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Perhaps the most important and famous of the buildings was the Parthenon. The Parthenon was a temple built to honour Athena, and housed a massive wooden statue of the goddess that pilgrims would come to worship.
There were many other artistic principles that the Greeks have left us with. Perhaps most impressive is that of sculpture. Although early carvings would have been in wood, they later became adept at carving in marble and sculpting bronze. Many of these statues still remain with us today. Particularly impressive are the statues that adorned the Parthenon, which can still be seen at the British Museum, and are known as the Elgin Marbles.
Modern Greece still bears a remarkable amount of the architecture of the Ancients. Most of the buildings that remain were temples, and were made of marble – a most durable stone.
Many facets of Greek architectural design influence modern architecture. Perhaps the most recognisable feature is the usage of columns. There were three types of columns, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, and each symbolised a different style of building.
The most famous Greek archaeological site is the Acropolis in Athens. Most of the major cities had an Acropolis. It was a walled “town centre” at the top of a mountain where all the most important buildings were situated. The “Polis” part of the word refers to the people of the city state. The reason for its positioning was so that the Acropolis was easily defendable from invading armies.
We should also note the beautifully painted vases and amphorae that are still being uncovered today. One of the ways in which they decorated these to such great effect was by covering the bronze or clay urn in thick black paint, and then etching the design into it. These designs often included elaborate scenes from mythology.
IDEAS FOR PRACTICAL WORK
Design your own Greek vase. Think about the images that were used at the time.
Why not have a go at building your own Acropolis!? You'll need lots of kitchen roll tubes and some flat cardboard for the roof. Decorate it appropriately.
Using clay or playdough you can roll out a flat rectangle (A4 size) and 'draw' a picture on it. If you need some inspiration you can look at the picture on the left.
Can you name the 3 different types of Ancient Greek columns...?