Methods of stone suspension

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EXHIBITS    >    The elevating mechanisms of the ancient Greeks    >   

Methods of stone suspension

For the elevation, the stones (with the use of wood for the protection of their acmes), were usually fastened by strong ropes that were attached to the grab of the elevator. Because of the awkward removal of ropes on several occasions (that would be crushed by the stone above after its placement), various brilliant systems of stone mooring were devised such as:

A) Via apertures in the form of U that were curved on the top surface and internally of the stone (Olympia, Delphi, Afaia's temple, etc.).

B) Via curved ledges ("elbows") on the oblong side surfaces of the stone that were usually later removed (Parthenon temple, Propylaia, etc.).

C) Via curved traverse grooves at the bottom part and on the sides (sometimes) of the stone (Selinous, etc.).

D) Via curved grooves in the form U in the traverse side surfaces of the stone ( Akragas, Afaia's temple, etc.).

E) With the help of a pair of tongs ("anchors" and "grabs") hung in notches, and suitably curved apertures of the stone (Parthenon temple, Olympia, Delfoi, Epidauros, etc.).

F) With the help of the "cancer", scissors-like articulated pincers whose lower ends were hooked into suitable sockets on the top part or the sides of the stone and which automatically clasped with its elevation (Sounio, etc.).

G) With the help of the "wolf", a system constructed by two metal or (more seldom) wooden pieces (one rectangular and the other trapezoidal cross-section with only one side inclined) that were applied to respectively curved trapezoidal sockets of the stone (sidelong on one side) so as to wedge automatically during the elevation (Sicily). The suspension was by aperture, or by the shaped hook of the trapezoidal piece. During the post-hellenistic period the "wolf" was used with three pieces, two of which were trapezoidal cross-section with opposite inclinations ("bell")

SOURCES: "A. Orlandos, The materials of structure of ancient Greeks (I &II)", "Manolis Korres, From Penteli to the Parthenon"