Research & Technology

During application of the studies in the Acropolis worksites, theoretical and practical problems are encountered, to resolve which research programmes are carried out, either internally by the scholarly personnel of the works, or in collaboration with educational institutions or other research institutions (as examples we may mention the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessalonike, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Institute of Technology and Research, The Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, the Technical University of Crete, University of Patras, Demokritos and others). Among the questions on which research was focussed during the interventions on the Acropolis monuments, the following were especially significant:

  • The rearrangement of the restored parts of the monuments, based on new evidence that emerged (apparent) after dismantling.
  • The investigation of joins among the ancient fragments and the re-creation of architectural members from fragments that belong together.
  • The investigation of stability of the in situ or restored areas of the monuments, to determine static and dynamic strain.
  • The investigation of the structural restoration of architectural members and the creation of a relevant calculating methodology commensurate with the strain of the members.
  • The choice of suitable hoisting machinery for dismantling and resetting architectural members of the monuments.
  • The creation of original construction devices for carrying out the works of restoration. Included in these are suspension cramps (clamps) for setting architectural members, platforms for joining large architectural members and the special pantographs (copying machines). Particularly important is the original machine invented (designed) for cutting the flutes of the columns in new marble.
  • Research on cleaning the surface of the blocks of the Parthenon west frieze. The cleaning was accomplished with the use of an original Laser system that can work on two wave lengths with the additional possibility of their being used individually or simultaneously on different levels of power.
  • The managing and direct utilization of documentation produced in the course of the works, through a specially designed digital data base.

 

The most recent technological applications include:

  • The electronic monitoring of the micro-movements and deformations of the Acropolis circuit Walls. Good examples are provided by geophysical monitoring using the method of electrical tomography on the south Wall, mechanical recording and monitoring of small-scale movements of part of the south and the east Wall with systems (arrays) of optical fibres and the installation of a network of accelerographs for measuring and monitoring the walls and the rock.
  • The use of modern technology for publicizing the interventions and the diffusion (broadcasting?) of new scholarly/scientific knowledge gained during the course of the works.

The high technical knowledge and the original kind of research and scholarly method that developed during the many-years' effort devoted to restoring the Acropolis monuments, is a pilot for many interventions on monuments both in Greece and abroad.