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Cyclopean Masonry

CYCLOPEAN MASONRY (from the Cyclopes, the supposed builders of the walls of Mycenae), a term in architecture, used, in conjunction with Pelasgic, to define the rude polygonal construction employed by the Greeks and the Etruscans in the walls of their cities. In the earliest examples they consist only of huge masses of rock, of irregular shape, piled one on the other and trusting to their great size and weight for cohesion; sometimes smaller pieces of rock filled up the interstices. The walls and gates of Tiryns and Mycenae were thus constructed. Later, these blocks were rudely shaped to fit one another. It is not always possible to decide the period by the type of construction, as this depended on the material; where stratified rocks could be obtained, horizontal coursing might be adopted; in fact, there are instances in Greece, where a later wall of cyclopean construction has been built over one with horizontal courses.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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