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The study and conservation of architectural decoration from the Eastern Mediterranean. Issues of material properties and cultural heritage

Work package leader:  Prof. A.M. Guimier-Sorbets (Université Paris-Ouest, France)


Other scientific staff:

· Prof. D. Michaelides (University of Cyprus, Cyprus)

· Dr K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle (Université Paris-Ouest, France)

· Dr V. Fromageot-Laniepce (Centre national de la recherché scientifique, France)

· Dr V. Vassal ((Centre national de la recherché scientifique, France))

· Dr F. Balaawi (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr. M. El-khalili (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr N. Haddad (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr F. Alwaneh (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr Y. Al Shawabkeh (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr B. Khrist (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr A. Mayyas (The Hashemite University, Jordan)

· Dr P. Quinn – (University College London, UK)


· Dr D. G. Eliades (G.M EUROCY INNOVATIONS LTD, Cyprus)


Work package description

This work is focused on the study of architecture and building decoration from the Eastern Mediterranean countries of Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan. This work package seeks to develop and employ modern scientific methods of analysis to better understand a series of issues, including the increase in the number of pigments and the consequent enrichment of the colour palette, the use of different binding media, during, for example, the period following the advent of Alexander the Great, or in the period of the transition from the Hellenistic to the Roman period, the composition of the foundation mortar of mosaics made in different techniques (e.g. opus tessellatum, opus vermiculatum, opus signinum, opus sectile, etc.), in order to better understand the evolution of the technique, the identification of regional characteristics and of local workshops, and, eventually, the establishment of a chronological evolution. Moreover, it deals with the identification and analysis of artificial materials used for the making of mosaic tesserra, such as glass, faience, silver, gold, and the analysis of the constituents, composition and pigments of stucco decoration from the region. An assessment and damage quantification of building materials is also included among the research objectives of this work. The particular study will evaluate all the internal and external decay features at different sites, and will focus on different building materials and types of building decoration. This will lead to a comprehensive conservation and management plan, which will take into consideration all the decay mechanisms. These plans are essential in suggesting practical remedial and preventive practices and conceptual management strategies for cultural sites.