Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CT0547 (AF:374008 AR:201268)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The course aims to provide the basic knowledge of Mineralogy and Petrography necessary for the identification of the most common minerals and rocks. The course focuses on the mineralogical and petrographic characterization of the minerals and rocks used in Cultural Heritage. Part of the course is dedicated to artificial stones with a mention of the development of sustainable materials. The use of standard normative, the commercial definitions, and the main analytical methodologies used for the characterization of rocks will be also introduced.
The main expected outcomes are i) the identification of the minerals and rocks used in Cultural Heritage fields, ii) the identification of the main decay patterns and causes, iii) the use of an adequate geological-technical glossary that allows an unequivocal communication with the various employees of Cultural Heritage. By the end of the course students should be able to recognize the main geomorphological processes, to formulate reasoned hypotheses on the decay causes, and to suggest a suitable diagnostic approach. The course aims to develop a critical thinking on human-environment interaction in terms of Cultural Heritage preservation.
Knowledge acquired during General and inorganic chemistry.
The use of rocks and minerals in the Cultural Heritage.
Distribution and abundance of elements on the Earth. Structure and dynamics of the Earth.
Definition of mineral. Crystalline state and amorphous state. The crystalline systems. Habit, nucleation, and crystalline growth. Types of polyhedral coordination. Polymorphism and isomorphism. Macroscopic description and physical properties of minerals. Systematic Mineralogy.
Definition of rock. The petrogenetic processes (magmatic, sedimentary, and metamorphic process).
Igneous rocks. Definition and physical-chemical features of magmas. Classification schemes of igneous rocks based on a mineralogy (Streckeisen diagram) and chemistry (TAS).
Sedimentary rocks. Processes of formation, composition, and classification. Criteria and terminology used for the sedimentary rock’s classification.
Metamorphic rocks. Environmental conditions and types of metamorphism. Metamorphic degree.
Artificial stone materials. Ceramics, bricks, and sustainable mix designs. Brief mention of the mosaic technique and glass. Mortars and binders.
Physical and mechanical properties of rocks. UNI and ISO Standard Normative. Compressive strength (destructive analysis) and ultrasonic tests (non-destructive analysis). Thermal properties and the pore system. Aging tests (salts crystallization, freeze-thaw cycles, sunlight cycles in climatic chamber). The archaeometry and the most common analytical techniques for a mineralogical, textural, and chemical characterization of rocks.
The decay. The effects of the climate change on Cultural Heritage.
PowerPoint presentations discussed during lessons and supplementary scientific papers.

Two tests will be organized in agreement with the attending students (quiz-test on the Moodle platform).
The course includes lectures and practical exercises (consisting in the observation, description, and identification of selected macroscopic samples of minerals and rocks), seminars and a field activity in the city of Venice. The lessons and the supplementary materials will be weekly provided on the Moodle platform.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Cities, infrastructure and social capital" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 04/08/2022