How To Build An Ancient Temple
Italian archeologists have unearthed the remains of a Greek temple-like structure dating back to 6th century B.C. They also found details on how to build it. Written in detailed codes, the collection of how-to instructions was found among the remains.
Ancient 'IKEA-Like' Instructions
Much like the instruction booklets of the Swedish home furnishings company, IKEA, various sections of the elaborate structure were inscribed with coded symbols showing how the pieces slotted together. Shown here is one of the coded slabs. "So far we have uncovered 100 inscribed fragments, all related to the roof assembly system. The inscriptions also reveal that the palace was built by Greek artisans coming from the Spartan colony of Taranto in Puglia," Massimo Osanna, director of the archaeology school at Basilicata University, told Discovery News.
This building was no small piece of furniture. The elaborate structure was built with large walls topped by a sloping roof and was covered in red and black decorations. The building also boasted an impressive colonnade at the entryway.
Decorated terracotta friezes were placed along the main side of the building. The friezes featured a repeating scene: a fight between two citizen-soldiers. These fragments show armed Greek men with spears and horses. Building instructions for the decorations were found on both the molding and the friezes.
The sloping terracotta roof was designed to filter rainwater down panels with protruding drips to roll water off the roof and away from the building.
Even the drips were beautifully designed as ornamental features. Shown here is one of the drip decorations that was placed on the roof structure. It is shaped like a lion's head.
At least two statues representing mythical creatures were found on the roof as well. Archaeologists were able to piece together one of these statues depicting a sphinx, shown here.
Brought to Life in Digital
This image shows a digital reconstruction of what the roof probably looked like shortly after it was finished. Nearly every part of it is inscribed with detailed directions on how its components should be slotted together. According to Osanna, the decorative features are remarkably similar to ornamental features on another structure unearthed at a town nearby. This would suggest that the builders used the same mold. "A taste for Greek styles among the local pre-Roman population might have prompted an industrious builder to produce D-I-Y structures on the model of classical Greek buildings," Osanna said.
Mingled With Greeks
Similar to a temple, the luxurious, Greek -style building was discovered at Torre Satriano, near the southern city of Potenza, in Basilicata. Here, local pre-Roman people mingled with Greeks who settled along the southern coast and in Sicily from the 8th century B.C. onwards.
To learn more about this ancient IKEA-like building, click here.