The Parthenon is one of the most famous structures in Western civilization’s history. It has stood in splendour atop the Acropolis Hill in Athens for almost 2,500 years. The Parthenon’s cleverness, according to experts, has allowed it to miraculously survive the ravages of time, nature, and humans.
Throughout the centuries the Parthenon has withstood earthquakes, fire, wars, explosions and looting yet remains, although battered, a powerful symbol of resilience 2500 years later.
Engineers, architects, and scientists have pondered for decades how this amazing edifice has managed to withstand the test of time and continue to tower majestically over Greece’s capital.
Since its completion in 438 BC, this architectural and engineering marvel has kept its secrets for many years, with its height, width, and depth defining the very concept of perfect proportion. That is, until the Parthenon’s design and construction secrets were recently uncovered by engineers and architects.
The Parthenon throughout the centuries has withstood earthquakes, fire, wars, explosions and looting yet remains, although battered, a powerful symbol of resilience 2500 years later.
Several studies have discovered that, despite the fact that the Parthenon temple lacks a foundation, it has three layers of anti-seismic protection that have kept it standing through the various earthquakes and upheavals over the past 25 centuries.
Studies of its architectural and structural form have revealed that the Ancients had already discovered what we now call “seismic insulation,” according to civil engineer Niki Timotheou.
The temple successfully defies all current civil engineering ideas because, despite having no foundation and standing directly on bedrock, it has three ways of shielding itself against earthquakes.
As the engineer stated, the triple insulation is distributed throughout the building.
The first point is the Parthenon’s foundation, which is made up of layers of gigantic, exceptionally flawless marble blocks.
The second point can be found in the metal connections that connect each layer’s plates, which have been poured with lead. Lead not only protects the iron from rust, but its softness and suppleness absorb any form of tremor, converting some of the tremor’s kinetic energy into heat energy in the lead.
The third point of insulation is found in the structure’s pillars, which, despite their appearance from afar, are not formed of single rock columns. The ancient Greeks already knew that all columns had to be made up of “slices” that were correctly cut and fitted to each other in order to endure the earth’s vibrations.