Monday, March 23, 2009

Re: Cologne, Germany State Archives building collapse: Histarch

Thanks for the information. I have been trying to follow it. I had just been reading "Vikings in Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century" by Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Cork (ISBN 2-503-50624-0) and there is references from the Cologne archive that place the Vikings from the "kingdom of Lothlend, Laithlind or Lochlainn" there sometime between 825-859 CE. An important archive that will be missed for some time, and in part forever. I found the animation of the disaster informative as it showed how it could have led to a greater loss of life if not for the quick thinking of the workers in the subway tunnel who perceived the impending disaster, stopping traffic and alerting those working in the archives on the surface. It seems hydrostatic pressure has caused the slip and fall of what we here sometimes call a "slurry wall" which I've worked alongside the construction of by a French firm back in 1984 while in urban archaeology in New York City. A water displacing bentonite "slurry" is pumped through a channel dug to whatever base, in bedrock, chiseled into, rebar cages lowered and concrete pumped displacing the slurry monitored for content, filtered and recharged a section at a time. It apparently was used in the World Trade Center so-called "bath-tub" design and the former US Federal Assay Site, recently sold as the most expensive property in Manhattan, per square foot, two blocks from the East River, NYC where a large crew recovered over 1 million artifacts in 1984. Personally terms such as "bath-tub" and "ground zero" do nothing for our field often a part of tourism to the original significant sites these terms come from, in my opinion, once working in the now demolished, could have saved it's facade building on Trinity Place nearby and for the firm which conducted the original archaeology survey of the US Army's Fort Drum, NY in 1983 once located in the 90s of floors of the WTC, tragically struck on Sept. 11, 2001. By the way a ca. 18th c. horse harness was recovered in the orginal construction of Building 3 there and is conserved at the Long Island Science Museum, NY. The towers construction had seen a ship hulk in landfill and later when I accompanied archaeologist Edward Johanneman, MA to Building 3 to look further, we were denied access. Another 'Johanneman' singled out by the press as a 'hero' on that day, helping burning victims out, late for his janitor job stopping for coffee, recently committed suicide over the notoriety it brought and the 'fate' his tardiness brought.

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