Integrity assessment of the Pharos of Alexandria during the AD 1303 earthquake


The Pharos of Alexandria is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world which reflects the glory of ancient engineering and construction skills. It remains the tallest stone tower that stayed intact for more than 15 centuries and survived from more than 20 major earthquakes. This paper describes inelastic dynamic simulations of the response and failure scenario of the Pharos during the most damaging earthquake in 1303 AD. Finite element models of the Pharos structure were established and natural ground motion records from recent earthquakes were selected based on similar earthquake parameters. Response history analyses were performed and the results were used to identify the location and extent of damage leading to failure. Comparison of analytical observations with the possible failure mode reported in historical documentations confirms the realism of the models, methods and input motion used. © 2013.

Publication Title

Engineering Failure Analysis