Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Rebuilding a temple

A UC-Berkeley news release describes the partial rebuilding of the temple of Zeus, knocked down by earthquakes and/or Christians.

Speaking of earthquakes: The use of interlocking stones dissipates a lot of energy," said [engineering professor Nikos] Makris. "A single stone or stones connected with mortar or cement would be rigid and less able to effectively absorb the energy induced by earthquakes.

A further linguistic clue supports the seismic stability theory: The word the ancient Greeks used for the column drum, spondylos, also means vertebra. The temple columns were abiding by the same shock-absorbing principles as the human spinal column.


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