Static and Dynamic Analysis of the Atreus Vaulted Tomb in Mycenae
A finite element methodology for the nonlinear static and dynamic analysis of historical masonry structures is described and applied to the case of the Atreus vaulted tomb, known as “Treasury of Atreus”, in Mycenae, Greece. This monument belongs to the most famous masterpieces of prehistoric architecture and it has often been the subject of scientific discussions in the past. The stone-masonry structure is statically and seismically analyzed by the Finite Element Method taking into account its nonlinear material behaviour. According to this methodology, the inelastic material behaviour is simulated with the aid of the theory of continuum damage mechanics. More specifically, the developed damage model is a combination of the theories of Mazars and Faria-Oliver and is characterized by its successful modelling of the mechanical behavior of quasi-brittle materials such as concrete or masonry. In addition, the model permits an easy calculation of damage indices at various locations of a structure and a global damage index for the whole structure as well. Furthermore, in order to achieve an estimation of the contact phenomenon between the stone surfaces, due to the absence of any kind of mortar, dynamic analyses were repeated assuming half rigidity and strength of the material. The analyses were carried out using the general purpose computer program MINOS for three-dimensional static and dynamic nonlinear analysis, which has been developed at the University of Patras. Stress contours and displacement histories were produced for various cases of loading and type of analyses. The results of this work show that the Atreus tomb exhibits such a high structural integrity and strength that its behaviour remains always elastic, thereby demonstrating the ability of the Mycenaean Greeks to construct very safe structures.
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