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Roman basilicas – Architecture in ancient Rome

By |2018-04-24T23:28:35+00:00August 25th, 2017|Architecture, Government, Romans|

Basilica Aemilia, Rome When the Romans had any activity they wanted to do in groups, but inside, out of the weather, they generally met in a basilica (ba-SILL-uh-ka). A basilica is a long hall with two or more rows of columns running down the long way to help hold the roof up, like [...]

Leaning Tower of Pisa – Italy

By |2017-07-31T09:41:07+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Leaning Tower of Pisa The Leaning Tower of Pisa wasn't supposed to lean at all. It was supposed to just be the bell tower for the Cathedral of Pisa. It was to hold the bells that rang to tell people when to come to church. But they built the tower in the Early Middle Ages, about 1173 [...]

Pisa Baptistery – Medieval Italy

By |2017-07-31T09:25:49+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

The baptistery of Pisa, Italy This baptistery is where people baptized  their children in medieval Pisa (PEE-za), in Italy. The people of Pisa built their round baptistery in the Romanesque style around 1150 AD. So the lower levels have round arches. But by the time they finished building the upper part, architects were changing over to the Gothic style. [...]

The Duomo in Florence, Italy

By |2018-04-24T09:23:13+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Florence Duomo (cathedral) The Republic of Florence started to plan this cathedral in the late 1200s AD, when Dante was growing up, to replace the old cathedral from about 500 AD that was too small and old. They had already replaced their old baptistery, and now they wanted to do the cathedral. (Duomo means "cathedral" in Italian.) The government of Florence raised money to [...]

Florence Baptistery – Romanesque architecture in Italy

By |2018-05-13T18:25:01+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Florence baptistery: the Romanesque baptistery in Florence, Italy Earlier Florence baptistery (700 AD) Probably people had built an earlier, smaller octagonal baptistery here around 700 AD.  This is where Catholic priests baptized Christian babies in medieval Florence. It's also called San Giovanni, the Baptistery of St. John. That's because Christians believed John the Baptist was the holy [...]

Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-15T16:49:51+00:00July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Greek sculpture: Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) - Now in the Louvre, Paris Not very much Greek sculpture has survived for us to see. You might think stone statues made of limestone and marble would last well, but both limestone and marble can be burned and turned into lime, which is one of [...]

Parthenon – Ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T10:26:03+00:00July 1st, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Parthenon, Athens The Parthenon was a temple to Athena built on top of the highest hill in Athens, the Acropolis (Acropolis means High City). In the Late Bronze Age, about 1300 BC, the Acropolis had been where the kings of Athens lived (likeTheseus in the myth), and where everybody went to defend themselves [...]

Archaic Greece – Stone temples

By |2017-06-30T15:05:48+00:00June 30th, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Temple of Herakles, Agrigento, Sicily In early Archaic Greek temples, the columns and the roof were made of wood. To keep the wood from rotting, Greek builders put a flat stone under each column. And to help the columns support the weight of the roof, they put a block of wood at the top of [...]

What is metamorphic rock? Marble, slate, diamonds

By |2018-05-28T16:21:09+00:00June 26th, 2017|Geology|

What is metamorphic rock? Slate rocks in Cascadilla Gorge, Ithaca, New York Metamorphic rocks form under pressure About 450 million years ago, some of the sedimentary rocks began to transform into metamorphic rocks. When sedimentary rocks like limestone or shale were under water, the weight of the water pressed them down. (Read more [...]