Reverse Engineering a Fully Collapsed Ancient Roman Temple through Geoarchaeology and DEM

E. Erdogmus, B. Pulatsu, A. Gaggioli, M. Hoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The imperial Temple at the ancient Roman site of Antiochia ad Cragum has been excavated and studied by an interdisciplinary team since 2005. The temple was found in a collapsed state. Since there were no full-height columns and wall segments left standing, the vertical dimensions of the structure were unknown. After detailed drawings and investigations, the original design of the façade, as well as the key dimensions of the Temple, were established. The cause of the collapse was another unknown. As there is documentation about major seismic events about 500 km to the east of this site during the 5th century, collapse due to earthquakes is highly likely. This paper has three important contributions: First, it is the first reveal of a scaled 3D structural representation of this collapsed Temple. Second, it uses unique interdisciplinary collaboration to determine whether seismic events could be the cause of the initial collapse of the Temple. Finally, it investigates the original Temple’s behavior under various forms of seismic loading through discrete element modeling. The results of these interdisciplinary investigations confirm an earthquake as a highly plausible cause of the initial collapse of this structure and demonstrate the complex behavior of the structure under various seismic event scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1795-1815
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Heritage
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2021


  • Ancient Roman Temple
  • collapse Mechanism
  • DEM
  • geoarchaeology
  • seismic Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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