Insights into Carolingian construction techniques – results from archaeological and mineralogical studies at Müstair Monastery, Grisons, Switzerland

Author(s): Marta Caroselli, Christine Bläuer, Patrick Cassitti, Giovanni Cavallo, Irka Hajdas, Sophie Hueglin, Hans Neukom, Albert Jornet
Paper category: Proceedings
Book title: Proceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference
Editor(s): José Ignacio Álvarez, José María Fernández, Íńigo Navarro, Adrián Durán, Rafael Sirera
ISBN: 978-2-35158-221-3
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-222-0
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 743-757
Total Pages: 15
Language : English

Abstract: During decades of archaeological investigations at the monastery of St. John in Müstair, a
World Heritage site located in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland, more than 5000 mortar
samples dated between about AD 775 and AD 1800 have been recovered. The site also
features the remains of five mechanical mortar mixers dating from the 8th to the 10th
century. This monastery acts as a case study to recount materials and methods in medieval
and early modern construction sites. The proposed paper will focus on the earliest
construction phase, which has been dated by dendrochronology between AD 775 and 788. A
large number of archaeological features can be attributed to the Carolingian construction
site: trenches, post-holes, fills, deposits of lime and plaster, as well as imprints on soil and
mortar. They offer insights into the organization of the building site and the progression of
the work. The petrographic analyses of mortars and raw materials further complement and
expand our knowledge of Carolingian building techniques, so that different mortar groups
have been identified with different petrographic characteristics.

Online publication : 2019
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros) : 0.00

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