Special Issue "Earth Architecture: Culture, Issues, and Solution for Its Conservation"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Laura Santarelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Materials Environmental Engineering, University of Rome Sapienza, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: characterization techniques; polymer science; cement and concrete; photocatalytic materials; nanomaterials; protective coatings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The proposed special issue concerns the possibility of creating a specific series dedicated to the materials of cultural heritage, considering their origin, their use and applications over time, their degradation and the solutions for their conservation and restoration.

The approach will allow to address the proposed topic in a multidisciplinary way considering archaeological, artistic and conservation studies involving different researchers and experts such as architects, archaeologists, conservation scientists and restorers. The proposed special issue will thus become a reference for a wide audience and reach a wide diffusion.

As regards the first special issue proposed, considering the widespread diffusion of different countries and the great problems of chemical, physical and mechanical conservation, the material examined is raw earth (mud).

The following research subjects are indicated here as possible topics of interest:

  • Nature of the raw materials used in Earth Architecture
  • Historical, Architectural and Archeological approaches
  • Structural and mechanical studies
  • Chemical, physical, biological, geological issues
  • Conservation and restoration approaches and studies
  • New materials for the conservation of Earth Architecture
  • Engineering solution for the conservation of Earth Architecture

This Special Issue will also be open to contributions dealing with other subjects related to the major research themes mentioned above.

Dr. Maria Laura Santarelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Earth Architecture
  • Mud Architecture
  • Clay
  • Multidisciplinary Approaches
  • Pisè
  • Adobe
  • Torchis
  • Cobe
  • Mechanical issues
  • Conservation issues
  • Conservation approaches and solution
  • Restoration solution
  • New materials for the conservation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Roman Wall Paintings: Characterisation of Plaster Coats Made of Clay Mud
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 889-905; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4020048 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 605
This paper reports on the mineralogical characterisation of samples of wall paintings from various Roman sites in Lombardy (Italy), revealing recurrent types of stratigraphy. One of the stratigraphic samples analysed was found to be a particular kind of plaster: a three-coat work featuring [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the mineralogical characterisation of samples of wall paintings from various Roman sites in Lombardy (Italy), revealing recurrent types of stratigraphy. One of the stratigraphic samples analysed was found to be a particular kind of plaster: a three-coat work featuring two coats made of clay mud, found in the site of Santa Maria alla Porta (area of the Imperial Palace of Milan—first century CE). The fragments were analysed using optical microscopy on thin sections, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with an energy-dispersive spectrometer and infrared spectroscopy, also in non-invasive external reflection mode (7500–375 cm−1). The most interesting feature found was the finish coat made of clay mud (illite, chlorite, kaolinite and fine quartz) with a few coarse clasts and linear cavities. This clay coat was the first example ever detected in Roman Lombardy and was used in combination with a thin painted coat made of clay mud with coarse clasts together with a blue pigment (Egyptian blue) and a render coat made of lime associated with lithic clasts (sand). Our findings brought to light a particular construction technique, since in the historical sources clay is only recommended for daubing on reeds and as a render coat. Full article
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