Building Materials and Decay Assessment for On-Land and Underwater Cultural Heritage (CH)


Rovella Natalia Rovella

Natalia Rovella

National Research Council of Italy - Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR - ITM), Rende, Italy

Ricca Michela Ricca

Michela Ricca

Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science (DiBEST), University of Calabria, Italy

Randazzo Luciana Randazzo

Luciana Randazzo

Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy


The session aims to collect research focused on the study of cultural heritage, from on-land and underwater historical/archaeological sites, using a multi-analytical approach. In particular, the main purpose is to highlight the use of traditional methodologies as well as cutting-edge methods to adequately characterize materials from the point of view of raw materials, minero-petrographic and geochemical properties, also assessing their state of conservation and the environmental impact. The assessment of the state of conservation of building materials can be supported by emerging case studies with topics on new strategies, tools and materials for restoration.

The session also encourages speeches among experts from different backgrounds working on Cultural Heritage issues, such as biologists, geologists, chemists, engineering, art historian, restorers and conservation scientists.

The Special Session will be partially supported by the TECTONIC project (TEchnological Consortium TO develop sustaiNabIlity of underwater Cultural heritage) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant, agreement No. 873132.

Contributions from members of the TECTONIC consortium will be warmly welcomed.


Key topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Raw materials characterization of Cultural Heritage (CH);
  • Weathering and decay processes assessment;
  • Diagnosis and conservation strategies in CH;
  • Innovative materials, tools and methods for the characterization of natural and artificial stone materials;
  • Newly developments in restoration knowledge: nanotechnology, biotechnology and green conservation materials;
  • New tools and methods for mapping damage forms.


Natalia Rovella, is a researcher at the National Research Council - Institute for Membrane Technology (CNR - ITM). She graduated in Geological Sciences in 2009 from the University of Calabria where she obtained a PhD in Earth Sciences with a thesis on the study of interactions between nanoparticles and stone substrates aimed at the conservation of UNESCO monuments. Dr. Natalia Rovella's research activity develops in Mineralogy and Petrography applied to the Environment and Cultural Heritage. Over time she has dealt with issues of diagnosis, archaeometry and conservation of natural and artificial stone materials used in Italian and foreign cultural heritage. Furthermore, the researcher is engaged in the formulation of innovative nanomaterials to be applied in new protocols for the conservation of Cultural Heritage, funded by National and International Research Projects. The scientific activity has produced numerous publications in books, national and international peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings.

Michela Ricca, is a researcher at the Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DiBEST), University of Calabria (UNICAL). She deals with archaeometry and diagnostic investigations on materials, in the field of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. She participated in the research and management activities of several National and European projects. With over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers, published in international journals, she has also presented more than 60 contributions to National and International Conferences and Events in the Cultural Heritage sector. In particular, her research interests include: a) proven ance study and mineralogical-petrographic characterization of natural and artificial stone materials used in Cultural Heritage; b) experimentation and testing of new protective/consolidating products against ageing, weathering and decay agents on stone materials; c) study of degradation forms of cultural resources in underwater environments.

Luciana Randazzo, is a researcher at the Department of Earth and Marine Sciences (DiSTeM, University of Palermo). She graduated in Geological Science in 2004 at the University of Palermo. In April 2009 she awarded a PhD in Petrography and Petrology at the University of Catania. The research activity of Dr Luciana Randazzo has dealt mainly with topics in the field of applied Mineralogy and Petrography to Cultural Heritage. Her research concerns subjects focused on technical knowledge and conservation features of natural and artificial stone materials used in monuments as well as archaeometric characterization of archaeological ceramics (production and provenance). Dr Randazzo's expertise and professional background are reflected in her publications in books, national and international peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of international congresses.


Univ Malta