Introduction

The longitudinal walls of the Parthenon are composed of 19 rows of marble blocks. The first bottom row, called orthostate, is composed of blocks with average dimensions 1.44m length, 0.55m depth and 1.15m height. The last row is composed of architrave with average dimensions 2.44 m length, 0.5 m depth and 1.04 m height. The intermediate 17 rows are built with smaller marble blocks (length 1.22 m, height 0.52 m). The even-numbered rows are composed of two lines of blocks, disposed with their long axis parallel to the axis of the wall. Many blocks of the external line, facing north, are conserved, whereas the internal ones, facing south, are lost. In the odd-numbered rows the blocks are placed perpendicular to those of the even-numbered rows (Fig. 1). The blocks are horizontally connected with clamps and vertically with dowels (Fig. 2). The main actions that affected the mechanical history of the walls of the Parthenon are the fire of 267 A.D. and the explosion of 1678 A.D. during the siege of Athens by the Venetians. The latter caused the collapse of the larger part of the walls.

Previous investigators on the state of preservation of the Parthenon (Korres & Bouras 1983) argue that the cross section of the connectors is designed so as to have lower strength than the anchorage area. So failure of the connectors and not of the marble itself is expected to occur. If, however, marble failure occasionally occurred, it must be preceded by marble cracking due to rust and volume increase of the iron connectors.

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Figure 1. Structure ofthe walls of the cella (Orlandos 1977). 2 POSITION OF THE PROBLEM

The present work summarizes the main issues of the study for the structural restoration of the orthostate of the N.Wall, which includes the description and documentation of the condition of the marble blocks, the analysis & interpretation of their structural pathology (Toumbakari 2006) together with a numerical analysis,

Figure 2. Connectors at the orthostate level (Orlandos 1977). There are also two dowels on the orthostate upper surface, which are not shown.

Table 1. Location of the marble fractures.

Clamps

Dowels Dowels upper bedding surface surface

Outside

Table 1. Location of the marble fractures.

Clamps

Dowels Dowels upper bedding surface surface

Outside

No

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