Geotechnical and geophysical investigation techniques in Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo area, Egypt
The Ben Ezra Synagogue or El-Geniza Synagogue or the Synagogue of the Levantines, is located in the Coptic section of Old Cairo area. It is considered the oldest Synagogue or Jewish temple found in Egypt represents cultural heritage of outstanding universal values. It suffers multiple environmental, geotechnical and earthquake hazards. The integrated geotechnical and geophysical investigation techniques were done to assess the level of seismic and other geo-environmental hazards and risk that
... nagogue suffers from in present and future. This knowledge is required to protect the building against seismic events. The Synagogue suffers high risk in terms of seismic and environmental hazards. The main purposes of the present study are to: (1) Assess the level of seismic and other geo-environmental hazards at Ben Ezra Synagogue. (2) Understand the damage situation for the historic building caused by the recent earthquakes. (3) Offer technical support and advice on restoration and repairs for the damaged structure. (4) Build up knowledge and case studies towards the restoration and repairs, and to survey the damage state of the historic structure. However, Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish temple that was constructed with little or no seismic considerations that represent the largest risk to most communities. These significant historical buildings must be assessed their level of risk determined, and unacceptable risks reduced. This paper focuses on the issues associated with detailed procedures of risk and hazards assessment for retrofitting of architectural heritage. Many forms of evaluation and related procedures for assessment of seismic risk for historical buildings have been discussed. This study, suggest moderate level of earthquake activity at Ben Ezra Synagogue and this is in a good agreement with the fact that "Egypt is a part of the stable African Shield", but the existence of old structure such as the Ben Ezra Synagogue may reduce the ability to resist any earthquake shaking. This pilot study is important with respect to the continuous efforts for preservation and restoration of the cultural heritage worldwide.