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Ancient temple ‘stitched’ back together

A 1250-year-old temple in India has been saved from collapsing by using a technique called ‘granite stitching’.

In the stone stitching technique, the cracks in the plinth are strengthened with stainless steel rods and an epoxy-based chemical anchor without disturbing the original structure.

Holes are drilled on both sides of a crack in a roughly 45 degree angle. They are then cleaned and the chemical anchor filled in, Ms Anu Padma further explains.

Stainless steel rods are then inserted and finished with rock powder to cover the conservation work and provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

“The inserted rod starts at one side of the crack and ends at the other side of the crack, holding both sides together. This is actually like stitching seen in cloth,” she said.

According to Dr Mathews, the technique itself is very simple and not very expensive. But he says that when dealing with ancient monuments, it is important that care is taken over the materials used.

“High-grade stainless steel rods with a high percentage of chromium were used so that they didn’t corrode for at least another five hundred years,” he says.

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