cyclopean masonry

      wall constructed without mortar, using enormous blocks of stone. This technique was employed in fortifications where use of large stones reduced the number of joints and thus reduced the walls' potential weakness. Such walls are found on Crete and in Italy and Greece. Ancient fable attributed them to a Thracian race of giants, the Cyclopes, named after their one-eyed king, Cyclops. Similar walls, though not called cyclopean, are found at Machu Picchu, Peru, and at several other pre-Columbian sites in the New World.

      The citadel of Tiryns (c. 1300 BC) in Greece features such walls. They range in thickness from approximately 24 feet (7 metres) to as much as 57 feet (17 metres) where chambers are incorporated within them. Though formed without mortar, clay may have been used for bedding.

      Cyclopean concrete derives its name from this ancient method. It is a form of massed concrete in which stones are placed as the concrete is poured. These are called plums or pudding stones and are 100 pounds (45 kg) or more in weight. They are generally set at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart and no closer than 8 inches (20 cm) from any exposed surfaces.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cyclopean masonry — is a type of stonework found in Mycenaean architecture, built with huge limestone boulders, roughly fitted together with minimal clearance between adjacent stones and no use of mortar. The boulders typically are unworked, but sometimes are worked …   Wikipedia

  • cyclopean masonry — noun a primitive style of masonry characterized by use of massive stones of irregular shape and size • Hypernyms: ↑stonework …   Useful english dictionary

  • cyclopean — (also cyclopian) ► ADJECTIVE 1) of or resembling a Cyclops. 2) (of ancient masonry) made with massive irregular blocks …   English terms dictionary

  • masonry — /may seuhn ree/, n., pl. masonries. 1. the craft or occupation of a mason. 2. work constructed by a mason, esp. stonework: the crumbling masonry of ancient walls. 3. (cap.) Freemasonry. [1325 75; ME masonerie < MF maçonnerie. See MASON, ERY] * *… …   Universalium

  • Cyclopean — adjective a) Suggestive of a Cyclops. b) Of a style of ancient masonry where walls are fitted together of huge irregular stones; ancient and roughly composed …   Wiktionary

  • cyclopean — adjective /ˈsaɪkləʊpɪiən/ a) Suggestive of a Cyclops. b) Of a style of masonry where walls are fitted together of huge irregular stones …   Wiktionary

  • Cyclopean architecture — noun Ancient masonry where walls are fitted together of huge irregular stones; architecture that is ancient and roughly composed …   Wiktionary

  • cyclopean — [ˌsʌɪklə pi:ən, sʌɪ kləʊpɪən] (also cyclopian) adjective 1》 of or resembling a Cyclops, especially in size. 2》 denoting a type of ancient masonry made with massive irregular blocks …   English new terms dictionary

  • cyclopean — /saɪkləˈpiən/ (say suykluh peeuhn), /saɪˈklɒpiən/ (say suy klopeeuhn) adjective 1. gigantic; vast. 2. Architecture of, like or denoting an early style of masonry employing massive stones, more or less irregular in shape. {from Cyclops} …   Australian English dictionary

  • cyclopean — adj. (also Cyclopian) 1 (of ancient masonry) made with massive irregular blocks. 2 of or resembling a Cyclops …   Useful english dictionary

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