Ancient Greek Architecture
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Greek Architecture

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

May 2016 - The earliest buildings people 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 people fighting and rioting burned down the palaces, 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, people learned from the Egyptians how to build a new type of building: the temple for the gods. Greek architects built their earliest temples in the Doric style. There are houses, but no more palaces. But they did start to build roads and bridges and stone walls 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:

More about Greek architecture
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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