A multidisciplinary approach to document and analyze seismic protection techniques in Mugello from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Time

Andrea Arrighetti, Giovanni Minutoli


The contribution will outline a methodological program designed with the purpose of offering an innovative and multidisciplinary analysis of seismic protection techniques in historical architecture of Mugello, a medium-high risk seismic on the Apennine mountain range between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Although the existence of specific expedients used for seismic prevention is an accepted topic by the scientific community, many a time their recognition is dependent on the experience of researchers dealing with analysis. In fact, such measures, in many cases, are used for structural purpose allowing simultaneously protection from movements caused by earthquakes. How can we document and periodize these type of techniques and recognize an “anti-seismic” conception? An answer to this may only be found through a careful analysis complementing a deep knowledge of the building methods of the area under study, that can allow the breaking up and dating of the single construction and destruction actions present in a building, leading to the identification of some “uncommon” elements in respect to traditional construction techniques, being able to interpret a specific function. It is thus only through the analysis of this complex mechanism that is established over time, with the reading of the instability of macro-elements and the definition of the construction history of the building, that integrates a subdivision of construction typology with a stratigraphic decomposition of the artefact, that identification of “anomalies” within the building becomes possible. Applying this research methodology to a building, or even better to a whole area, allows the identification and dating of the potential presence of “safeguards” related to earthquakes, that is all architectural elements of various form, nature, raw material, etc., put into use during or after the construction of a building to mitigate, repair or oppose the effect of terrestrial movement.


Archaeoseismology, Building techniques, Middle Ages, Mugello, Seismic protection techniques

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-7991
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X