The Evolution of the Post and Lintel Structural System
The post and lintel structural system, more commonly known today as post and beam, is a construction method used to hold the weight of a building through the use of two or more upright posts that support the horizontal beam/lintel that spans between them. This technique has been used for centuries and is still seen today. When this system was first put into place it was solely for structural support, but as time moved forward, we see a shift in its purpose as stylistic features are often added by different cultures that borrowed this technique. While reading through the chapters, I realized the changes made to the structural system began as a basis of construction and ended with the Romans who turned this support into art. Catal Huyuk, located in present day Turkey, was one of the first known urban communities that started around 6500 BCE and served as a trading town. This community was packed tight with dwelling houses, workshops, and shrines. There was no usage of streets to access the buildings and instead pedestrians traveled along the rooftops and entered through openings in the walls. In order to define one space from another, the residents used a timber post and lintel system and mud-brick walls to define ones rectangular spaced home. By doing this they have created one large perimeter wall that encompasses their entire community. In 2900 BCE, workers located on the Salisbury Plain in England began to create one of the most well known megalith stone structures titled Stonehenge. Here, we see another example of the early use of the post and lintel construction whose purpose was for structural reasoning only. The creators of Stonehenge created a layered system of circles that aided in determining the annual calendar as well as the prediction of lunar and solar eclipses. In the center is a U shaped formation of sacren stones known as the Trilithons, which establish the northeast axis of the...
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