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Greek Architecture

palace walls
Minoan palace at Knossos, Crete (ca 1600 BC)

The earliest buildings that were built in Greece, in the New Stone Age, are small houses or huts, and wooden walls around them for protection. Later there are bigger houses, and stone walls around the villages.

By the Early Bronze Age, we find one bigger house in the middle of the village, and fancier, bigger stone walls.

Greek stone temple
Doric temple at Agrigento, Sicily (ca. 500 BC)

In the Late Bronze Age, under the influence of West Asia, and the Minoans on Crete, there are palaces and big stone tombs, as well as paved roads and bridges, and dams (and more stone walls).

During the Greek Dark Ages the palaces were burned, and the roads and bridges and dams mostly fell apart. But at the end of the Dark Ages, with the beginning of the Iron Age and the Archaic period in Greece, we see a new type of building: the temple for the gods. These earliest temples are built in the Doric style. There are houses, but no more palaces. But roads and bridges and stone walls begin to be built again.

Learn by doing: build a model of a Greek temple in Lego or in Minecraft
More Greek architecture

Bibliography and further reading about Greek Architecture:

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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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