Roman Ruins of Tróia (Tróia, Portugal)

Construction time

  • Ancient history
  • 1st – 5th century AD (Roman settlement)
  • Postclassical era 5th century AD (Early Christian Basilica)

The major causes of degradation in the Roman site of Tróia are related to its geographical location: the shoreline of the River Sado estuary, in the vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean. The proximity to the estuary and Ocean cause a variety of threats: tidal action, mechanically affecting constructions on the shore, high humidity, favouring biological and carrying soluble salt that damage building materials in general and painted stucco in particular, rising humidity, strong winds and rain causing mechanical damage, and high thermos-hygrometric variations. Vegetation growing and wasps making nests on earthen mortars also affect the integrity of ancient structures. The sand substrate and sand dunes, easily moved by water and wind, pressure archaeological structures and accelerate erosion, which is clearly manifested as structural deformation, masonry open joints and loss of cohesion of bedding mortars.

Troia has the ideal conditions for testing traditional (temperature, pressure, humidity, etc.) and novel (in particular, induced fluorescence) sensors, operating in the standalone and (in more advanced project phases) network modes for assessment of numerous critical characteristics of the site. The most important are: masonry stability and the effect of humidity and biological colonization on the building materials and, especially, on the painted stucco. Since the site is also affected by storms, tide inundation and is located in a seismic area, monitoring of these extreme events can also be productively tested.

Early diagnosis of natural hazards and their effects on Troia Roman structures enable the risk management and preventive conservation actions and emergency plans to be carried out much more effective.