Ancient Quarries of Paros – stability and accessibility of underground tunnels

Ancient Quarries of Paros – stability and accessibility of underground tunnels


Paros Ancient Marble Quarries Park (ΑΜΚΕ)


15 weeks

The Ancient Marble Quarries of Paros in Marathi, and in particular the monuments of the underground mining tunnels (Nymphon and Panos quarries), are part of a cultural heritage of global importance. The Ancient Quarries operated from the 7th century BC onwards. During this period, the famous Parian marble, the so-called Paria Stone, was mined there, which was widely used in architecture and sculpture.

The well-preserved underground quarries of Nymphes and Panos were until recently accessible to visitors, in an otherwise unorganized archaeological site, but the emergence of stability problems in the rock mass, led the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades to fence the area and prohibit entry, for safety reasons.

The Cycladic Identity funding supports the implementation of the first stage of a series of studies and interventions in the Ancient Quarries of Paros, which aim at protecting and revealing their value, and reestablishing accessibility of visitors. More specifically, within the framework of the funded program, the following will be performed:

  1. Inspection by a qualified geotechnical engineer to prioritize the assessment of locations with a high risk of failure. During the inspection, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected regarding the characteristics of the rock mass and its fractures (dimensions, inclinations, etc.), enabling subsequent analysis and evaluation of this data.

  2. Analysis and evaluation of the characteristics of critical locations to determine the positions where immediate rescue interventions may be required. The type of interventions (materials, structure) will be determined, along with a detailed dimensioning of the required support elements (metal beams and columns). The necessary drawings will also be prepared. An additional estimate and budget for the rescue interventions will be prepared, considering the special conditions involved in transporting materials and working within the tunnels.

  3. Preparation of the study for the program of instrumental monitoring. The locations for proposing the installation of acceleration and displacement recording instruments will be determined to monitor the long-term behavior of the rock mass and ensure control over human activities in the area that could potentially impact its stability.

The above actions will be implemented by a team of scientists, led by Dr D. Egglezos (Civil Geotechnical Engineer) and his collaborators Athn. Kontizas and Em. Tzannidakis, Civil Engineers, and An. Gontzes, Geologist, under the general supervision of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades