The greek era of stone
With the passage of the stone became a construction material widely used, coming soon to a regularisation process.
The trilith, a horizontal element resting on two vertical columns, defined as imposts, is the transition from unprocessed stone to squared blocks. (Figure 1)
Working horizontally within the trilithic system, brought structural determinations concerning, for example, the distance between columns in the Hypostyle halls of ancient Egypt.
Their entry into the architectural culture facilitated the execution and the construction of the masonry structures (e.g. connecting adjacent ashlar with metal clamps) and it also improved processing techniques.
In construction field born the two main functions assigned to the stone material: the first refers to the use of the stone as a material with predominantly structural function, the second gives the stone a purely ornamental function.
This last function was much used in Mycenaean, Cretan culture-where the stone was used as a coating of building elements (stands, ladders, etc.), while the masonry structures of buildings consisted of regularized stone blocks. (Figure 2)
Around the 5th century a.C. in Greece, the stone processing became highly qualified. In monumental architecture it was used with structural function in huge parallelepiped blocks that were placed horizontally.
It was developed the so-called “anathyrosis” system, i.e. the inner part was left rustic, without thereby being processed, while the exterior was treated with adjacent ashlars to reduce the contact surface between the various blocks to a strip accurately machined. This system included a simultaneous use of metal and stone, as were placed between the ashlars metal clamps. (Figure 3)
Proportionality, accuracy of processing and various steps during the installation have allowed these works to get up to the present and represent a good example of long-lasting architecture.
For the first time in Greece, were realized surface structures of coating completely self-supporting.
The marble slabs are worked through the process of sawing and not as had been done until then by splitting. The slab is subsequently cut, installed, regularized and mounted to joints and is an important element for a building: the lintel on columns.
In the Greek architecture brought and bearing elements are different and, overall, lose the mass appearance assuming a more complex and articulated joint.