251.915 Collaborative working | Historical Construction Techniques
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form
Quinn ECTS survey


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes


After successful completion of the course, students are able to assess and apply basic scientific working methods and methods of archaeometry, especially archaeoseismology, in historical building research. This course aims to recognise and read damage patterns due to seismic events on masonry and vaults, especially in Roman antiquity, as a result of earthquakes, but also to recognise and read constructive prophylaxis as a response to experienced earthquakes and to be able to question their causes and consequences critically.


Subject of course


Earthquakes are probably one of the most devastating natural disasters to which humans are exposed, especially in cities. The structural damage caused by these events and the attempt to mitigate them in future seismic movements shape the image of architecture and cities in many places. They are decisive for the use of building materials and the choice of construction techniques, building typologies and development systems, but also for transformation and functioning resilience in cities.

Tracing this phenomenon is the task of the course. The methods range from  masonry analysis (reading the masonry stratigraphy and interpreting the damage/crack patterns, examining the mechanics of the masonry especially in antique structures in Rome) to archival work.

On the one hand, archaeoseismology looks at the effects and causes of historical earthquakes from a mechanical perspective, but on the other hand, in the analysis of damage patterns in historical buildings and in interdisciplinary exchange, it can contribute to optimisations in modern building technology and in earthquake protection and helps to be able to define future guidelines for earthquake-resistant building.

Teaching methods

The course is composed as follows ...


  • Lectures as an introduction to the topic
  • Further impulse lectures as preparation for the practical exercises
  • Interviews with experts


  • Recording of structures, recognition of seismic effects and analysis of seismically induced damage
  •  Interpretation of seismic effects (selected examples)
  • Reconstruction attempts (construction phases, collapse phases, causes and consequences)
  • Photo documentation and 3D models (SFM method)
  • Damage mapping (identification of seismic effects on a monument/monument - cracks, deformations etc. in masonry and construction)
  • Identification of historical repairs as preventive measures
  • Instability analysis: mechanics of masonry
  • Discussion of case studies from antiquity and the Middle Ages

This course is recommended as a supplement for participants of the 251.691 module "Building Archaeology" ...

Mode of examination


Additional information

Termine (online):

Freitag 04.11. von 9:00 bis 17:30

Professor David A. Holmes
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Disasters and the Built Environment: A Historical Introduction

Dr. Rodriguez Pascua
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME)Madrid, España
Quantitative Archaeoseismology: The case study of the Roman city of Baelo Claudia (SW Spain

Dr. Fabio Fratini ICVBC -CNR,
University of Florence, Italy
Study of ancient mortars

Dr. Arnaud Montabert Ph.D. in seismology and earthquake engineering Engineer in geosciences,
Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay
need for a multidisciplinary approach in archaeoseismology

Samstag 12.11. von 9:30 bis 18:00

Prof. Michele Betti
Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Florence, Italy
Numerical modeling and analysis of the structural behavior of the Florence Baptistery  

Dr. Lorenzo Fei
Department of Roman Studies, Faculty of Architecture and Restoration, Roma TRE University, Italy

A predictive nonlinear 2D mechanical model for FEM analysis of Trait de Jupiter wooden joints

Prof. Marina Döring-Williams / Dipl.-Ing. Luise Albrecht
TU Wien
Die spätantike Maxentiusbasilika in Rom und "ihre” Erdbeben


Freitag 18.11. von 9:30 bis 18:00

Prof. Diosono Francesca
Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
The Temple B in Pietrabbondante (Isernia, Italy) as a case study of ‘seismic shield’ properties of Roman-Italic temple foundations and podiums

Dr. Andrea Arrighetti
École normale supérieure  - Université PSL (AOROC UMR 8546)
Archaeoseismological analysis of historical buildings  

Dr. Sebastiano D’Amico
Director of the Department of Geosciences, University of Malta
Earthquakes and damage

Montag 12.12. (optional)

Dr. Francesco Panzera
Senior researcher, ETH Zürich
Effects of surface geology on ground motion



Examination modalities

  • compulsory attendance!
  • active participation in the course
  • submission of a "project paper" (description, analytical and graphic examination of a selected topic)

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
19.09.2022 12:00 10.10.2022 12:00 10.10.2022 13:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified
066 443 Architecture Not specified


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge




  • Attendance Required!


if required in English