The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal

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Optimization of Stone Cutting Techniques for the Seismic Protection of Archaeological Sites

The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal, 2011, 5: 80-88

C. Cennamo, B. Chiaia, M. Di Fiore

Seconda Universita di Napoli, Facolta di Architettura, Italy.

Electronic publication date 7/10/2011
[DOI: 10.2174/1874836801105010080]


Since the beginning of civilization, history tells of the movement of art pieces, monuments and manufacts from site to site. The causes are multiple: the displacements due to the “spoils of war”, ordered by kings and emperors, the movements caused by the need for reuse, especially in the early Christian period, and so forth. Considerations about the events of the past, yield a possible strategy to transform this concept into a technique for earthquake prevention of archaeological sites.

The seismic safety retrofits have often proven to be scarcely effective, because of the difficulties involved in complex sites. The aim of this study is to analyze an “alternative” method of preventing natural disaster like floods, eruption and earthquakes, through the movimentation of the most representative structural elements of archaeological sites by decomposition of the masonry and marbles [1]. The procedure considers a process of “cutting optimization,” calibrated on the characteristics of the specific material that has to be cut and then displaced in safer places (i.e., MEP, “manufact evacuation plan”).

This process should not create excessive problems to the structure, and aims to reassembly the manufact in contexts able to guarantee safety through advanced earthquake-resistant expedients. From these considerations, the work develops a procedure to safeguard the archaeological site of Pompei (Naples), through an appropriate analysis of representative portions of the site, aimed to a careful handling and to a proper reconstruction in a safe location, from the seismic point of view.

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