Mortars and plasters—How to characterize aerial mortars and plasters

Duygu Ergenç, Rafael Fort, Maria J. Varas−Muriel, Monica Alvarez de Buergo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aerial mortars and plasters have been widely used in construction throughout history, and their compatibility with historic mortars and plasters has led to their recent re-adoption. This paper reviews the prominent features of aerial mortars and plasters, their main characteristics and the various characterization methods using both traditional and advanced technology. Several techniques are used in physical, hydric, mechanical, petrographic, mineralogical and chemical characterization. A detailed explanation of microscopic characterization techniques is provided, indicating the information that can be obtained with each. Scientific advances in dating and provenance studies are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number197
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the CLIMORTEC (BIA2014-53911-R) project, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, and the TOP Heritage (P2018/NMT-4372) project, Community of Madrid.

Funding Information:
The authors are indebted to the IGEO Petrophysical Laboratory and to the Applied Petrology in Heritage Conservation group (921349). The authors wish to acknowledge the professional support of the Open Heritage: Research and Society (PTI-PAIS) CSIC Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Aerial lime
  • Chemical
  • Dating techniques
  • Isotopic characterization
  • Microscopic
  • Mineralogical
  • Petrographic
  • Physical-hydric-mechanical properties


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