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Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Ancient Mystery

See how three magnificent ancient structures were engineered in this three-part series.

Runtime: 53:09Topic: Ancient WorldsAncient WorldsNova

(This program is no longer available for online streaming.) Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its soaring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world—the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets. Follow engineers as they build a massive 8-ton model of the building's core structure, place it on a motorized shake table, and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse—a fate that the team is determined to avoid with the real building.

Carlo Agliati, Joan Branham, Ahmet LJakmak, Eser LJakti, Koray Durak, Mustafa Erdik, Luciana Notturni, Korhan Oral, Robert Ousterhout, Sonay Şakar, Hitoshi Takanezawa

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