Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IKEA was not the First: DIY Building, 6th Century BC

"Ancient Building Came With DIY Instructions"
Archaeology News, Discovery News (April 26, 2010)

"Italian archeologists have unearthed the remains of a 6th century BC Greek temple-like building that came with detailed assembly instructions just like an 'IKEA do-it-yourself furniture pack.'

"The elaborate structure was discovered at Torre Satriano, near the southern city of Potenza, in Basilicata, a region where local people mingled with Greeks who settled along the southern coast and in Sicily from the 8th century B.C. onwards.

"Much like the instruction booklets of the Swedish home furnishings company, various sections of the luxury building were inscribed with coded symbols showing how the pieces slotted together.

" 'So far we have uncovered a hundred inscribed fragments, all related to the roof assembly system. The inscriptions also reveal that the palace was built by Greek artisans coming from the Spartan colony of Taranto in Puglia,' Massimo Osanna, director of the archaeology school at Basilicata University, told Discovery News...."

The article has eight photos/illustrations, too.

I was particularly interested in the Discover article's last paragraph:

"...'A taste for Greek styles among the local pre-Roman population might have prompted an industrious builder to produce DIY structures on the model of classical Greek buildings,' Osanna said."

From my point of view, this is another example of how people were - people - hundreds and thousands of years ago. And, for that matter, hundreds of thousands of years ago. It's quite a change from the view of "primitive" "natives" that was still getting flushed out of Western culture in my younger years.

Not-quite-unrelated posts:

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