The present study aims to analyse several examples of built heritage and criteria of consolidation from the technological, scientific, numerical and practical points of view, taking account of the peculiarities of these kind of works and the many subjects involved.
In particular, two different UNESCO sites have been investigated: the Archaeological sites of Khor Rori (directed by Prof. A. Avanzini) and of Al Balid (directed by Prof. Juris Zarins), both of them in the south of the Sultanate. They represent two very different examples of restoration practice of archaeological masonry, thus requiring differentiated approaches.
Since January 2005, a staff of engineers from the Department of Structural Engineering (Università di Pisa) has arranged the programme of structural consolidation of the site of Khor Rori during the archaeological campaigns.
The project and related activities have been set up within The Office of The Advisor of His Majesty The Sultan for Cultural Affairs and have been extended to the site of Al-Balid since January 2007. Thanks to this opportunity it has been possible to develop PhD activities both under theoretical (numerical model and limit state analysis) and practical aspects. Field work activities took place within a multicultural scenario and particular care has been addressed to the training of the non-specialised manpower.
Finally, the study is extended to the study of earthen architecture as an important document of the history and culture of several countries, which represent a huge part of built heritage especially in the dry regions of the Middle East. After a brief overview of the historical, social, geographical and climatic features that influenced these kinds of constructions, the present dissertation ends with the analysis of technical aspects and causes of damage of a real case study. It brings together surveys and observations of several vernacular villages of the northern mountainous plateau of the Sultanate.
Useful application of the stability of no tension masonry piers with limited compressive resistance have also been discussed, leaving interesting prospectives for further researches and scientific investigation.