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Ambiente Construído

On-line version ISSN 1678-8621


GUERRA-GARCIA, Pablo; GOMEZ-MORENO, Felipe; HERAS-MARTINEZ, César Manuel  and  BASTITA-RAMIREZ, Ana. Methodology and previous results in the study of faunal fragments in Roman mortars. Ambient. constr. [online]. 2018, vol.18, n.4, pp.33-47. ISSN 1678-8621.

The archaeological site of La Magdalena, located in Alcalá de Henares (Spain), is a complex formed by several industrial, storage and housing structures from the Roman Era. During archaeological intervention, different industrial structures were documented. Those structures were built using different types of lime mortar, from the foundations - opus caementicium - to the final cover - opus signinum. In general, they all follow the same Roman construction guidelines, using lime, sand, and ceramic aggregates of crushed bricks known as cocciopesto. However, in the macroscopic observation of the samples, several small and medium fragments of animal bones were detected in the matrix of the lime, mixed with the lime, although in smaller quantities. The average size of the fragments ranges from half a millimetre to one centimetre in length. These fragments were present in the outer and middle layers of the mortar coatings. In this project, the results are shown as quantitative marks. This study also presents a methodological proposal for the study of this type of material waste, based on archaeometry and focused on the proportion of bone fragments in relation to the total weight of the samples, the representativeness of the fragments analysed in relation to the constructive layers, and the probable relation between the presence of bones in the mixture with the functionality of the industrial structures of La Magdalena.

Keywords : La Magdalena settlement; Mortar; Signinum; Fauna; Roman age.

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