Building Structures- Case Studies & Concepts

Full Session without Abstracts

342905 - Conserving Ancient Sites from the Empire of Alexander the Great

Friday, April 20
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: 203BC

Archaeologists have discovered countless heritage sites from some of the oldest civilizations within the Middle East. Today, teams of archaeologists, architects, engineers and conservators are tasked with conserving and restoring these ancient treasures. This presentation will trace the path of Alexander the Great from 334 BC to 323 BC going through modern day Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. Alexander was undefeated in battle and built a massive empire for his time. The presentation will highlight structures that both pre-existed Alexander or developed after his lifetime. For selected sites, the presentation will present accounts of the engineering challenges needed to conserve and protect such sites as the Pyramids, the fortress city of Gordion (of King Midas fame) and where Alexander The Great cut the Gordion Knot on his journey to fight the Persians, the oldest (2,800 years) intact timber structure in the world, and Erbil, Iraq which is purported by the United Nations (UNESCO) to be more than 8000 years old and the longest continuously inhabited site in the world. .

After the seminar attendees will be able to:
1. List key Middle Eastern conservation and restoration sites discussed.
2. Explain how the sites relate to the Empire of Alexander the Great.
3. For each of the sites, relate how engineering conservation issues are being or were addressed.
4. Understand some of the professional issues of a US engineer working on ancient sites in several countries .

David Biggs

Principal
Biggs Consulting Engineering

An international consultant from Saratoga Springs, NY, David Biggs specializes in historic restoration and conservation, forensic engineering and disaster investigations, and the development of new masonry products and standards. He is also Technical Director for Constructive LLC, a masonry technology company, in Michigan that specializes in prefabricated masonry, and Coordinator for the Building Information Modeling for Masonry (BIM-M) Initiative in the United States and Canada.
Biggs lectures for such organizations as the University of Pennsylvania, Czech Technical Institute in Prague, the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage, and the joint International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).

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