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6 June 2011

Sunday 5th June 2011; Ravenna

Week 8 of 12 
Module 5: Conservation Interventions and Treatments; Criteria for Selection and Implementation 
The Study Tour: Ravenna

We arrived in Ravenna last night and this morning visited a selection of the sites famous for their mosaics. The mosaics date from the 5th Century A.D. and are incredibly stunning in both their colours and designs. Below are a selection of photographs from the visits but they need to be seen in person to see their extent spatially and in colour and design.

The Basilica di San Vitale (with our group). 

Mosaics inside the Basilica di San Vitale.

Close up of some of the mosaics within the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia.

An agate window within the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia.

The central ceiling mosaic in the Baptistero degli Ortodossi (o Neoniano).

A crack observed in the wall of the building which goes through bricks indicating that the mortar used here was too hard; the break should run through the mortar and not the masonry.

A lime mortar present on the wall of the 

Baptistero degli Ortodossi (o Neoniano) showing the apparently typical wide joints and large aggregate. This appears to be an area of recent repointing but it ties in very well to the original mortar.

The interior of the

 Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo with mosaic wall decoration.

Many of the columns within the

 Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo were strapped with iron which I assume indicates that the marble columns had been showing stress. This column was particularly well strapped.

On our route into and out of the town we observed this steeple on the Basilica San Giovanni Evangelista which was of the same construction as the steeple we visited on site in Parma. It was particularly surprising to see this as we had understood that this construction technique was only really used in the South of Italy where the climate was milder.

The Basilica di San Apollinare in Classe which we stopped at on our journey out of Ravenna.

Some of the mosaics within the Basilica di San Appolinare in Classe. In the enlarged image you may just about be able to make out three red lines (one running along the backs of the sheep, one running across from the hand on the right-hand side of the image and one encircling a tree third from left in the centre of the image. This technique was often used in the past (less now I believe) for indicating areas of reconstruction. We were debating which side of the line was the reconstruction but the common consensus was that the smaller areas were the original (e.g. the encircled tree) and the rest the reconstruction.

We arrived back in Rome this evening having covered 2100km since when we left last Sunday (29th May).

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