Twenty-six samples of mortar used for various construction applications (joint mortars, floor mortars, filling mortars and plasters) were collected from different areas of the archaeological site of Pompeii (Campania - Sothern Italy). The mortar samples belong to various historical periods covering approximately 2000 years, from the 2nd century BC to the post excavation period (18–19th century). The samples were characterized employing Optical Microscopy (OM), X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA) and Raman Spectroscopy. Moreover, image analysis was carried out using JMicroVision software in order to determine the percentages of binder, macropores and aggregate, in terms of crushed ceramic fragments (cocciopesto), rock fragments and monocrystals. The application of these techniques allowed obtaining a complete chemical and minero-petrographic characterization of the samples, which may prove useful for preparing compatible repair mortars for future restoration works. The archaeometric study provided new data on the production technology of the mortars and the analogies and differences observed among the samples, enabled us to distinguish different constructive phases, thus confirming or rebutting the archaeological hypothesis on the dating of some samples. By combining compositional variables through the discriminant analysis, it was also possible to analyse the time evolution of the materials and to construct preliminary multivariate statistical models, helpful to identify the various typologies of mortars used in the different historical periods.
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