Lighthouse of Alexandria

Reverse Engineering History: Structural Analysis of the Lighthouse at Alexandria

Status: Active

Dates: 2009 – present

Team:  Professor Diane Favro, Associate Professor Ertugrul Taciroglu, Anthony Caldwell

More than 2,000 years ago the ancient Pharos Lighthouse towered 130 meters over Alexandria, equivalent to a 35 story modern building. Compared to earlier lighthouses, the Pharos Lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world represented a significant leap in architectural design, engineering and construction technology. Faced with scant archaeological evidence, conflicting texts, and schematic pictorial representations, scholars have long argued over the design and appearance of the lighthouse. This research, based on the tenets of experimental archaeology, draws upon the historical data, but takes as its primary basis a close analysis of the structural and construction challenges of the project.