Structural Evaluation of a Timber Construction Element Originating from the Great Meteoron Monastery in Greece

Dogu D., Yilgor N. , Mantanis G., Tuncer F. D.

BIORESOURCES, vol.12, no.2, pp.2433-2451, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.15376/biores.12.2.2433-2451
  • Title of Journal : BIORESOURCES
  • Page Numbers: pp.2433-2451


This study identified the wood species and evaluated the degree of weathering and biological degradation of a historical timber construction element originating from the Great Meteoron monastery in Meteora, Greece. The wood material was provided from the interior side of a balcony that was fully covered with a roof and exposed to outdoor conditions for more than 400 years. The species was identified as Quercus spp. of the white oak group. In the timber element, the physical, morphological, and chemical changes were studied to assess the type and extent of degradation using light microscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. To examine the degree of biological degradation and weathering, the surface layer and inner parts of the specimen were studied separately and compared with a recent wood specimen of the same species. The FT-IR analysis revealed remarkable differences between the surface layer and the inner parts of the historical wooden element. Macroscopic and microscopic investigation indicated that multiple types of degradation caused by weathering, fungi, and insect attacks had occurred in the wood structure. It was finally concluded that the historical timber construction element was in better condition than was expected before the study.