Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


8 March 2016

On the architecture of the Toumba building at Lefkandi

Georg Herdt The Annual of the British School at Athens 110 (2015): 203-212


The building at Toumba, Lefkandi, stands unique in its time and place. The remains of this monument are significant in terms of size and elaboration, and also on account of the way it has been reconstructed and interpreted as the ancestor of the Greek peripteral temple. The primary concern of this article is the structural evaluation of the architectural remains. In part due to the scant nature of the archaeological evidence behind the widely accepted reconstruction, the latter can be seen to have several structural shortcomings. In reassessing the structure several factors are considered, including the state of technology at the time of construction, the characteristics of the building materials employed, and the way they respond to the strains of load and the forces of nature. The process of reconciling such factors with the documented remnants of the building directs us towards a different reconstruction. It thus emerges that the building at Toumba is an implausible ancestor of Greek peripteroi, and an alternative solution without the iconic pre-peristasis is proposed here.


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