"Egyptian Project Management had over 200 years of experience with pyramid building which saw a clear evolution in learning. The approach was based on trial and error, or prototyping. This is exemplified by the Bent Pyramid at DAHSHUR, clearly experimental, with two different slope gradients for the sides at the lower and upper levels. This experience gave them the confidence to take on the Giza project" (Miroslav, 1997).
"The Parthenon is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector. Its construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC, although decorations of the Parthenon continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure" (Venieri, 2007).
The Parthenon is basically an octostyle Doric temple. Most of the aspects of the Parthenon are inspired by the Ionic architectural designs and the chryselephantine statue of Athena Parthenon that was originally sculpted by Phidias. The interior stone work was also depictive of the Ionic design as it had a variety of colors and designs (Tarbell, 2004). Phidias dedicated the temple in 436 B.C. To Athena. The construction of the temple though had not been completed till 432 B.C. And did not finish till the early waves of the Peloponnesian War. "By the year 438, the sculptural decoration of the Doric metopes on the frieze above the exterior colonnade, and of the Ionic frieze around the upper portion of the walls of the cella, had been completed. The richness of the Parthenon's frieze and metope decoration is in agreement with the function of the temple as a treasury. In the opisthodomus (the back room of the cella) were stored the monetary contributions of the Delian League, of which Athens was the leading member" (Tarbell, 2004).
There were a total of ninety-two metopes that had been sculpted in the higher relief of the structure which was a design reserved only for the treasuries at the time as that was a place dedicated for the gods. These metopes have lasted for a long time i.e. since the 446 B.C. And were primarily designed and sculpted by the creative designer initially i.e. Kalamis. The Ionic influence is very visible even in this design especially in the exterior walls design. "The bas-relief frieze was carved in situ; it is dated in 442 BCE-438 BCE. One interpretation is that it depicts an idealized version of the Panathenaic procession from the Dipylon Gate in the Kerameikos to the Acropolis. In this procession held every year, with a special procession taking place every four years, Athenians and foreigners were participating to honor the goddess Athena, offering sacrifices and a new peplos (dress woven by selected noble Athenian girls called ergastines)" (Barringer, 2008).
Caesar's Rhine Bridge
Caesar's Rhine Bridge is the first of the twin bridges that is built for the purpose of crossing the Rhine River. These bridges were built by Julius Caesar and his huge army during the years 53 B.C. And 55 B.C. while they were engaged in the Gallic War. The use of the army for the construction of these bridges was clearly visible in the construction as the bridges did not only prove to be strategically the correct move but the bridge also showed quite a clear military engineering inclination as well (Nebel, 2010). The strategy behind the construction of these bridges was to enable Caesar and his armies the ability to travel across large areas of land and be able to travel anywhere they wanted. The amazing aspect here was that the use of the local army, that comprised of more than 40,000 soldiers, allowed Caesar ti get the first bridge finished and ready for use in just 10 days (Nebel, 2010).
"The actual construction of Caesar's first bridge took place most likely between Andernach and Neuwied, downstream of Koblenz on the Rhine River. Book 4 (Liber IV) of his commentaries gives technical details of this wooden beam bridge. Double timber pilings were rammed into the bottom of the river by winching up a large stone and releasing it, thereby driving the beam into the riverbed. The most upstream and downstream pilings were slanted and secured by a beam, and multiple segments of these then linked up to form the basis of the bridge. Conflicting models have been presented based on his description" (Voggenreiter, 2009).
The Romans were the masterminds behind one of the most beautiful wonders of the world -- the Coliseum, they clearly had certain technologies and information that helped them attain the architectural and visual success with the Coliseum that still inspires many up-and-coming architects.
The most important aspect to note here that the Romans utilized those bricks that were really strong yet easily flexible; this is what made a lot of the construction practically possible in the long run. The main tool used for the construction was concrete because of its flexible nature and we can see that the Romans extensively used concrete because it could be easily molded into any shape needed and would harden quickly without causing any major constructional concerns in terms of the velocity and strength of the walls, of course the strength would vary depending upon the other mixes they would use with concrete. Perhaps the most popular and useful combination was using the finely ground volcanic lava with concrete instead of using clay, this they used to develop Portland cement. The construction of the arches and vaults was also easy with the use of concrete, plus the most impressive part was the use of mathematics to construct the building and its design. "Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. The northern main entrance was reserved for the Roman Emperor and his aides, whilst the other three axial entrances were most likely used by the elite. All four axial entrances were richly decorated with painted stucco reliefs, of which fragments survive. Many of the original outer entrances have disappeared with the collapse of the perimeter wall, but entrances XXIII (23) to LIV (54) still survive (Claridge, 1998)." The dynamics of the Coliseum were:
First floor: 14 feet wide and 23 feet tall
Second floor: 14 feet wide and 21 feet tall
Third floor: 14 feet wide and 21 feet tall
"The Colosseum's huge crowd capacity made it essential that the venue could be filled or evacuated quickly. Its architects adopted solutions very similar to those used in modern stadiums to deal with the same problem. The amphitheatre was ringed by eighty entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators" (Roth, 1993).
Tarbell, F.B. 2004. A History of Ancient Greek Art. Ellopos.net. Accessed on November 13, 2010 from: http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greek-art-12.asp
Voggenreiter. a. 2009. Historischer Ruckblick. Archived from the original on 2010-11-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20061016094500/http://www.biw.fhd.edu/alumni/2002/voggenreiter/fachbeitrag/rueckblick.htm
Nebel, B. 2010. Julius Casars Brucke uber den Rhein. Accessed on November 13, 2010 from: http://www.bernd-nebel.de/bruecken/3_bedeutend/caesar/caesar.html
Barringer, J.M. (2008). Art, myth, and ritual in classical Greece. Cambridge. p. 78.
Campbell, J. (1991). Masks of God. Penguin Group Inc.
Claridge, a. (1998). Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (First ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 276 -- 282
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Foster, K.P. (1998). Gardens of Eden: Flora and Fauna in the Ancient Near East. Transformations of Middle Eastern Natural Environments: Legacies and Lessons. New Haven: Yale University. pp. 320 -- 329. Accessed on November 11, 2010 from: http://environment.yale.edu/documents/downloads/0-9/103foster.pdf.
Smith, G.E.K. (1990) Looking at Architecture. Harry N. Abrams Publishing, p8.
Venieri. I. 2007. Acropolis of Athens. Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Accessed on November 11, 2010 from: http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2384
Rohl, D. Legend: The Genesis of Civilization, 1998.
Rossella, L. 2008. Were the Pyramids Made With Concrete? Discovery News. Discovery Channel. Accessed on November 11, 2010 from: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/12/08/pyramids_arc.html
Roth, L.M. 1993. Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History and Meaning (First ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press
Miroslav. V. 1997. The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt's Great Monuments, Grove Press. 2001.