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.[3][4] Some notable sites that have fortification walls built in this technique include Norba, Signia, Alatri, Boiano, Circeo, Cosa, Alba Fucens, Palestrina, and Terracina.[5]

View of a polygonal masonry wall at Rusellae, Italy
Section of the ancient polygonal masonry wall of Amelia, Italy (ancient Ameria)
A detail of the polygonal masonry bastion flanking the Porta Maggiore.

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

Velia, Porta Rosa


  1. ^ a b G.R.H. Wright (23 November 2009). Ancient Building Technology, Volume 3: Construction (2 Vols). BRILL. pp. 154–. ISBN 90-04-17745-0. 
  2. ^ Carmelo G. Malacrino (2010). Constructing the Ancient World: Architectural Techniques of the Greeks and Romans. Getty Publications. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-1-60606-016-2. 
  3. ^ Frank, T. 1924. “Roman buildings of the Republic: an attempt to date them from their materials.” MAAR 3.
  4. ^ Giuseppe Lugli (1957). La Tecnica Edilizia Romana Con Particolare Riguardo a Roma E Lazio: Testo. 1. Johnson Reprint. 
  5. ^ Jeffrey Alan Becker (2007). The Building Blocks of Empire: Civic Architecture, Central Italy, and the Roman Middle Republic. ProQuest. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-0-549-55847-7. 
  • P. Gros. 1996. L'architecture romaine: du début du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. à la fin du Haut-Empire. 2 v. Paris: Picard.