THE USE OF GRANITE STONE IN THE MONUMENTAL HERITAGE OF THE ‘GEO-STRATEGIC’ SOUTH-WESTERN AREA OF CASTILLA Y LEÓN
Funding entity: Plan Nacional I+D+i.
Principal Investigators: E. Azofra-Agustin and J. García-Talegón.
Participating Researchers: A. C. Iñigo, M. Lopéz-Plaza, R. A. Sepulveda-Correa. M. I. López-Fernández.
The starting point of the present proposal is based on the concept of geo-strategic area or geo-strategic city, which consists of sharing several geological formations and consequently different historical stones, with their influence on the Monumental Heritage. The selected area is located in the south-western sector of the region of Castilla y León from the province of Zamora, centre and east of Salamanca, north of Ávila, to the west of Segovia, all of it straddling the Variscan basement and the Tertiary sediments of the Duero Basin.
A first objective is referred to the geological study of the historical quarry areas, with emphasis on the following types of plutonic rocks existing in their corresponding areas: Silicified granites and vaugnerites of Sayago (Zamora), vaugnerites of Calzadilla (Ledesma, Salamanca), Granites of Martinamor and Los Santos (Salamanca), Granites of Cardeñosa-Mingorría (Ávila), Silicified Granite of La Colilla (Ávila) and Granite of Villacastín (Segovia).
Secondly, a petrographic, compositional and technological characterization of all these rocks and their corresponding facies or subtypes is intended. All of them have been used in the monuments of the selected area during different historical periods, competing with stones of sedimentary nature (Silicified Conglomerates and Sandstones, Paleogene sandstones, Campaspero Limestone) coming from the Duero Basin. As a result of this situation it is likely to reach a model of centripetal flow and zoning from the basement to the sedimentary basin, configuring a special and vernacular Monumental Landscape.
The third objective will refer to the historical use of stone through time and space in the Monumental Landscape. Its fluctuations will be deeply analyzed in terms of a multifactorial methodology that includes, among others, the following topics: stone availability, aesthetics, functionality, ideology and propaganda, technological changes, scarcity or abundance of resources, territoriality and power, and stone transportation.
Apart from the technical consequences directly related to the Conservation of Historic-Artistic Heritage, such as, for example, the replacement of ashlars, several transversal consequences can be deduced from this study, among others: a) The preservation and revitalization of Cultural Heritage, due to a better understanding of Architectural History through the use of stone; b) The connection, in general, between the past (History) and the present (Stone in Monuments), considering that heritage is a form of history and culture, referring to a situation of the past in the present, or in other words: The way of unravelling history through the use of stone in monuments; c) The connection between Monumental Landscape (and vernacular) with respect to collective memory and identity through the use of stone; d) The connection of the trinomial Territory (Geography and Geology) / Monumental Landscape / Art History in an extensive area of the region of Castilla y León.
The final consequence of this proposal should be a significant contribution to the creation of a scientific, digital and informative support for the knowledge of the History of Art and Monumental Heritage, as well as Cultural Tourism in its connection with the territory, both urban and rural.