(This is something I blogged about many years ago. At the end of this post, I’ll explain why I’m re-posting it now.)
The Sixth Century builders of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine cathedral still standing in Istanbul, discovered cement with earthquake-resistant properties 1 300 years before anyone else, a research team revealed on Wednesday.
Hagia Sophia, built as a church and subsequently turned into a mosque, still stands only because its creators discovered the cement.
Many of the surrounding buildings have long since succumbed to the ravages of time, including earthquakes, according to a report in the New Scientist.
The structure has withstood quakes of up to 7,5 on the Richter scale, according to the team, headed by Antonia Moropoulou from Athens’ National Technical University.
Here’s the rest of the article, Quake-proof cement mixed ‘1 300 years ago’ from the Independent Online in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Great Buildings Online has a page about Hagia Sophia, which includes photos (this interior shot is particularly nice) and information about the building. The site points out that “The church was built 532 to 537 and the dome replaced in 563 after an earthquake.”
I guess Hagia Sophia’s builders hadn’t figured out how to earthquake-proof a dome.
Now all of that stuff in the box above was published on Mirabilis.ca on November 14th, 2002.
For a variety of sad and annoying reasons, archives from this long ago aren’t available on Mirabilis.ca anymore. So the blog post above has been unavailable for about eight years – maybe more. But there’s an incoming link from some other site that links to the Hagia Sophia post here, and people have been clicking that link for years and years. They wind up on a 404 page, and then they search the site. So there are searches here, every single day, for Hagia Sophia. After all these years!
OK, searchers, here you are. The content in the box above is what you came for. I put there just for you.