Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Terracotta Architectural Sculpture in Classical Archaeology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1440

Introduction

In Central Italy, hardly anything survives of the buildings and temples, except for the stone foundations and many tons of architectural terracottas. Easily broken and damaged, the decoration had to be replaced frequently, with styles that varied throughout the different regions of Etruria, Latium, and Campania. Each area had important centers for the production of architectural terracottas and even entire roofs, and exported these to different sites by sea.

To protect the wooden superstructure of houses and temples from weathering, architects adopted the Greek invention of terracotta roof tiles and antefixes to cover and embellish the sloping roofs, revetment plaques to cover horizontal beams, and simas for the raking pedimental and lateral elements. The end of the gables remained open, thus creating space for small pedimental roofs with additional tiles and antefixes. Indeed, the roofs of Etruscan buildings were among the most complex and decorative in the ancient world....

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Further Reading

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amsterdam Archaeological CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands