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Vasiliki Kontogianni

Research student, Conservation, School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Vasiliki (Vicki) completed her BSc in Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology and MSc in Conservation in Cardiff University. She worked as a conservator in archaeological sites in Crete, particularly in masonry conservation where she developed an interest on mortars. Currently she is working on the conservation of excavation finds of the Middle Minoan settlement “Kalo Chorafi” at Rethymnon, Crete.


Research interests

  • reflectance micro-FTIR spectroscopy
  • statistics and chemometrics in analytical chemistry
  • organic detection in mortars


Hydrophobic coatings and organic additives in Hellenistic-Roman mortars: the case study of Crete

The hypothesis that organic surface coatings were applied on Hellenistic/Roman mortars for the improvement of their hydrophobic, aesthetic and strengthening properties lays upon descriptions in ancient and historic sources. The research thesis aims to investigate and provide scientific evidence of this unexplored technology through a methodology centered on the application of reflectance FTIR microspectroscopy. The analysis of laboratory prepared mortar samples and ancient mortar samples from Crete by reflectance FTIR microspectroscopy will further understanding on the method and its use in heritage science.

Funding source

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Ruth Westgate

Dr Ruth Westgate

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology, Co-Head of Ancient History and Religion