Socle (architecture)

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Bust on a round socle
Statue with inscription on what is called the socle in French; more likely the plinth in English.

In architecture, a socle is a short plinth used to support a pedestal, sculpture or column. In English the term tends to be most used for the bases for rather small sculptures, with plinth or pedestal preferred for larger examples. This is not the case in French.

In the field of archaeology this term refers to a wall base, frequently of stone, that supports the upper part of the wall, which is made of a different material - frequently mud brick. This was a typical building practice in ancient Greece, resulting in the frequent preservation of the plans of ancient buildings only in their stone-built lower walls, as at the city of Olynthos.[1]


  1. ^ Maher, Matthew P, The Fortifications of Arkadian City States in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods, p. 36, 2017, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0191090204, 9780191090202, google books
  • Merriam Webster Online Dictionary