Polygonal masonry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Polygonal masonry is a technique of stone construction of the ancient Mediterranean world. True polygonal masonry is a technique wherein the visible surfaces of the stones are dressed with straight sides or joints, giving the block the appearance of a polygon.[1]

This technique is found throughout the Mediterranean and sometimes corresponds to the less technical category of Cyclopean masonry.[2]


In Italy it is particularly indicative of the region of Latium, but it occurs also in Etruria, Lucania, Samnium, and Umbria; scholars including Giuseppe Lugli have carried out studies of the technique. Some notable sites that have fortification walls built in this technique include Norba, Signia, Alatri, Boiano, Circeo, Cosa, Alba Fucens, Palestrina, and Terracina.[3]

View of a polygonal masonry wall at Rusellae, Italy
Section of the ancient polygonal masonry wall of Amelia, Italy (ancient Ameria)

The so-called Porta Rosa of the ancient city of Velia employs a variant of the technique known as Lesbian masonry.[1]


  • Frank, T. 1924. “Roman buildings of the Republic: an attempt to date them from their materials.” MAAR 3.
  • G. Lugli. 1957. La tecnica edilizia Romana. 2 v. Bardi.
  • P. Gros. 1996. L'architecture romaine: du début du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. à la fin du Haut-Empire. 2 v. Paris: Picard.