Astronomical orientations and dimensions of Archaic and Classical Greek temples
AuthorNell, Erin Ann
AdvisorLeonard, Albert, Jr.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPreviously it has been assumed that the majority of Greek temples were oriented towards the eastern horizon, in the direction of sunrise. The author of this thesis conducted a GPS temple orientation survey of eight Greek Doric temples and concluded that these structures were actually oriented to the western, not eastern, horizon, in the direction of sunset. The following facts support this hypothesis: (1) of the eight temples surveyed, the western orientations of six were more precise than their eastern orientations, (2) in the Archaic and Classical periods of ancient Greece, architecturally aligning structures to the western horizon could have been accomplished with far greater ease and higher precision than to the eastern horizon, (3) literary evidence by Vitruvius supports this claim of western temple alignments, and (4) the lengths of each temple surveyed appear to have been determined via the same technique which oriented them to the sun on the western horizon.
Degree ProgramGraduate College