The Circular Mausoleum tomb in the Roman Necropolis of Carmona was carved on a calcarenite sequence in an ancient quarry located in the town of Carmona, Southern Spain. This rock-cut tomb, representative of Roman burial practices, currently suffers from serious deterioration. A detailed survey over several years permitted the identification of the main tomb's pathologies and damaging processes, which include loss of material (scaling, flaking, granular disintegration), surface modifications (efflorescences, crusts and deposits) and extensive biological colonization. The results obtained in this study indicated that anthropogenic changes were largely responsible and enhanced the main alteration mechanisms observed in the Circular Mausoleum. Based on the deterioration diagnosis, effective corrective actions were proposed. This study shows that any conservative intervention in the interior of the tomb should be preceded by accurate in situ measurements and laboratory analyses to ascribe the source of the deterioration damages and thus designing effective treatments.
Keywords: Roman tombs, Deterioration, Efflorescences, Biological colonization, Anthropogenic changes, Conservation intervention