Characterization and Proposal of a Substitute Stone for the Restoration of the Archaeological Site of Lixus (Larache, Morocco)
Geosciences Laboratory, Department of Geology, Ibn Tofail University, Av. de L'Université, Kenitra, Morocco
Natural Resources and Environment Department, Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, PO Box 6202, Rabat, Morocco
LR3G, Department of Geology, Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Avenue Khenifra, Tétouan 93000, Morocco
Geosciences and Applications Laboratory, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
Fatima El Hmidi   

LR3G, Department of Geology, Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Avenue Khenifra, Tétouan 93000, Morocco
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2022; 5:124–136
The town of Lixus is the most important archaeological site on the Moroccan Atlantic coast. A preliminary diagnosis allowed us to identify the main factors of the physico-chemical degradation observed on the buildings of the monument. The interest of the conservation of this archaeological richness requires an intervention of safeguard, which will go beyond the operation of protection of its perimeter to another desired action of development of its tourist and cultural purposes. The objective of this work mainly concerns a comparative study of the petro-physical characteristics of the sandstones sampled at various levels of the geological formation located to the northwest of the Lixus site, as a substitute stone, which will be used for any eventual rehabilitation operation. On the basis of the definition of the main causes of pathologies observed at the level of the site, the realization of these categories of action are first carried out by an experimental simulation of accelerated aging by "imbibition-drying'' cycling. Then the call for petrographic analyzes where the thin sections revealed the mineralogical composition, the proportion of the figured elements and the nature of the bonding phase of the rocks tested; then the chemical characterization carried out by XRF fluorescence (X-Ray Fluorescence) and the quantification of the carbonated fraction by calcimetry. Also and with the help of geotechnical tests, in particular the determination of the porosity, the density and the hydric density as well as the uniaxial compressive strength (RC) and the rebound index (hardness by sclerometer). The confrontation of all the results obtained reveal a valid estimate of the potential for durability and compatibility in the sense of homogeneity with the material to be replaced, in view of their significant mineralogical composition in terms of sufficient quantity of silica and calcite. The tests used allowed the refinement of the discriminating mechanical parameters, they highlighted the relationships between the mechanical resistance and the physical properties of this replacement stone, particularly the high mechanical resistance (50.1 MP - 74.9 MPa), the absolute density values (2.54-2.68) and the rebound index (30–34) significant, which evolve inversely proportional to the low porosity values (1.7–2.20).