Understanding the structure of table-type dolmens using numerical analysis

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Computer-aided methods are used extensively to analyze archaeological images. This data can then be used to make mappings and provide greater structural understanding of archaeological objects of interest. This paper details a numerical analysis of a typical Korean dolmen, performed in order to enhance our understanding of its structure in terms of force/pressure, strain/stress, and fatigue damage. The advanced engineering tools "ABAQUS" and "Nastran" are employed to analyze force/pressure, deformation/strain/stress relations, and the overall distribution of stress and damage, respectively. This structural analysis was performed for various geometrical configurations such as offset distances of the top stone, inclined angles of the supporting stones, and varying shapes of dolmens. This analysis shows that dolmens having vertically-erected supporting stones are most stable. With the help of this parametric study using idealized models, two real existing models were applied to analyze and predict damage to the table-type dolmens. The accuracy of the numerical predictions shows that this kind of analysis has great potential to be the method of choice for structural understanding of such objects. If run in parallel with the sensing techniques currently used, it could greatly aid in the conservation of archaeological objects.

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© 2014 The Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-014-0325-x

Publication Title

Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology