Ancient Greek Architecture and Method

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With Greece in all its glory and beauty one must imagine how it was all done. From the ruins of ancient Greece civilizations have learned so much and archaeologists are fascinated by the glory that Greece must have once been, between the natural landscape that still stands today, and the massive temples and structures, and the beautiful pieces of art that had been preserved underground for so long. As we continue learning about these people we are more and more astounded by their design and capabilities in a time so far different from today. These monuments that are still where they stood thousands of years before, that were created by hand with few tools and years worth of work. They honored their gods more than nearly any other people in the world, and the rich showed their wealth the same way people do today. Like so many other parts of the ancient world that we have learned from their alphabet, mathematics, science, theatre, and art, architecture is yet one small piece that has sustained through the thousands of years since these people have past. From the early Minoan stage through the Bronze Age through to the Archaic time the ancient people developed their form in all aspects of their lives including their architecture. The Early Minoan stage from 2,500 to 2,200 B.C. was a much more primitive form of architecture. On the eastern side of the Greece the structures were being built on hilltops out small stones stacked and wooden thatched roofs, resembling a Neolithic style; “Resembles rooms or cells more than houses” (35) showing the size difference from future construction. More towards the mainland of Greece the architectural style was slightly more modern showing how far spread the people of the time were. Symmetry was beginning to show up in the design of the buildings, and the ceilings started using tile ceilings and having clay flooring instead of gravel or dirt inside. And it can be assumed that this was the beginning of tapered ceilings from models resembling Crete’s house of tiles.

In the Middle Bronze Age fro 2,000 to 1,550 B.C. the artistic style of architecture began to appear. Palace where beginning their construction and commonly had large central courtyards. These courtyards were put in place to emphasize the belief that free airflow and natural light were important. This is the age when the ideas of construction were created and stuck throughout the centuries. Walls began getting stucco to smooth out the seams and act as a type of grout for the stones, and were being painted on top to add class and artistic idea. Most of the columns were still made of wood at this point in history and larger building began becoming multiple stories tall. Large stone cuts had just begun coming into use. This is also the time when terracotta pipes were beginning to be used for plumbing.

During the late Bronze Age from 1,550 to 1,100 B.C. full palaces were being built. Knosso’s palace is one of the oldest in history and one of the first buildings full palaces built in ancient Greece. These temples were built out of either ashlar blocks or rubble that was packed with stucco to smoothen out the walls and help hold the rubble together. These palaces had numerous colonnades and windows as often as possible to let the natural light in. This was the beginning of three-story building and often the ceilings were flat. The most important of “the Architectural vocabulary consisted of courts, stairways, light wells, porticoes, narrow rooms, corridors, theatral areas, lustral basins all arranged around a central court.” (69) These structures were also at a time when places really began to worry about fortification and protection for themselves.

The next section of time in Ancient Greece was the Dark Age and Geometric Greece that spanned throughout 1,100 until 700 B.C. During the Dark Age of Greece as one would imagine not very many architectural differences were found. The primary...
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