, basilicas and tombs were characterised . The results of the characterisation of the samples from the Lederata (Ram) and Egeta (Brza Palanka), Republic of Serbia, which covers only a fragment of the MoDeCo2000 project, are the core of this paper. After in situ investigations and sampling procedure, the laboratory activities of the sampled mortars included visual observations, stereo-optical and digital microscopy, spectrophotometry and colourimetry, mineralogical and petrographic analyses, physical-mechanical tests, thermal characterisation, mechanical and chemical separation of aggregates from the binders, and their characterisation by using FTIR, Raman, XRF and XRD. The obtained results lead directly to the design and production of compatible mortars for upcoming conservation actions on the Danube Limes in Serbia and contribute to the universal body of knowledge about Roman mortars and architecture in small towns and military fortifications on the borders of the Roman Empire [3,4].
LIMES Congress XXV, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 21 - 27 August 2022
Mortar design for conservation. Danube Roman frontier 2000 years after
Mladen Jovičić, Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Snežana Vučetić
MoDeCo2000 project (2020-2022), funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia (PROMIS programme) is focused on the research of Roman mortars on the Serbian part of the Danube Limes. The project aims to study raw materials as well as the technologies of making lime mortars used during the construction works, trying to reveal different aspects of life on the frontier during centuries. The samples refer mostly to the bedding and wall-core mortars but also rendering and flooring mortars from 23 archaeological sites on the right bank of the Danube, which belonged to the provinces of Moesia Superior and Pannonia Inferior during the Roman Empire, and Moesia Prima, Pannonia Secunda, and Dacia Ripensis during Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium, spreading to the period from the 1st to the 6th century. The character of the sampled buildings covers both the military aspect (legionary fortresses, auxiliary forts, and smaller fortifications), and the civilian aspect (baths, villas, palace, basilica, city rampart, and tombs) with the most exceptional of all, the Trajan’s Bridge over the Danube. After fieldwork, the samples were examined in the laboratories using contemporary techniques and knowledge from geology, chemistry, archaeology, architecture, and civil engineering, obtaining data on materials and technologies used during the ancient construction. Based on these results, the design of the lime mortars for conservation, using the achievements of the materials science and engineering has been conducted, with the aim to create conservation recommendations during the preservation of the future UNESCO property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire – Danube Limes (Serbia)”, as a part of its nomination dossier. The proposed mortar design should greatly contribute to the improvement of conservation science and practice in Serbia, being the first comprehensive research and scientific project in the region dealing with the everlasting topic of the Roman mortars.
6th Historic Mortars Conference HMC2022, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 21 - 23 September 2022
Mortars of the Roman frontier on the Danube
Emilija Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Nevenka Mijatović, Snežana Vučetić
The mortars have been always one of the most interesting topics for the researchers of Roman building constructions. The knowledge of this complex building material used in Roman architecture is mostly based on the research of the monumental structures in the territory of today Italy. However, many mortar examinations were executed by the researchers of provincial Roman archaeology as well, who tried to find evidence of the quality of building activities in the provinces. The territory of today’s Serbia, except for the existence of scarce studies, was never in the research focus. Even the monumental bridge over the Danube, built at the beginning of the 2nd century that made Trajan’s conquest of Dacia possible, has not been researched thoroughly enough when we speak of its building materials. During the last few years, the interest in the Roman buildings in the Danube territory has grown. Mortar Design for Conservation – Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After (MoDeCo2000) project is funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia. Its aim is to investigate the mortars used in Roman buildings along the former Danube Limes in Serbia, as well as to offer mortar recipes for building conservation practice. The project includes 24 archaeological sites, dating to the period spanning from the 1st to the 6th century, with more than 120 different mortar samples that originate from 40 buildings of military and civilian function. The project results are intended to be an important contribution to the nomination dossier of a cultural property tending to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, named “Frontiers of the Roman Empire – Danube Limes in Serbia”. Conducted laboratory analyses showed a great diversity of mortar samples. Immensely important are the results offering the characterisation of some local raw materials known to date as used for masonry, as important components of the mortars, but also the possibility to conclude that the mortars for the most important buildings in this territory were made using the rare local or imported raw materials. After sampling and research, laboratory models of mortars were made, the most promising recipes were chosen, and the application of new mortars was performed in real environmental conditions and on historic walls. The project results formed a database on archaeology, architectural and construction history, technology, geology, and chemistry of raw materials and mortars, that will greatly contribute to heritage protection in Serbia, as an exceptionally important input for conservation practice. The objectives of the MoDeCo2000 project are connected to the research of physical and social elements of former Roman fortresses and cities in Serbia, as well as to the conservation practice and contribution to contemporary engineering. Its biggest scientific significance is in the revealing of different aspects of building technologies in the Roman period in the mentioned territory, but also of the economy, trade, and everyday life of its inhabitants.
Serbian Ceramic Society Conference. ADVANCED CERAMICS AND APPLICATION X
New Frontiers in Multifunctional Material Science and Processing, Belgrade, Serbia, 26 - 27 September 2022
Natural brick of Viminacium
Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Mladen Jovičić
Building activity in Viminacium, an important Roman legionary fortress and a city on the Danube in today’s Serbia, was influenced by its natural surroundings. They influenced the position and orientation of the first fortification, built in the 1st century AD, as well as the range of raw materials for the construction of buildings in all of Viminacium’s life phases. The first building material along with wood that Romans encountered after coming to the northern edge of the Stig Plain must have been red burnt soil created by coal combustion, whose source is only a few kilometres from the fortress. The first ramparts were constructed using blocks made of this material, called "crvenka" by the local people, which was used for building purposes in the wider area until relatively recently. It is very well known that manmade brick was used as an artificial material with pozzolanic features added to Roman lime mortars. Viminacium was a provincial centre of brick production, using local soil as a raw material. Since crvenka can be recognised as a kind of “natural brick” made of local sediments, an assumption was made that it could also have been used in Viminacium lime mortars as a natural pozzolanic addition. After laboratory research of its mineralogical, mechanical, physical, and chemical characteristics, crushed and ground crvenka was mixed with lime. Mortars with excellent mechanical properties were created, offering us one of the indicators of their possible hydraulicity. With the knowledge of the firing temperatures that could have been developed in Roman brick kilns, this research will be continued. An attempt to determine the temperature that red ceramic fragments, visible in the composition of Viminacium mortars, were fired at, will be made, leading us further towards their possible characterisation as artificial or “natural” brick.
Chemical analysis of historical mortars from the Roman period in Serbia
Nevenka Mijatović, Ljiljana Miličić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Emilija Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Biljana Ilić
This work is part of the MoDeCo2000 project research concerning the historical mortars from the Roman period in today’s Serbia. It is focused on the chemical analysis of mortar samples selected from archaeological sites along the Danube River. The main compositional and technological features of the mortars were determined by chemical analyses with energydispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) with an HF resistant introductory system. The aim of this study is to present the analytical chemistry strategy used for the rapid and reliable characterisation of the relevant features of historical mortars. It is concluded that the EDXRF technique can be directly applied to solid samples, but ICPOES still requires sample decomposition and dissolution to make full use of its analytical capabilities. However, in many cases, ICP-OES includes a quartz introductory system, and hydrofluoric acid removal by treatment with borates must be applied before measurement. Replacing the quartz introductory system with an HF resistant introductory system is achieved to eliminate the neutralisation step with borates, and still get very accurate boron and silicon results. After detailed research, standard reference certified materials of selected rocks, clays, and limestone (CRM NIST 688 (basalt rock), NCS DC CRM 60102 (clay), NCS DC CRM 60104 (clay), NCS DC CRM 60105 (clay), NCS DC CRM 60106 (clay), BCS-CRM 512 (dolomite), BCS-CRM 513 (limestone)) were analyzed with the same chemical techniques, sighting the identification of potential types of raw materials employed for the production of mortars. Data analysis as a tool of statistics was applied to evaluate the characteristics of mortars, mutually differentiating mortars from different sites, as well as typify updated samples. The analytical results showed that the EDXRF technique can be used together with other well-established techniques (ICP-OES) and presents a good potential as a reliable, cheap, and fast chemistry strategy to carry out the study of historical building materials. Elaboration of cheap and quick analytical methodology is an important aspect in the development of advanced steps in the research of historical mortars’ production technology.
8th BALKAN SYMPOSIUM on ARCHAEOMETRY, Belgrade, Serbia, 03 - 06 October 2022
Recognising the value of historic mortars: from a database to an exhibition
Emilija Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Snežana Vučetić, Jonjaua Ranogajec
A human hand is always woven into the building material, whether it only participated in the exploitation of the stone or shaped the earth into a block. However, archaeological excavations rarely detect building materials as valuable, being recorded only as unified elements that form an architectural context or mediums that carry an inscription or a trace of use . Mortar Design for Conservation - Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After - MoDeCo2000 is a project conducted as a connection between archaeometry and conservation science, exploring the Roman mortars through the intertwining of the desire to learn about the construction activities and lives of ancient people along the Danube in today’s Serbia and the goal of preparing new materials that will preserve the built remains of these activities for the future. There are few collections of samples of historical materials worldwide, and they rarely occupy special places in museum depots or exhibitions . On the other hand, databases of building materials are becoming increasingly important for conserving monuments [3, 4]. About 120 samples of lime mortars belonging to buildings dating from the 1st to the 6th century AD were collected during the MoDeCo2000 project. A database containing the results of the mortars’ characterization and proposals for the creation of compatible conservation mixtures was made, marking the beginning of the formation of a database of building historical materials found in Serbia, available to scientists and experts, as well as the collection exhibited for the museum public. In this way, the project tries to contribute to a wider recognition of the importance of building materials research, especially mortar, which was created in the human attempt to make a bonding material, mostly using reachable natural resources, which should be easy to use and durable, but also, in many cases, very aesthetically pleasing.
The 10th scientific conference Methodology and Archaeometry, Zagreb, Croatia, 01 - 02 December 2022
Searching for elements - Creating a composition. From archaeometry to conservation of Roman constructions on the Danube in Serbia
Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Ljiljana Miličić, Nevenka Mijatović, Mladen Jovičić, Snežana Vučetić
Roman mortars have long been one of the most intriguing topics in the field of construction history, which together with archaeology has embraced many sciences and professional practices in order to unravel the technologies and knowledge of ancient builders. Among them, geology occupies a special place in the investigation of the origin of raw materials. At the same time, with the help of chemistry, it looks for their mutual relationships, which eventually led to composites with the use of which the most monumental Roman buildings were erected. Through the project Mortar Design for Conservation - Danube Roman Frontier 2000 Years After, the characterisation of more than 120 samples of Roman mortars originating from buildings erected along the former Danube Limes in Serbia, in the period from the 1st to the 6th century, was carried out. Research executed in laboratories in order to get mineralogical-petrographic and chemical characterization, and determination of physical and mechanical characteristics of samples brought completely new data about the use of building materials for the purpose of preparing mortar in this period on the outskirts of a Roman province. The results enabled materials scientists to prepare over 60 models of compatible conservation mortars using detected raw materials, which were then experimentally applied in the field. The promising results of the behaviour of applied conservation mortars show the importance of previous multidisciplinary scientific research for the needs of architectural conservation of monuments. At the same time the entire project process - from characterization to conservation, can present a valuable contribution to the nomination dossier for the Frontiers of the Roman Empire - Danube Limes in Serbia which the Republic of Serbia is currently preparing with the aim of recognising these precious ancient archaeological sites along the great river as properties of the UNESCO World Heritage List.