Sedimentology and cultural heritage

A.Y. 2016/2017
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This Course aims to prepare graduates for diagnosis of i) sedimentary rocks, ii) sedimentary and petrogenetic environments, iii) preservation and weathering state of sedimentary natural stones, in view of job activities for diagnosis and preservation of architectural, archaeological and sculptural materials and for preservation and exploitation of sedimentary and archaeological environments and landscapes.
Expected learning outcomes
Ability to: 1) observe, describe, recognize and classify sediments and sedimentary rocks; 2) recognize provenance and weathering degree of sedimentary rocks as architectural, archaeological and sculptural materials; 3) recognize the most common continental and transitional sedimentary facies, processes and environments; 4) describe a sedimentary succession and landscape for archaeological purposes and environmental fruition.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
1) Sedimentary processes and environments
The sedimentary environment as a geographic dynamic setting; main continental and transitional sub-aerial and aquatic sedimentary environments; sedimentary materials; processes and controls on erosion, transport and deposition of sediments.
2) From sedimentary processes to sediment accumulations
Erosional and depositional dynamics; mobility of sediments and sedimentary environments; origin and hierarchy of sedimentary deposits: lamina, laminaset, bed and bedset; sedimentary facies; facies associations, hierarchy of sedimentary bodies and diagnosis of sedimentary environments.
3) From sediments to sedimentary rocks
Lithification and diagenesis of sediments; texture, composition and structure of sedimentary rocks; basic classification schemes.
4) From sedimentary rocks to architectural and archaeological materials
Sedimentary rocks for construction purposes (building and/or ornamental stones) and as sculptural materials; diagnosis of provenance of natural stones.
5) Settings of architectural and archaeological materials
Erosion and deposition in athropogenic contexts; environmental dynamics and natural stratigraphy at archeological sites: from observation to interpretation.
6) Sedimentary processes, environments and rocks in the frame of human activity
Diagnosis of weathering degree of natural stones; diagnosis for restoration and replacement of weathered sedimentary artifacts; sedimentary environments and landscapes as cultural assets and cultural heritage.
The course includes classroom lectures and practice exercises. Some optional field trips will be dedicated to observation of sedimentary rocks in nature as well as in historical buildings and to the study of sedimentary environments and landscapes.
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Bersezio Riccardo