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Question

This week you will take a digital field trip to view the Ancient Greece Architecture Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located in New York, the Met offers one of the United States’ most diverse and largest collections of art in the world. Your visit to the digital archive will help you develop your understanding of ancient Greek architectural forms, and provide key details about the contexts that these forms emerged from.

For this assignment you will need to:

Read the Lecture for the week
Engage in weekly Discussions to help develop ideas
Visit the Met Archive at: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/grarc/hd_grarc.htm   Produce a two-page reflection assignment (see description below)

For your reflection assignment for this week, please select one primary example from the archive and address the following in a two-page reflection assignment:

Describe the example you have selected and provide the specific URL and the image
Explain the origins and context of the example
Include examples from the textbook this week that help develop your analysis of the work and its context. Here are the textbook details: “Discovering the Humanities 2nd Edition Henry M. Sayre 2013 Prentice Hall”
Provide a link to a contemporary architecture work to help discuss the influence that ancient Greece continues to have on contemporary cultural patterns. Reminder: the precise link where the example from the archive is located need to be indicated in your reflection

Answer

Reflection on an Ancient Greek Architectural Form

            Ancient Greek architecture has had a significant impact on contemporary architecture. An example of ancient Greek architecture is the Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis (https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/26.59.1/). The marble column was crafted during the Hellenistic period, and dates back to 300 B.C (The Met, n.d.). It is categorized as a stone sculpture. The marble column is located in the Temple of Artemis at Sardis.

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Marble column from the Temple of Artemis

The column that stood for over fifty-eight feet served as a structural support for the temple. The Temple of the Artemis was built by the Greek people during the beginning of the rule of Seleucus Nicator, at the time of Seleucid Empire (Sayre, 2013). The construction of the temple was commissioned by both religious and civic leaders. It was designed and built by the Greek architects and craftsmen. However, it is unclear whether the architects were brought in from Greece or they were residents of Lydia in Turkey. The temple had been constructed in honor of a goddess who was known as Artemis (Sayre, 2013). She was goddess of chastity, moon, virginity, hunt, as well as the natural environment.

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The column and the temple are a great indication of the spread of the Greek culture and civilization during that period. The culture and civilization had spread to most parts of Europe and Asia Minor. As a result people copied most of the Greek way of life that included even the design of buildings. The Greek architects were the best during that period hence were invited in various countries to offer their expertise, and this contributed to the spread of their architecture. The marble column at the Temple of Artemis is iconic due to the level of art that is incorporated in constructing it. It acts not only as a column to support the temple, but also as an artwork. The column is also iconic because it was located in one of the big four temples in Greece. The column had been hand-carved by craftsmen from a marble that was situated in a quarry at the foot of Mt Tmolus (The Met, n.d.). The marbles were designed to fit closely hence there was no need of mortar to join them together. The structure was guarded from earthquakes through the use of metal clamps that had been embedded amongst them. The column was discovered during the excavations that were conducted from 1911 to 1914 in Sardis.

The Greek culture continues to influence the modern architecture with most modern building borrowing some of their aspects from the ancient Greek styles. An example of a modern architectural building that has been influenced by the Greek architecture is the Lincoln Memorial that is found in Washington D.C. in America.

Lincoln Memorial: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/658400057594216449  

           Most of the Western governments incorporate their foundational principles from the Greek culture. Many government buildings as well as museums that have been built by incorporating the Greek architectural style. In the example provided, it is notable that the architects of the Lincoln Memorial utilized the Greek architectural style in designing the columns that stand conspicuously in front of the building. The decorative elements in the structure have been drawn for the Greek style of construction. The influence of Greek civilization and culture therefore remains pervasive in most parts of the world, especially in the Western world.

References

Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities. Boston, MA: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

The Met. Marble column from the Temple of Artemis. Retrieved from https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/252453

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