Special Issue "The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystallography and Physical Chemistry of Minerals & Nanominerals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 April 2022) | Viewed by 12008

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. João Pedro Veiga
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Guest Editor
Department of Conservation and Restoration, CENIMAT/i3N, NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: cultural heritage; ceramics; glasses; mortars; pigments; mining heritage; mineralogy; crystallography; crystal chemistry; nanomaterials; nanotechnology; synchrotron radiation; x-ray absorption spectroscopy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Mathilda Larsson Coutinho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
HERCULES Laboratory, Institute for Advanced Studies and Research, Universidade de Évora, Largo Marquês de Marialva 8, 7000-809 Évora, Portugal
Interests: cultural heritage; conservation sciences; ceramic; glass, glazes; mineralogy; historical material research; biodeterioration; deterioration processes; conservation-restoration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Elin Figueiredo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CENIMAT/i3N, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: cultural heritage; archaeometallurgy; mineralogy; geological heritage; ancient mining; bronze and tin; conservation sciences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Minerals, essential raw materials for the development of societies, focuses on the special role of minerals in cultural heritage, either by their application or existence in tangible heritage such as monuments, buildings, works of art, historical artefacts and objects of cultural value, as well as in the natural heritage generated by the geological, mining and industrial structures that are the sources of these raw materials.

The definition of cultural heritage by the council of Europe as a resource inherited from the past which humanity identifies as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions, thus gains special significance and expression, considering the fundamental role of minerals in the comprehension of properties and behavior of this heritage.

This Special Issue intends to bridge heritage and mineral science, and we encourage all experts working in related areas to submit their contributions. Topics of special interest include but are not limited to glasses, ceramics, metals, stone/rocks and mortars, their properties, behavior, aging, and degradation; historical mining and mining heritage, geoarchaeology, geoheritage and industrial heritage related to mining; historical technological processes, archaeometry, dating and authenticity; characterization techniques, new materials and methodologies, conservation, best practices and case studies; minerals related to mining activity,  rock weathering, soils, valorization of cultural landscape, geo-tourism in historical mining sites and geological sites; monitoring and remote sensing, modelling and theoretical approaches, data management, risk assessment, soil contamination/remediation, acid mine drainage, ecological solutions, maintenance and sustainability; as well as climate impact and social impact.

We look forward for your submissions!

Prof. Dr. João Pedro Veiga
Dr. Mathilda L. Coutinho
Dr. Elin Figueiredo
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2000 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.

Keywords

  • glasses, ceramics and metals in cultural heritage
  • stone/rocks and mortars in built heritage
  • minerals and mineralogical phases
  • minerals related to mining sites
  • geological sites
  • non-destructive methodologies
  • large scale facilities (synchrotron, neutron and ion beam)
  • authenticity and dating
  • effects of climate changes
  • modelling and theoretical approaches
  • remote sensing and risk management
  • maintenance and sustainability
  • social impact and cultural tourism

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Archaeometric Study of the White Marbles from “Madonna Della Febbre” Altar in San Domenico Church (Cosenza, Southern Italy)
Minerals 2022, 12(3), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12030284 - 24 Feb 2022
Viewed by 300
Abstract
San Domenico Church was built between 1441 and 1468 and represents one of the most important historical buildings of the Cosenza area (Calabria, Southern Italy) thanks to its architectonic style and the works inside, such as the “Madonna della Febbre”, a notable marble [...] Read more.
San Domenico Church was built between 1441 and 1468 and represents one of the most important historical buildings of the Cosenza area (Calabria, Southern Italy) thanks to its architectonic style and the works inside, such as the “Madonna della Febbre”, a notable marble altar dated back to the XVI century. The church, as well as the sculptural group, underwent various interventions over time, unfortunately scarcely documented; thus, in this paper, the characterization of six white marble samples coming from the altar, was carried out to determine their provenance. The samples were analyzed by means of complementary methodologies well known in the archaeometric field: polarized optical microscopy (POM); an electron probe micro analyzer coupled with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EPMA-EDS); inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS); and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). The results provided important information about the “Madonna della Febbre” altar, suggesting the presence of different typologies of marbles and hypothesizing their possible provenance, including Carrara and Docimium. It was not clear if these marbles were re-used materials but, regardless, the reported information adds precious elements to the history of the entire architectonic complex, providing new issues to be deepened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Mortars from the Palace of Knossos in Crete, Greece: A Multi-Analytical Approach
Minerals 2022, 12(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12010030 - 24 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The study of building materials constituting cultural heritage is fundamental to understand their characteristics and predict their behavior. When considering materials from archaeological sites, their characterization can provide not only relevant information for a broader understanding of the site and its importance and [...] Read more.
The study of building materials constituting cultural heritage is fundamental to understand their characteristics and predict their behavior. When considering materials from archaeological sites, their characterization can provide not only relevant information for a broader understanding of the site and its importance and significance but can also increase knowledge about ancient materials and their performance. The Palace of Knossos is a very important archaeological site in the European history context, and its preservation benefits from the characterization of the constituent materials. Samples of mortars from this monument were collected under the scope of the H2020 HERACLES project, where a multi-analytical approach was chosen using established protocols for the different sample typologies. Instrumental techniques such as optical microscopy (OM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and simultaneous thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis (TG–DTA) were used for the chemical, mineralogical, and morphological characterization of these mortar samples. The results indicate that the majority are lime mortars, both aerial and hydraulic, but gypsum-based mortars were also identified. Differences in the chemical composition of the samples in distinct areas of the monument allowed us to reflect on the variety of materials used in the construction of the Palace of Knossos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Mineralogical Insights to Identify Göktepe Marble in the Sculptural Program of Quinta Das Longas Villa (Lusitania)
Minerals 2021, 11(11), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11111194 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 485
Abstract
This archaeometric study is focused on the marble used in a group of fragmented sculptures found at the Roman villa of Quinta das Longas (Elvas, Portugal). Dating from the 4th century AD, the pieces are of remarkable quality and correspond to ideal and [...] Read more.
This archaeometric study is focused on the marble used in a group of fragmented sculptures found at the Roman villa of Quinta das Longas (Elvas, Portugal). Dating from the 4th century AD, the pieces are of remarkable quality and correspond to ideal and mythological figures from several iconographic cycles. The numerous fragments, all of very fine-grained white marble, are associated with the ornamentation of an impressive nymphaeum of the villa. Their high level of sculpture technique and style, the models followed and their similar typology to other well-known parallels raise the hypothesis of being linked with Aphrodisian workshops. Using a well-established multi-method approach, with Optical microscopy, X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD), qualitative and quantitative cathodoluminescence (CL) by CL-Optical and CL-SEM, and stable C and O isotopic and trace element analytical techniques (IRMS and ICP-AES), together with complementary parameters obtained from electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and 87Sr/86Sr isotopes, the marble provenance can be identified with certainty. The results all point to the best quality of white Göktepe marble, confirming the stylistic connection to the ancient Carian sculptors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
The Miedzianka Mountain Ore Deposit (Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Poland) as a Site of Historical Mining and Geological Heritage: A Case Study of the Teresa Adit
Minerals 2021, 11(11), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11111177 - 24 Oct 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
There are numerous traces of mining activity in the Miedzianka Mountain (Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Poland), because copper and silver ores have been mined in this region since at least the 13th century. The history of scientific research on the Miedzianka Mountain ore deposit spans [...] Read more.
There are numerous traces of mining activity in the Miedzianka Mountain (Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Poland), because copper and silver ores have been mined in this region since at least the 13th century. The history of scientific research on the Miedzianka Mountain ore deposit spans almost 200 years. Almost 40 minerals have been found: ore minerals of Cu and Fe, and also secondary minerals, including carbonates, sulphates and even very rare arsenates, phosphates and vanadates. Three new minerals have been found, staszicite, lubeckite and miedziankite, but their chemical composition has not been precisely determined and therefore their names have not been approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The Miedzianka Mountain deposit is an important area on the map of educational activities. It is included in the “Świętokrzyskie Archaeological and Geological Trail” as a site of historical (mining and metallurgy) and natural (geological sciences) heritage. Despite the large potential, none of the underground workings (adits and shafts) are currently available to the public. Our research and exploration of the Teresa adit, which is one of the historical underground complexes of the Miedzianka Mountain, show that this adit displays a wide spectrum of topics in the field of mineralogy, geology and mining history. The Teresa adit, which is a 523 m system of underground corridors, contains 270 m of natural karst caves altered by mining works and is constituted of Upper Devonian limestones, locally cut by cherry shales. In several sites of the adit unique features can be observed, such as: (1) old mining works—galleries carved in the rock back in the 19th century; (2) interesting vein mineralization with secondary-colored copper carbonates and multi-colored calcite veins; (3) mineralization with azurite domination; and (4) karst phenomena (coatings, flowstone, dripstones and stalactites) in a cave part of the adit. The sites with unique features suggest that the Teresa adit is highly suitable to be presented to tourists. That is why we propose seven sites on the underground route that could be the basis for further projects to create a “geotouristic trail” in the Teresa adit. The proposal to make the Teresa adit available to tourists is in line with the tendency to protect the post-industrial landscape associated with former mining activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Historical Outline of Iron Mining and Production in the Area of Present-Day Poland
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101136 - 16 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The article presents the history of iron ore mining and production in present-day Poland and takes into account mining and production techniques and the influence of mining on the development of the surrounding areas. Examples of development are presented for the most important [...] Read more.
The article presents the history of iron ore mining and production in present-day Poland and takes into account mining and production techniques and the influence of mining on the development of the surrounding areas. Examples of development are presented for the most important iron ore mining centers established since the period of the so-called Roman influences—Lower Silesia in the region of Tarchalice and the Świętokrzyskie region in the area of Góry Świętokrzyskie (Świętokrzyskie Mountains). The oldest traces of underground iron ore mining in Poland date back to the 7th–5th century B.C., and iron production dates back from the 1st century B.C. in the Częstochowa region where economically significant iron ore exploitation started in the 14th century and lasted until the 20th century. Studies showed that the development of iron ore mining in today’s Poland was associated with significant events in the country’s history, for example, with the expansion of a network of fortified castles in Silesia or with the industrial revolution. In each case, the increase in iron production resulted in the development and growth of the surrounding areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Orange Pickeringite from the Algares 30-Level Adit, Aljustrel Mine, Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101115 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The sheltered environment of the Algares +30 level adit (underground mine gallery) contributes to the preservation of secondary water-soluble minerals formed on the tunnel walls. The massive sulphide and related stockwork zone are hosted by the Mine Tuff volcanic unit and are exposed [...] Read more.
The sheltered environment of the Algares +30 level adit (underground mine gallery) contributes to the preservation of secondary water-soluble minerals formed on the tunnel walls. The massive sulphide and related stockwork zone are hosted by the Mine Tuff volcanic unit and are exposed in the walls of the gallery, showing intense oxidation and hydrothermal alteration. Minerals from the halotrichite group were identified on the efflorescent salts, typically white fine-acicular crystals but also on aggregates with dark orange/brownish colour. Mineral characterization was performed using several methods and analytical techniques (XRD, XRF-WDS, SEM-EDS, DTA-TG), and the chemical formulas were calculated maintaining the ratio A:B ≅ 1:2 in accordance with the general formula of the halotrichite group, AB2(SO4)4·22H2O. This methodology allowed the assignment of the orange colour to the presence of trivalent iron on iron-rich pickeringite in partial substitution of aluminium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
A Mineralogical Museum as a Geotourism Attraction: A Case Study
Minerals 2021, 11(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060582 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1595
Abstract
The Zaruma-Portovelo mining district in Ecuador, and in particular, Portovelo City, is home to the oldest mining museum in the country. This museum, named Museo Mineralógico Magner Turner (MMMT in Spanish), is a centre that reflects, through its collections, the history and culture [...] Read more.
The Zaruma-Portovelo mining district in Ecuador, and in particular, Portovelo City, is home to the oldest mining museum in the country. This museum, named Museo Mineralógico Magner Turner (MMMT in Spanish), is a centre that reflects, through its collections, the history and culture of this territory. This work aimed to evaluate the MMMT as a possible geosite by analysing its contributions to the geomining heritage of the Zaruma-Portovelo district, and thus, to enhance it and promote its collections as a geotouristic attraction. The work involved three phases: (i) describing the museum and its surroundings; (ii) a semiquantitative evaluation of the museum using the Brilha method and a geosites assessment model (GAM); and (iii) a qualitative evaluation using the Delphi and SWOT methodologies to define strategies and proposals for museum development. The results obtained by the semiquantitative evaluation of the geosite with the Brilha method reflect high scientific (330/400), educational (380/400) and touristic (365/400) appeal. The applied GAM shows the museum as a geosite with high principal and additional value, placing it in the Z33 field of the global valuation matrix. In addition, the semiquantitative and qualitative evaluation made it possible to describe the importance of the museum and its collections in the development of the area. The study carried out qualified the museum as a mining site with an appropriate valuation, an example of ex-situ geological heritage conservation and a basis for geotourism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Assessment and Promotion of Geotouristic and Geomining Routes as a Basis for Local Development: A Case Study
Minerals 2021, 11(4), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11040351 - 28 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Travel itineraries are fundamental in the development of tourism of a given area. Traditional thematic routes (e.g., architectural, archaeological) can be significantly improved and optimized by including geological and mining interest sites. The present study offers an analysis of the influence that inclusion [...] Read more.
Travel itineraries are fundamental in the development of tourism of a given area. Traditional thematic routes (e.g., architectural, archaeological) can be significantly improved and optimized by including geological and mining interest sites. The present study offers an analysis of the influence that inclusion of geosites or mining sites could have on the existing routes of the Zaruma-Portovelo region (Ecuador), together with a global assessment of these itineraries as the basis of fostering local development in communities of the region. The methodology consists of the following stages: (i) compilation of existing travel itineraries; (ii) analysis and assessment of those geosites and mining sites that are included in two geotouristic routes through the Spanish Inventory of Places of Geological Interest method (IELIG, acronym in Spanish), but have not been assessed previously; (iii) assessment of existing routes (two geotouristic routes and one geomining route) from a global perspective through the Geotouristic Route Assessment Matrix method (GtRAM, acronym in Spanish); and (iv) definition of strategies for the development and promotion of travel itineraries within the context of geotourism. According to the results of quantitative assessment, three new sites (both geosites and mining sites) were studied and their obtained score of interest was “High” (164/400). The existing routes achieved good results both from the geological-mining perspective “High” score of (189/400) and within a global context “Very High” score of (3.5/5). The quantitative assessment allowed us to propose improvement strategies to disseminate and use these itineraries to unfold sustainable development based on geotourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Mineral Inventory of the Algares 30-Level Adit, Aljustrel Mine, Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal
Minerals 2020, 10(10), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100853 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Mining activity in Algares (Aljustrel Mine, Portuguese sector of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, IPB) stems prior to Roman times. As the orebody is vertical and relatively thin, mining was carried out mainly along underground adits (galleries). Nowadays, the deposit is considered exhausted and [...] Read more.
Mining activity in Algares (Aljustrel Mine, Portuguese sector of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, IPB) stems prior to Roman times. As the orebody is vertical and relatively thin, mining was carried out mainly along underground adits (galleries). Nowadays, the deposit is considered exhausted and the area is being rehabilitated for a different use. The Algares +30 level adit intersects two volcanic units of the IPB Volcano-Sedimentary Complex. The massive sulphide and related stockwork zone are hosted by the Mine Tuff volcanic unit and are exposed in the walls of the gallery, showing intense hydrothermal alteration. Along the mine adit, the geological sequence is affected by strong oxidation and supergene alteration, giving rise to the formation of secondary minerals through the oxidation of the sulphides. The most common minerals found were melanterite (FeSO4·7H2O) and chalcanthite (CuSO4·5H2O), forming essentially massive or crystalline aggregates, ranging from greenish to bluish colours. Melanterite from the walls revealed to be Cu-rich by opposition to that from stalactites/stalagmites formed below the old ore storage silo revealing the low-copper-grade ores exploited underground. The mineralogy of the efflorescent salts was used to ascertain the processes involved in their formation, and moreover, the inventory of minerals is presented, as well as their principal characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Review

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Review
The Lavrion Mines: A Unique Site of Geological and Mineralogical Heritage
Minerals 2021, 11(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11010076 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2383
Abstract
The Lavrion area corresponds to the western part of the Attic-Cycladic metamorphic belt, in the back-arc region of the active Hellenic subduction zone. Between the Eocene and the Miocene, metamorphic rocks (mainly marbles and schists) underwent several stages of metamorphism and deformation due [...] Read more.
The Lavrion area corresponds to the western part of the Attic-Cycladic metamorphic belt, in the back-arc region of the active Hellenic subduction zone. Between the Eocene and the Miocene, metamorphic rocks (mainly marbles and schists) underwent several stages of metamorphism and deformation due to collision and collapse of the Cycladic belt. Exhumation during the Miocene was accommodated by the movement of a large-scale detachment fault system, which also enhanced emplacement of magmatic rocks, leading to the formation of the famous Lavrion silver deposits. The area around the mines shows the stacking of nappes, with ore deposition mainly localized within the marbles, at marble-schist contacts, below, within, or above the detachment. The Lavrion deposit comprises five genetically-related but different styles of mineralization, a feature never observed in another ore deposit elsewhere, containing the highest number of different elements of any known mining district. The local geology, tectonic, and magmatic activity were fundamental factors in determining how and when the mineralization formed. Other key factors, such as the rise and the fall of sea level, which resulted from climate change over the last million years, were also of major importance for the subsequent surface oxidation at Lavrion that created an unmatched diversity of secondary minerals. As a result, the Lavrion deposit contains 638 minerals of which Lavrion is type-locality for 23 of them, which is nearly 12% of all known species. Apart from being famous for its silver exploitation, this mining district contains more minerals than any other district on Earth. The unique geological, mineralogical, and educational (mining, archaeological, and environmental) features suggest that it is highly suitable to be developed as a future UNESCO Global Geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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