The paper presents an overview of a particular type of construction techniques relating with foundation engineering in antiquity: the subfoundation preparation practices employed in many ancient monuments for dealing with hydrogeological and seismic hazards. The purpose is to illustrate and discuss a number of technological achievements in the ancient world and provide a significant insight into the geotechnical skills of ancient architects and builders. The case studies here presented aim to give evidence that, under certain cultural and environmental conditions, ancient societies acquired an awareness of the risks linked to the earth phenomena that led to the development of geotechnical engineering techniques, sophisticated even by modern standards. Several examples show a clear understanding of some basic principles of foundation engineering, such as the need to keep the soil moisture content under control and to assure an uniformly distribution of the building loads. This survey is focused on Greek and Near East cultures ranging from Bronze Age to classical times and extending over an area from southern Italy to ancient Mesopotamia. The analysis includes some of the most imposing monuments of antiquity, such as the fortification walls of Troy and the colossal archaic temple of Artemis at Ephesus – known in antiquity as one of the Seven Won-ders of the World - besides examples of remarkable foundation systems from lesser known archaeological sites like the Greek colonies on the north coast of the Black Sea.

A survey of ancient geotechnical engineering techniques in subfoundation preparation

Carpani, Bruno
2014

Abstract

The paper presents an overview of a particular type of construction techniques relating with foundation engineering in antiquity: the subfoundation preparation practices employed in many ancient monuments for dealing with hydrogeological and seismic hazards. The purpose is to illustrate and discuss a number of technological achievements in the ancient world and provide a significant insight into the geotechnical skills of ancient architects and builders. The case studies here presented aim to give evidence that, under certain cultural and environmental conditions, ancient societies acquired an awareness of the risks linked to the earth phenomena that led to the development of geotechnical engineering techniques, sophisticated even by modern standards. Several examples show a clear understanding of some basic principles of foundation engineering, such as the need to keep the soil moisture content under control and to assure an uniformly distribution of the building loads. This survey is focused on Greek and Near East cultures ranging from Bronze Age to classical times and extending over an area from southern Italy to ancient Mesopotamia. The analysis includes some of the most imposing monuments of antiquity, such as the fortification walls of Troy and the colossal archaic temple of Artemis at Ephesus – known in antiquity as one of the Seven Won-ders of the World - besides examples of remarkable foundation systems from lesser known archaeological sites like the Greek colonies on the north coast of the Black Sea.
04-2014-102011495500-102
ancient foundation techniques, Greek temples, antiseismic construction techniques
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/60501
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