Ancient sites resist quakes

Attica’s ancient monuments survived earthquakes as powerful as 6.5 on the Richter scale in antiquity due to their sheer size and expert construction, according to study by experts at the National Technical University of Athens. The study, carried out by the university’s antiseismic technology laboratory for the Public Works Ministry, focused on the remains of the Temple of Zeus in central Athens. Scientists carried out simulations of earthquakes on a model and a computer-generated version of the temple to determine the likely impact of such a tremor, analyzed the marks on the original monument and concluded that it had probably endured a 6.5-magnitude quake. «The (monuments’) endurance is attributable to their large size and the method of their construction,» the head of the study, Yiannis Psycharis, told Kathimerini. «If a large tremor does not destroy a construction it leaves traces that allow us to draw certain conclusions,» according to Psycharis who has conducted similar studies on the Parthenon and other ancient monuments in the past.