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CODE 73735
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The Laboratory provides theoretical tools for the chemical and physical characterization of geomaterial (raw materials, manufactures, composites) within the Cultural Heritage. Individual or collective exercises are dedicated to the critical application of knowledge and methods of mineralogical and petrographic analysis.



The aim of the teaching is to provide the advanced mineralogical and petrographic knowledge necessary to define a correct analytical protocol for the characterization of a raw material or a workpiece. Theoretical and practical tools for studying and predicting degradation based on the chemical and physical properties of geomaterial are also provided.


Attendance and participation in the planned training activities (lectures and laboratory activities) will enable the student to acquire general knowledge for mineralogical and petrographic studies in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural heritage.

Specifically, the student will be able to:

  • to know and describe the main mineral classes used as raw materials in inorganic materials relevant to cultural heritage
  • know the physical and chemical properties of minerals and rocks and know how to link them to the main diagnostic investigations
  • to distinguish and identify the mineral constituents of stone materials, manufactures and pigments using both the theoretical skills and the practical and methodological skills acquired


The teaching is useful for students who have the knowledge of mineralogy and petrography.


The teaching consists of lectures and a part of theoretical-practical laboratory. The lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations and are aimed at the presentation of the theoretical-practical knowledge necessary for the study of raw materials, manufactures and composite products.
Field and laboratory exercises are aimed at the practical application of theoretical knowledge acquired during face-to-face lessons.
In particular, the following will be developed:
Individual and collective exercises for the integrated study of raw materials using mineralogical-petrographic diagnostic techniques
Collective exercises for the interpretation and return of analytical data obtained in laboratory and field exercises.
Please refer to the specific AulaWeb page for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


The teaching program includes  the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  • Systematic classification and physico-chemical properties of major minerals used in pigments
  • Systematic classification and physical chemical properties of clay minerals
  • Analytical techniques for determining the mineralogical composition of inorganic materials relevant to cultural heritage.
  • Sample preparation techniques for chemical-mineralogical analysis.
  • Techniques of study of thin sections of stone materials, mortars and plasters.
  • Morphological analysis techniques: stereomicroscopy, transmitted polarized light microscopy, and SEM-EDS on geomaterials for cultural heritage.
  • Microanalysis techniques: SEM-EDS on geomaterials for cultural heritage


The slides used during lessons and other teaching materials will be available on AulaWeb at the end of each cycle of lessons/laboratory exercises.

The books below are suggested as a supporting text, but students can still use other texts at university level. The recommended text is available and can be consulted at the library of the School of Science M.F.N.

  • Amoroso: Trattato di Scienza della conservazione dei monumenti. Alinea Ed.
  • Armigliato A., Valdrè U. (1980) Microscopia elettronica a scansione e microanalisi. Lo Scarabeo, Bologna, Vol. 1 e 2.
  • Borghini G. Marmi antichi (2004) Min. per i beni e le attività culturali. Istituto centrale per il catalogo e la documentazione
  • C. Klein, A.R. Philpotts (2018) Mineralogia e petrografia (a cura di G. Gasparotto e R. Braga), Zanichelli, 532 pp.
  • Deer W.A, Howie R.A., Zussman J. (1993) An introduction to the rock forming minerals., Longman
  • Lazzarini & Tabasso: Il restauro della pietra. CEDAM Ed., 2003.
  • Maggetti M, Messiga B. (eds) (2006) Geomaterials in Cultural heritage. Geological Society of London, Special Publication n. 257
  • Magrelli & Meucci: Degrado e Conservazione dei Materiali Lapidei. CEFME, Edilroma, 2000.
  • Price M.T. (2008) Atlante delle pietre decorative. Guida tecnica illustrata. Hoepli.
  • Turkington A.V. (2005) Stone decay in the architectural environment. Special paper 390, Geol Society of America
  • Rice (2005) Pottery analysis. Chicago U.P., 2005.
  • Winkler (1994) Stone in architecture. Springer-Verlag, Berlin



Exam Board



PIETRO MARESCOTTI (President Substitute)



The lessons of the first semester (2 CFU Applied Petrography) will start from September 21, 2020 and will end by January 22, 2021. The lessons of the second semester (2 CFU Applied Mineralogy) will start from February 15, 2021 and will end by 11 June 2021.

Students are invited to consult the detailed timetable at the following link:



The exam consists of a written and an oral part.
The written exam shall cover the subjects and practical activities carried out during laboratory exercises and shall include open questions for comment on case studies. The exam is passed if the student has obtained a grade greater than or equal to 18.
The oral exam is the answer to questions asked by the teacher on subjects dealt with during teaching.
The final score shall be the arithmetic mean between the score of the written exam and the score of the oral exam. The oral exam can be sustained in the same session as the written exam and in subsequent sessions published on the UNIGE website. Two calls will be available in the winter session (January-February) and 3 calls in the summer session (June, July, September).
Please refer to the specific AulaWeb page for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


Details of how to prepare for the exam and the degree of depth required for each topic will be provided during the lessons.

The written examination will verify the actual acquisition of knowledge of the methods of investigation and the application of diagnostic techniques for the mineralogical and petrographic study of raw materials, manufactures and composite products. Open questions will make it possible to assess the ability to apply the knowledge needed to develop analytical protocols appropriate to the case studies. The student must be able to connect and integrate the knowledge learned during the laboratory activities with the theoretical ones provided during the frontal lessons.

The oral examination will focus mainly on the subjects dealt with during the lessons and will aim at assessing not only whether the student has reached an adequate level of knowledge, but also if she/he has acquired the ability to recall the theoretical notions applying them to simple concrete contexts. The ability to present arguments in a clear and correct scientific-technical terminology will also be assessed.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
26/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
16/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
22/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
27/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
14/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale


Due to the highly experimental nature of the course, attendance is highly recommended.