Reverse-engineering evaluation and monitoring of Nemrut monuments

TitleReverse-engineering evaluation and monitoring of Nemrut monuments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTürer A, Erdem YDidem Akta, Güçhan NŞahin
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Heritage
Keywordsearthquake, evaluation, modeling, monitoring, monument, Nemrud, Nemrut, nonlinear, seismic, snow

The focus of this study is on the Nemrut Dağ monuments, which were constructed approximately 2000 years ago at the peak of Mount Nemrut, 2206 meters elevation, are among the most valuable historical heritage sites in Turkey. Since the discovery of Nemrut monuments in 1881, many questions are unresolved, such as how the monuments were destroyed and why the damage level is very different between the symmetric east and west terraces. Natural causes, such as earthquakes, snow, or wind or manmade damages in the case of grave theft attempts with explosives or digging might have caused the damage. This study presents reversed engineering (forensic) approaches for the evaluation of different damage scenarios. The region being approximately 5 km away from East Anatolian Fault zone, the possibility of damaging earthquake occurrence in the past two millennia is quite high. Snow-load evaluations were carried out using the Swiss Guidelines for the Design of Snow Supporting Structures. The nonlinear blast-loading calculations were carried out using LS-DYNA software for the documented crater sizes located on the tumulus. Wind loading was investigated using on-site 4-year monitoring and statistical analysis. Conclusions include the results regarding the failure modes of the monuments and anastylosis/strengthening methods were discussed.