Geotechnics and Heritage – Case Histories

Geotechnics and Heritage – Case Histories

Uploaded At: 01 May 2024

Geotechnics and Heritage: Case Histories

The Technical Committee on Preservation of Monuments and Historic Sites was established by the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in 1981 with the mark TC19, and renamed TC301 in 2010. The Committee is supported by the Italian Geotechnical Society (AGI); it has been chaired in the past by Jean Kerisel, Arrigo Croce, Ruggiero Jappelli.

Edmund Burke, in his “Reflection on the revolution in France”, states as early as in 1790: “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors”. And Lenin writes in the early XX century: “Citizens, don’t touch even a stone. Protect your monuments, the old mansions. They are your history, your pride”. Besides being so important, conservation is also one of the most challenging problems facing modern civilization. It involves a number of factors belonging to different fields (cultural, humanistic, social, technical, economical and administrative), intertwining in inextricable patterns. The complexity of the topic is such that it is difficult to imagine guidelines or recommendations summarizing what should be done and prescribing activities to carry on, intervention techniques, design approaches.

Instead of this ambitious undertaking, the Committee resolved to produce this volume collecting a number of relevant case histories concerning the role of Geotechnical Engineering in the preservation of monuments and historic sites, in addition to the Proceedings of the two International Symposia organized by the Committee in Napoli in 1994 and 2013. It is offered to the geotechnical engineers dealing with monuments and historic sites, as a collection of paradigmatic examples which may suggest an approach rather than a solution.

The lovely picture on the cover of this book illustrates at the best the concept of ground-monument system; it seems to suggest that a majestic tree must be based on a similarly majestic underground structure. It is hence evident that geotechnical engineers may play a significant role in conservation. We hope that this volume will contribute to such an undertaking.

Geotechnics and Heritage