Department of Mechanics: Seminar: Abstract Biggs 2014

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David T. Biggs, Biggs Consulting Engineering

Ancient Sites from the Empire of Alexander the Great

Some of the oldest civilizations are in the Middle East. In 330 BC at age 26, Alexander the Great conquered lands to produce the largest empire of the time which extended from Egypt to Greece to India. Since the 1800s, archeologists have discovered countless heritage sites and cities visited and conquered by Alexander; many of which predated him by millennia. Since Alexander, even more sites have developed within what was his original empire. Today, teams of architects, engineers and conservators are tasked with conserving and restoring these treasures. This presentation includes many photographs, some history, and a touch of preservation to discuss on-going efforts to protect various sites in Egypt, Turkey and Iraq. Some of these sites include the Pyramids and Sphinx, the city fortress of King Midas, the oldest continuously-occupied city in the world, and the Midas Tomb which contains the oldest intact timber structure anywhere. The speaker will provide first-hand accounts of work at several of these sites.

David Biggs is a professional engineer with Biggs Consulting Engineering in Troy, New York, USA. He specializes in structural forensic engineering, masonry design, and historic restoration. He is a visiting lecturer at the university for the Erasmus Mundus "Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historic Constructions". He has been a consultant to the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt and has on-ongoing work in Turkey, Iraq, Haiti, and New Zealand.