Historic Mortars from Tuquoy, Westray, Orkney Islands: a SEM-EDS study

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

The principal aim of this investigation, was to assess the evidence for the composition of the provenance of the binder in three historic mortar specimens from Tuquoy. In addition, general description of the mortar specimens supplied reveals features of interest, particularly fragments of slag in one specimen. These can contain information indicative of the composition of materials calcined for production of the binder, and also conditions of firing, such as temperature and reduction / oxidation during production.
Analysis of the specimens from Tuquoy revealed a variable composition and texture of mortar between samples, characterised in the main by the differences in the non-binder fraction (the aggregate, additives and/or inclusions). Overall, the binder fraction in TWO-4 and 8, was composed of a high-Ca carbonate, with only minor (< a few %) evidence of other elements such as Mg, S or Fe. This was indicative of course, of a similarly composed carbonate source, certainly comparable to the biogenic sources seen as aggregates in the mortars, something also supported by the evidence of pseudomorph textures found in calcined lime inclusions, similar in dimension to the biogenic aggregates. The binder phase in sample TWO-9 has a consistently higher content of Si and Al, possibly indicating either a hydraulic composition or the incorporation of fin grained silicate minerals incorporated as part of the aggregate.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPaisley
PublisherUniversity of the West of Scotland
Commissioning bodyUniversity of the Highlands and Islands
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • mortar
  • masonry
  • Orkney
  • scanning electron microscopy

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  • Activities

    • 1 Publication peer-review
    • 1 Types of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee

    5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019 (Event)

    John Hughes (Peer reviewer)

    1 Feb 201930 May 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

    5th Historic Mortars Conference- member of Scientific Committee

    John Hughes (Examiner)

    Nov 2018Jul 2019

    Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee

    Research Output

    • 1 Book
    • 1 Conference contribution
    • 1 Abstract

    Animal, vegetable or mineral? Characterising shell-lime, maerl-lime and limestone-lime mortar evidence from the Late Norse and Medieval site of Tuquoy, Orkney

    Thacker, M., Hughes, J. & Odling, N., 19 Jun 2019, p. 107-107. 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    Open Access
  • Animal, vegetable or mineral? Characterising shell-lime, maerl-lime and limestone-lime mortar evidence from the Late Norse and Medieval site of Tuquoy, Orkney

    Thacker, M., Hughes, J. & Odling, N., 16 Jul 2019, Proceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference: RILEM Proceedings PRO 130. Alvarez, J. I., Fernandez, J. M., Navarro, I., Duran, A. & Sirera, R. (eds.). Paris: RILEM Publications S.A.R.L., Vol. PRO 130. p. 758-777 20 p. (RILEM Proceedings; vol. 130).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
    File
  • Mortars in Historic Buildings: A Review of the Conservation, Technical and Scientific Literature

    Hughes, J. J. & Válek, J., 1 Jun 2003, Edinburgh: Historic Scotland. 80 p. (Literature Review)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

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