HISTORICAL BRICKS DETERIORATION AND RESTORATION FROM THE RED MONASTERY, SOHAG, EGYPT: A GEOCHEMICAL, PETROLOGICAL AND STATISTICAL APPROACHES
Document Type: Original article
Abd-Elkareem, E 1 ; Ali, M. 2 ; El-Sheikh, A. 2
1 Conservation dept., Faculty of Archaeology, South Valley Univ., Qena, Egypt.
2 Geology dept., Faculty of Sciences, Sohag Univ., Sohag, Egypt.
The present study investigates for the first time the historical bricks of The Red Monastery (west Sohag, Egypt), built about fifth century AD, which showing several aspects of brick decay. Several techniques were employed (geochemical, petrographical, mineralogical and morphological) to determine their deterioration features and provenance of the raw material as well as shed lights on the firing techniques. In addition, integration of geochemical data with multivariate statistics (i.e. Cluster Analysis, Principal Component Analyses and Linear Discriminant Analyses) were used to provide insights into the nature and provenance of the raw material. Potential geological raw materials for bricks manufacturing, were taken from modern floodplain (Nile alluvium) and calcareous clay deposits from lowland desert near the monument site, and subjected to chemical analyses, to compare them with the chemical composition of the studied bricks. Results show that the starting raw materials for bricks were probably obtained by mixing Nile alluvium (quarried from the Nile River floodplain deposits) with the possible introduction of a calcium carbonate-rich flux component as a temper. This will provide guidelines for future conservation strategy for making new compatible and durable bricks and/or materials to be utilized for restoration, and contributes to the preservation of the historical masonry under study.
Red monastery; Historical bricks; Multivariate statistics; Provenance; Restoration
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