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Authors: Marra, F.* 
Deocampo, D.* 
Jackson, M. D.* 
Ventura, G.* 
Title: The Alban Hills and Monti Sabatini volcanic products used in ancient Roman masonry (Italy): An integrated stratigraphic, archaeological, environmental and geochemical approach
Issue Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.06.005
Keywords: Quaternary volcanism
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The rocks of Alban Hills and Monti Sabatini volcanoes (Central Italy) and their associated epiclastic deposits have been extensively used as building material in ancient Rome from about VIIIth century BCE to IVth century CE. However, the identification of the source areas of these rocks is difficult due to the lack of an integrated stratigraphic and geochemical analysis of the relationships between the two volcanic districts, and to the alteration affecting the primary products as consequence of weathering and pedogenetic processes. Here, a comprehensive, upgraded stratigraphic and geochronological review of the two volcanic districts, corroborated by new geochronological data for several eruptive units and altered deposits is presented, coupled to a complete geochemical background, achieved by means of newly determined major and trace element analyses for all the main eruptive units. A study of the alteration processes of the primary products is also presented, and the age of the main weathering and pedogenetic phases, associated to Quaternary climatic changes, are also investigated. The results are integrated with those from literature in order to construct discriminant diagrams based on selected trace elements, and allow us to characterize the primary and altered volcanic deposits in the Rome area, distinguish products of different volcanic districts, discuss the effects of different weathering processes on the mobility of some elements, and provide a reference frame for the provenance of the volcanic materials employed in ancient Roman masonry. The interdisciplinary data set and results presented here provide groundwork for volcanological, climate, pedological and archaeological provenance studies.
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