Authors:M. Franquelo, M. Robador, V. Ramírez-Valle, A. Durán, M. Jiménez de Haro, and J. Pérez-Rodríguez
Roman ceramics of two hydraulic mortars used to build the pond and water channel of Mithraeum house from Mérida (Spain) have
been studied. The sizes of the ceramic fragments found were different in both of the samples studied, showing different behaviour
in the reactions with the lime. The X-ray diffraction of the ceramic shows the presence of quartz, mica (biotite), anorthite
and hematite accompanied by amorphous phase, being observed scarce vitrification. The presence of mica confirms a firing temperature
for manufacturing the ceramic below 900°C. In one of the ceramics studied, X-ray diffraction did not show calcite. However,
in the FTIR appear bands that could be assigned to carbonates absorptions and likewise, carbonates were identified in the
DTA-TG curves. Ca and small quantities of Si and Al were also identified by SEM-EDX on the surface of the pores that could
be due to an amorphous phase formed in the reaction of lime with the Si and Al of the ceramic. On the other hand, in other
ceramic samples carbonates (about 10%) were detected. The carbonates have been found filling the pores, sometimes accompanied
by a new calcium-aluminium-silicate phase produced by the reaction between the lime and the amorphous phase of the ceramic.
The carbonates and the new phases formed inside the pores are responsible for the decrease of the porosity and for the formation
of new phases during the heating of the ceramics.