Original paper

Mixing and provenance of raw materials in the bricks from the Svevian castle of Rocca Imperiale (North Calabria, Italy)

Miriello, Domenico; Crisci, Gino Mirocle

Abstract

Bricks from the Svevian castle in Rocca Imperiale (northern Calabria, Italy) were analysed in an attempt to ascertain their provenance. This impressive architectural structure was built by Frederick II of Svevia around the year 1200 and is one of the most significant monuments in Southern Italy. Petrographical and chemical XRF analyses of the trace and major elements were also carried out on any raw materials locally that might have been used in the brick making. This enabled us to locate outcrops of clays and non-plastic elements, which confirm the hypothesis that the materials used were found locally. Detailed chemical and petrographic analyses of the bricks, clays and sands have shown that the temper added to the clay in the brick-making process corresponds to a mix of Pliocene sand and sand from the bed of the Canna stream.

Keywords

raw materialsbrickgeochemistrypetrographynon linear optimizationarcheometry