SELECTION OF THE PATH OF THE EUPALINOS AQUEDUCT AT ANCIENT SAMOS ON THE BASIS OF GEODETICAND GEOLOGICAL / GEOTECHNICAL CRITERIA
The tunnel of Eupalinos at Samos (Greece) is certainly one of the most admirable works in antiquity, but several questions concerning its plan, and especially the selection of its path, leading to an ‘S’ type curve, a longer tunnel and a longer aqueduct remain without an answer. In this paper we try to provide an answer to the question ‘why Eypalinos selected the specific path for the aqueduct?’ on the basis of geotechnical and geodetic evidence. Two basic criteria should have been satisfied for the tunnel planning: first, that it had to be excavated through rocks with mechanical properties suitable for a safe underground excavation, and second, that the portals should have been in areas permitting accurate geodetic orientation and guidance of the excavation. The overall selection of the tunnel path indicates that Eupalinos had an excellent understanding of the theory of errors and an ability for geological and geotechnical evaluation of the mechanical characteristics of the ground, i.e. a primitive system of the rock strength classification, with remarkable similarities with the modern GSI method.