Characterization of concrete from Roman buildings for public spectacles in Emerita Augusta (Mérida, Spain)

María Isabel Mota-López, Rafael Fort, Mónica Álvarez de Buergo, Antonio Pizzo, Rubén Maderuelo-Sanz, Juan Miguel Meneses-Rodríguez, Duygu Ergenç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The aim of this work is to characterize the original concrete from Roman buildings for public spectacles, theatre and amphitheatre, from Emerita Augusta, Mérida, Spain. An advanced knowledge of the Roman concrete composition is required for a reliable restoration and preservation of these ancient monuments. The concrete was studied through mineralogical (optical polarized microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and petrophysical (bulk and real density, open porosity to water and Hg, mechanical strength and ultrasonic velocity) analyses. With this work, it is possible to fill the gap that exists in this field and the characterization of the materials used in the Roman concrete from these two buildings, never previously studied, despite the significance of this archaeological ensemble, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. The results allowed us to determine the composition of the Roman concrete and to infer the provenance of the aggregates used in these monuments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1022
Number of pages16
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Heritage
  • Mineralogical analysis
  • Petrophysical analysis
  • Provenance
  • Roman concrete


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