New Integrated Knowledge based approachs to the protection of cultural heritage from Earthquake-induced Risk

The Kabri-Akko Aqueduct
Engineering-conservation stabilization
OrdererGovernment Tourism Company
DurationApril-August 2007
Implemented by: Ariel Elzam
Eng. Yaacov Schefer
Yotam Carmel
Conservation Guidance - Yoram Saad, Head of the Implementation Branch

The aqueduct, which begins at the Kabri Springs and terminates in Akko, is one of three aqueducts that were erected in the Hellenistic and Ottoman periods for the purpose of conveying water to the city of Akko. The Ottoman aqueduct was built by Suleyman Pasha in the year 1814 and was in use until 1948. Sections of the aqueduct are today visible east of the Akko-Nahariya road, near Qibbuz Lohamē Ha-Geta’tot.
The aqueduct drew its water from four springs: ‘En Shayyara, ‘En Zuf, ‘En Giah and ‘En Shefa‘. The water flowed in ceramic pipes and stone-built channels from the vicinity of the springs to approximately 3 kilometers north of the Old City (where Yad Natan Farm is located). Where the terrain is low the channel is borne atop impressive stone arches, some of which reach a height of c. 10 meters.
In 1998-1999 a physical-engineering survey of the aqueduct was conducted by the Conservation Department of the Antiquities Authority at the request of the Government Tourism Company. As a result of the survey’s conclusions for the past decade a number of sections of the aqueduct have been treated so as to stabilize them and eliminate safety hazards. The first section that was treated was in the vicinity of Regba, the second in Qibbuz Lohamē Ha-Geta’tot and the third area was on the grounds of the educational institute “Manof” (Yad Natan).

The project that is the subject of this report was conducted along an approximately 150 m section next to the southern end of Qibbuz Lohamē Ha-Geta’tot, in order to stabilize the aqueduct’s arches there. In the past this section had been treated using cement bonding material – intervention that has caused the kurkar stones to separate from the cement and has resulted in the deterioration of the stones at the contact points between the different materials. In addition other problems have also been identified:
- The disintegration of the bonding material in the joints weakens the hold of the stones and their structural function.
- Stones are missing from the columns, arches and the sides of the aqueduct due to the disintegration of the building materials.

These weathering processes have damaged the structural stability of the aqueduct. The stones, which have been undermined and have lost their hold in the columns, arches and the top of the aqueduct, are a danger to visitors that pass close to the aqueduct and beneath it.
Therefore the goal of the project was to stabilize this section of the aqueduct from an engineering-conservation standpoint and remove the danger of collapse. Extensive intervention measures were performed on ten columns, as well as arches and the body of the aqueduct. Partial intervention was done on six other columns.

The conservation measures that were implemented on the aqueduct included:
- Filling the joints and cracks with bonding material.
- Completing the missing stonework in the columns, the body of the aqueduct and the arches.
- Reconstructing an arch that was falling apart.
- Reconstructing the wall of the aqueduct, stabilizing and completing the upper course on the top of the aqueduct.
- Constructing two concrete support pillars to shore up a segment of leaning arches, including the finish plaster.
- Removing the vegetation from the aqueduct and alongside it, including preventive spraying.

The reconstruction measures were implemented using kurkar and bonding material prepared from pit lime.

To view the figures, click on the figure caption
Map of the aqueduct (from: L. Porat, The Akko Aqueduct 2006 [Hadashot Arkheologiot 118])

The aqueduct, looking west before the beginning of the work.

The wood scaffolding along the areas where the work was being carried out.

Assembling the wooden form used in reconstructing the arch.

Assembling the form used in reconstructing the arch.

Pointing up the joints in the columns.

Pointing up the inner joints – working on a platform lift.

The aqueduct at the completion of the work, looking southwest.

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