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Why Did Ancient Hellenic Temples Collapse? The Case Study: Athena Pronaia Tholos at Delphi

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • Attilio Pizzigoni, University of Bergamo, Italy
  • Vittorio Paris, University of Bergamo, Italy
  • Valentina Beatini
The hypothesis that the stone roof of Delphic Tholos has been vaulted has been already stated in a previous article by the same authors, The Stone Roof, cited in the references. Such thesis is coherent with the finds of the stone tiles preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. Within this document, the structural state has been examined at two different scales (local equilibrium and global equilibrium). The relevance of the stereotomy in achieving the balance is highlighted by studying the aggregations of a few tiles (local equilibrium) using a Non-Smooth Contact Dynamic Formulation. The study shows that any kinematics mechanism is avoided due to the tiles' geometry. The overall state of the Delphic Tholos has been estimated (global equilibrium) through a Graphic Static method, the Graphic static tool of the Modified Thrust Line Method. The analyses show how the masses of the acroteria and entablature (geisons, or cornice, frieze and architrave) provide the contrast needed to achieve the balanced state. In particular, the remotion of acroteria, connected with the frieze by the cornice, could be the reason for the collapse of the entire structure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia 2022 and APCS 2022 : Innovation, Sustainability and Legacy
PublisherInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS)
Publication year2022
ISBN (Electronic)2518-6582
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventIASS 2022 Symposium affiliated with APCS 2022 conference: Innovation·Sustainability·Legacy - Beijing, China
Duration: 19 Sept 202222 Sept 2022


ConferenceIASS 2022 Symposium affiliated with APCS 2022 conference

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