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Greece Report, Part 1

Architecture

Comparing with Today’s Structural Design

Much of today’s architecture originated from ancient Greece.  It is easy to make a comparison with any building.  For example, our basic post and lintel construction, we need to give credit to the Greeks.  Don’t stop there, for there are many more architectural features to explore!

The bottom-resting place of the upright timbers is a sill.  The sill outlines the foundation of a building.  It is made of heavy, strong timber.

A proud cap stood at the top of a column.  A cap is generally a simple block of wood though.

The lintel, or plate, is an upper sill.  This is the part of the building must support the superstructure.

The superstructure is more commonly known as a roof.  The truss gives the roof its shape.  Trusses are triangular frames upon which the rest of the roof is laid.

On the trusses, purlins run lengthwise.  The rafters of a building run from the lintel to the peak of a roof.  From the rafters, eaves, or cornices are created.

As a result of the above, the entire building is tied together.  This outcome is essential in the erection of all buildings.

Original Building

The first group of people to inhabit Greece and leave traces of construction were Neolithic.  Their buildings were simple one-room houses.  They were made from mud-brick, stone, and reeds or other brush.

The next group of people, the Minoans, left even more complex buildings.  The Minoan people had a sense of privacy and made many roomed homes.  However, the only room separations were pillars!


Columns

A column’s main purpose was to support upper beams or the roof.  There were three types of columns.  They are known as the three orders.

The first type is the Doric order.  Doric columns were about four to five meters high.  Doric columns were very simple and the easiest to make.

In addition, there were Ironic columns.  Ironic columns are more slender than the Doric order.  Ironic pillars would be about eight to nine meters tall.  Another difference is that Ironic columns were sculpted.

The final column is the Corinthian order.  Corinthian columns were less common because they were fancier by far.

Pottery

Pottery provides important documentation for Greece.  The scenes illustrate ancient myths and legends.  They give a picture of how the Greeks viewed their deities.  Pottery shows information about dress and everyday life.

If I were a potter…  I will make my pot of clay.  Then, using a watery-clay mixture I will paint my creation.  When I bake my pot in the kiln, the painted parts turn black and the rest a red-brown.  Out comes a beautiful piece of pottery.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis was a fortified center of a city.   There, the main houses of worship were built.  The largest building was the Parthenon.  In addition, many other temples were built.

The Acropolis was built allowing it to be inhabited during times of war.  The residents of a city would take refuge inside its fortified walls when conflicts arose.

The Olympics

Today’s Olympic Games originated from the ancient Greek athletics.  They are held every four years like the ancient ones.

At first it was a purely religious ceremony having little to do with athletics.  It was like much of the other activities done at that time, to please the gods.  At this time the only sport may have been the 200yard sprint.  As the years went on, more contests were added.  The Olympics had to be extended from one to four days.

The official prize was not more than a headband of wild olive leaves.  Even so, after the champions returned home, their individual city had rewards.  The victors might receive pension, be freed from taxes, or be fed for the remainder of their life.  In Sparta they were put in the front row of the next battle of the next war!

Spectators came from all over Greece.  Wars stopped and a truce was claimed.  It is believed that about 20,000 spectators came to the Games.  The crowds were completely male.  No women were allowed

The competitors were not clothed.  In case of accidents though chariot drivers did wear clothing.

CONTINUED ON: http://ypen.com/greece-report-part-2/

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