Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture

Mark Wilson Jones, Georg Herdt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Calculations and checks of the kind that engineers use to verify stability are rarely applied to the reconstruction of ancient structures. This paper concerns the reconstruction of two early Greek structures for which there are also few comparanda. First is the building at the Toumba site near Lefkandi, erected around 950 BC, the plan of which is common enough in terms of shape, but unique in terms of scale for the whole of the Geometric period. Its chance discovery only a few decades ago represented one of the most significant new finds in the field, transforming our expectations of monumentality in the so-called Dark Ages. Second is the Temple of Artemis at Kerkyra on the island of Corfu, one of the most striking Doric temples from around the middle of the first half of the 6th century. Here is the earliest temple front that can be reasonably well reconstructed, including in respect of an almost complete set of pedimental sculptures.
This paper demonstrates that both structures, as they have been reconstructed and published, are sufficiently problematic in terms of statics to call into question the reconstructions. Alternative proposals are presented which could have withstood the effect of gravity and other loading conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice
EditorsDorian Borbonus , Elisha Dumser
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Temple
Monumentality
Artemis
Doric
Engineers
Dark Ages
Gravity

Cite this

Wilson Jones, M., & Herdt, G. (2017). Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture. In D. Borbonus , & E. Dumser (Eds.), Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice Oxford University Press.

Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture. / Wilson Jones, Mark; Herdt, Georg.

Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice. ed. / Dorian Borbonus ; Elisha Dumser. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Wilson Jones, M & Herdt, G 2017, Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture. in D Borbonus & E Dumser (eds), Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice. Oxford University Press.
Wilson Jones M, Herdt G. Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture. In Borbonus D, Dumser E, editors, Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice. Oxford University Press. 2017
Wilson Jones, Mark ; Herdt, Georg. / Virtual Collapse? Considerations of Structure in Reconstructing Greek Architecture. Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice. editor / Dorian Borbonus ; Elisha Dumser. Oxford University Press, 2017.
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