Stones of the Parthenon: The Ancient Quarries and the Story of a Half-Worked Column Capital of the First Marble Parthenon

Overview


Most visitors to the Acropolis in Athens pause to wonder how the large marble pieces were hauled up the sacred mount. In fact, even with today's far more advanced construction equipment, it would be impossible to match the precision with which the ancient builders built the imposing structures of the Parthenon in just eight years!
The Stones of the Parthenon is a riveting investigation of the technological achievements of the ancient Greeks. This highly readable account ...
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Overview


Most visitors to the Acropolis in Athens pause to wonder how the large marble pieces were hauled up the sacred mount. In fact, even with today's far more advanced construction equipment, it would be impossible to match the precision with which the ancient builders built the imposing structures of the Parthenon in just eight years!
The Stones of the Parthenon is a riveting investigation of the technological achievements of the ancient Greeks. This highly readable account explains how an 11-ton Doric column capital was quarried and transported to Athens. The author's intricate line drawings clearly illustrate the methods and tools employed in the accomplishment of this feat of ancient craftsmanship.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
An actual, half-finished column capital found near the Parthenon forms the basis of a story that weaves together a fascinating blend of historical and architectural fact and fiction. Originally written in Greek as part of a larger work, the English translation is illustrated with exquisitely detailed, black-and-white line drawings that bring the techniques of the ancient builders to life. The story begins in 485 B.C., five years after the Athenians have defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. On the Acropolis, a new temple is being built to replace the old one dedicated to Athena, patron goddess of the city. Marble for the temple comes from the Pentelicon quarry, about ten miles away. Every aspect of the work needed to extract, shape and transport a block of marble with the tools and equipment available at the time is described and illustrated. Before the column capital is completed, the Athenians must halt construction to fight and defeat the Persians once again. Following their victory, the golden age of Greek civilization under Pericles begins, but the half-finished capital has either disappeared in the rubble or been recycled as a pedestal. This book would be an ideal addition to a curriculum including the study of ancient Greece, but would be appropriate only for students who can handle the extremely sophisticated prose. A glossary of historical and architectural terms is a helpful addition. 2000, J. Paul Getty Museum, $14.95. Ages 14 up. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz
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