Falling rocks from the Acropolis raise alarm bells


Engineers have discovered that part of a huge flat-topped rock on which the 2,500 year-old ancient Parthenon sits is starting to crumble. The Central Archaeological Council found “instability over quite a considerable area” after it examined an area where a boulder of considerable size had tumbled on January 3.

Falling rocks from the Acropolis raise alarm bells
View of the Acropolis from the South and East Slopes 
[Credit: Google Earth]

“A section of the boulder of large dimensions fell in a region where people were passing through from the southern slope towards the entrance of the Acropolis, that is located near the sloped passageway near the guard’s fort,” says Dimosthenis Svolopoulos, the chief of the Ancient Monuments Restoration Department.

Pipes from the old Acropolis Museum are blamed for some of the damage that requires work to shore up the southern slope of the hill, according to General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Lina Mendoni. She also said that a program for the conservation of the Acropolis has been studied for the last year and a half.

Falling rocks from the Acropolis raise alarm bells
The sanctuary of Asclepius, which is located on the south slope of the Acropolis, 
has been covered to protect it from falling rocks [Credit: Ta Nea]

Researcher Dimitris Englezos outlined some of the problem areas and measures that are being considered when he addressed to the Central Archaeological Council. These include cleaning the slope and unhinging and refixing the unstable rocks at select locations, the construction of passive anchors and drainage holes.

At the same meeting, Professor Manolis Korres addressed the issue of maintaining the authenticity of the sacred rock by ensuring that the ancient streets remain intact as well as the retention of geological formations such as the “dry caves” found at an altitude of 127 metres.

Source: ANA-MPA [October 02, 2014]