Sima (architecture)

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In classical architecture, a sima is the upturned edge of a roof which acts as a gutter. Sima comes from the Greek simos, meaning bent upwards.

Form[edit]

The sima runs around all four sides of a building. The raking sima is continuous, while the simas on the other sides are broken by downspouts. Early simas feature tubular or half-cylindrical spouts, but these were mostly replaced with animal-head spouts by the middle of the 6th century BC.

Simas may be made of terracotta or stone.

Decoration[edit]

Simas are normally decorated. Stone simas have continuous narratives, especially on the raking sides where they are not interrupted by spouts, similar to a frieze. Terracotta simas have repeating patterns that are easy to reproduce with molds.