The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is considered one of the most important religious sites of Christianity as, according to traditions, it is the place of Christ’s death and resurrection. Indeed, the Church (dated back to the 4th century) incorporates both the Golgotha hill, the site of crucifixion, and the tomb of Christ located in the famous Rotunda containing the Holy Aedicula (Stasolla, 2022). Archaeological excavations by Sapienza University of Rome have been conducted inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as part of a project to restore the floor of the religious complex wanted by the main Communities that have its custody. The western area of the church, including part of the north aisle (the so-called Virgin’s Arches), has brought to light a part of an ancient quarry and foundations of the Paleochristian walls. Archaeometric investigations have been performed on representative samples of mortars, soils and fragments of rocks by the GEOMLABLaboratory using a multi-analytical approach including Optical Microscopy (OM), Micro Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (µFTIR), X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) to define the mineralogical and petrographic composition of the geomaterials. The results showed a mineralogical composition quite similar among the different groups of the analyzed geomaterials, with predominant calcite and minor amount or traces of quartz and clay minerals. Samples from the quarry and the wall slabs are defined as limestone ranging from biosparitic/fossiliferous limestone to rare biomicritic limestone which can be correlated to local late Cretaceous lithostratigraphic sequences of hard and permeable limestone and dolostone, interbedded with argillaceous impermeable layers. The archaeometric analysis confirmed that the construction material used for the closing wall of the complex was compatible with that of the quarry used along with reuse blocks.
Preliminary investigation of geomaterials from the archaeological site of the Holy Sepulchre / Capriotti, Sara; Medeghini, Laura; Bernabale, Martina; Calzolari, Laura; Chiarucci, Cristina; DI FAZIO, Melania; DE VITO, Caterina; Mignardi, Silvano; Stasolla, FRANCESCA ROMANA. - (2023). (Intervento presentato al convegno Congresso congiunto SIMP, SGI, SOGEI, AIV - The Geoscience paradigm: Resources, Risks and future perspectives tenutosi a Potenza).