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Abstract

In this chapter, I examine the organisation of ancient labour and the energetics represented by architectural projects. The first section articulates a tripartite approach to restoring lost ancient manufacturing techniques. First, a close analysis of the ancient specimens is aimed at ‘reverse engineering’ the original production sequence. Second, a search for analogues in the ethnographic record provides a more complete sense of potential techniques and the structure of the workshop. Third, properly designed archaeological experiments not only clarify many uncertainties, but also raise new questions not previously considered by the researcher. Each approach provides complementary insights into the ancient chaîne opératoire and labour organisation.

The second section applies these methods to the terracotta Protokorinthian roof of an early Archaic temple from Korinthos. A general model for ancient tile and brick production drawn from ethnographic sources is enhanced by experimental replications of the tiles. After considering the acquisition of raw materials and the timing of production, I estimate the labour and crew responsible for the roof and consider the full ‘cost’ for the rest of the building. Although an important early foray into monumental architecture, the temple might have been completed in as little as a year and, in the end, represents a relatively modest investment.

In: New Approaches to Ancient Material Culture in the Greek & Roman World
Volume Editors: Philip Sapirstein and David Scahill
New Directions and Paradigms for the Study of Greek Architecture comprises 20 chapters by nearly three dozen scholars who describe recent discoveries, new theoretical frameworks, and applications of cutting-edge techniques in their architectural research. The contributions are united by several broad themes that represent the current directions of study in the field, i.e.: the organization and techniques used by ancient Greek builders and designers; the use and life history of Greek monuments over time; the communication of ancient monuments with their intended audiences together with their reception by later viewers; the mining of large sets of architectural data for socio-economic inference; and the recreation and simulation of audio-visual experiences of ancient monuments and sites by means of digital technologies.
In: New Directions and Paradigms for the Study of Greek Architecture