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Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture

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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture
    Posted: 16-Oct-2006 at 18:09
Dams:

I added pictures of and a comment on the Roman Proserpine Dam, a dam which still provides water for the neighbouring villages - 1900 years after its construction by Roman engineers!

A good site on Roman engineering with lots of quality articles:
http://traianus.rediris.es/

More on Roman dams in Spain:
http://traianus.rediris.es/textos/presas_in.htm




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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:39
Originally posted by arch.buff

Werent also the Egyptians in their day making use of the arch to build tombs?


Yep, I read it, I believe it, but I have yet to see a single example.


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  Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:17
Werent also the Egyptians in their day making use of the arch to build tombs?
 
 


Edited by arch.buff - 14-Oct-2006 at 19:18
Be a servant to all, that is a quality of a King.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:09
Review of The World's Great Bridges.Review Author: Fred Kniffen, in:
Geographical Review, Vol. 45, No. 4. (Oct., 1955), pp. 607-608 (607):

Mr. Smith properly avoids overspeculation on the earliest beginnings of bridgebuilding. Instead he passes quickly to historical fact, the widespread distribution of the three basic types of bridge construction (beam or girder, and its extension into cantilever; arch; and snspension) in both time and space, even back to primitive peoples. He shows, for example, how the widely distributed corbeled arch made of slabs extended one above the other preceded the true arch constructed of voussoirs (tapered or wedge-shaped stones). The latter seems to have stemmed from an exclusive invention of the Tigris-Euphrates area.





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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 17:03

Bell set of Marquis Yi's Tomb

 
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:27

I never said anything about the ancient Greeks, and I never personally said that the architectural style of arches could travel west, but not east. All that I'm getting at is what evidence is there to suggest the Chinese of the ancient Han Dynasty borrowed the arch design of the Middle East beyond the fact that the Silk Road established the trading of wares and Buddhist texts? It's definitely a possibility that the Chinese borrowed the arch from the Middle East like the ancient Greeks did, and this would definitely be supported by the Warring States Era tombs of China, which lack arches in their architecture.

 
Speaking of the Warring States, here's a cool pic of the lacquered outer coffin belonging to the Marquis Yi of Zeng, circa 430 BC. 
 
Pics at:
 
Zenghouyi Tomb - Outer coffin of Marquis of Yi
 
Inner Coffin:
 
 
Musical bronze bell set, complete with a bamboo strip record of its musical score chart so that the music can be replayed today!
 
 
Ritual Bronze Basin Vessel found at Yi's tomb:
 
 
Unlike tombs of the earlier Shang and Western Zhou, however, Marquis Yi's tomb of the Eastern Zhou was divided into palace like chambers as if he were to use the tomb in his afterlife, whereas before burial tombs were one enormous room underground accompanied by a stepped ramp leading to the entrance at the ground level. There is one Shang Dynasty tomb that had a separate wooden-walled sealed chamber room for the space retaining the coffin, the tomb of Lady Hao (circa 1200 BC), although separate chambers of the Shang Dynasty were not a widespread practice.
 
Royal Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BC) Tombs:
 
 
Marquis Yi's tomb of circa 430 BC:
 
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 17:18
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:12
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Yes, Needham does claim this a lot, but not about a trade and reciprocity in architectural styles from one civilization to the next.


Why should foreign borrowing stop short of architecture? This is not plausible at all. Actually, there are convincing reasons that the Greeks themselves adopted the concept of the arch and vault from the east. So how could an idea travel only west, but not east?


Edited by Gun Powder Ma - 14-Oct-2006 at 16:13
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:08
PS: So far, true arches, but only semi-circle ones (apart from Zhaozhou right at the end of our time period). No segmental, lintel, horseshoe, pointed arches so far.
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:07
Originally posted by Gun Powder Ma

Originally posted by Kids

"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.


Your reasons?

Arches and vaults were much earlier known and used in the Middle East than in China, hence they were prior to Chinese arches and vaults. This makes them according to the diffusionist logic of Joseph Needham a most clear case of adoption by the Chinese. Probably along the silk road along with much else.

Or does his logic only apply to cases where Chinese are the givers...?
 
Yes, Needham does claim this a lot, but not about a trade and reciprocity in architectural styles from one civilization to the next. Joseph Needham points out possibilities of diffusion of technological items that can be easily accessible to other societies by reciprocity in common trade. The Chinese borrowed the idea of the stupa because of religious purposes: they were interested in creating Buddhist temples (with their own Chinese flavor, of course), since Emperor Ming of the Eastern Han sponsored Buddhism at the capital and caused its spread throughout the empire. Arches and domes, as far as I know, don't have much of an emphasized place of importance in original Indian/Central Asian Buddhist architecture. If they do however, I would like to see it beyond the idea of the stupa.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 16:19
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:02
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

....multistory homes (rich or commoner)...


What multistory? All you have been posting yet were pics of two story homes. At most.

Three and more stories only had the watchtowers.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 15:59
Originally posted by Kids

"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.


Your reasons?

Arches and vaults were much earlier known and used in the Middle East than in China, hence they were prior to Chinese arches and vaults. This makes them according to the diffusionist logic of Joseph Needham a most clear case of adoption by the Chinese. Probably along the silk road along with much else.

Or does his logic only apply to cases where Chinese are the givers...?
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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 14:35
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

  The ordinery Chinese architectures may not higher due to its materials, but they were equal intricate and complex to those Roman's if not more.


Now, this is what I like. First objecting to any imaginary 'superiority claim 'and then doing the thing yourself. Is this a double standard or is this a double standard?
 
 
Yeah, that is just SO much worse than saying "Chinese cities lack the aura, appeal, etc... compared to civilization x" and how "crude" they are flatout.


Edited by Omnipotence - 14-Oct-2006 at 14:37
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 13:19
Originally posted by Gun Powder Ma

Preo,
thanks for the pics. Good job. I will note for our relevant time span: Small scale brick arches and barrel vaults in Easten Han tomb architecture. Also small scale dome(s). Rather crude workings, restricted to tombs as far as we know.
 
No problem Ma. However, from the Eastern Han stone tomb rubbing you replied to, that's also evidence that structures above ground were built with brick as well, before 600 AD.
 
I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes.
 
Wow dude, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, none of us are actually experts or authorities in the field of ancient Chinese architecture, let alone existent architecture after 600 AD. As far as I know, the Chinese only adopted the Buddhist stupa from India during the Han period, nothing further when it came to architecture. Of course, the Indian stupa developed into the mature, unique Chinese pagoda over time. However, from the glazed earthenware models of multistory homes (rich or commoner) and towering, terraced watchtowers, building tall (perishable wooden and curved, ceramic-tile roof shingle) architecture predated the development of the pagoda, which in itself was largely converted to stone and brick by the 7th century. In terms of monument building, others on here have already posted the pics of the tall rammed-earth walls from the Qin-Han period, but as far as I have seen, I'm the only one who's posted a pic of a pyramidal tumulus from China before 600 AD, which there were a good amount of.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 14:27
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 12:57
"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 11:39
Preo,

thanks for the pics. Good job. I will note for our relevant time span: Small scale brick arches and barrel vaults in Easten Han tomb architecture. Also small scale dome(s). Rather crude workings, restricted to tombs as far as we know.

I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 11:05
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

 A nice topic, though the guy who started this thread might not really be interesting in architectures, but concentrate on downplaying any aspects that the Chinese have achieved.


There is not much to downplay because there is not much pre-600 Chinese architecture to start with. Which was my point all along the way. And throwing unsubstantiated suspicions at me will only make serve to make you and your point look weaker.

 
 
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

But if the conclusion that they are superior to Han China's which  based on these pics is nothing but nonsense.

Actually, I said nowhere that x is superior to y, but the fact that now numerous Han supporters have voiced exactly that conclusion tell us that the pics really must have hit home. I do not say anything like that - in fact my conclusion is still pending - it's the pictorial evidence which does.


Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

  The ordinery Chinese architectures may not higher due to its materials, but they were equal intricate and complex to those Roman's if not more.


Now, this is what I like. First objecting to any imaginary 'superiority claim 'and then doing the thing yourself. Is this a double standard or is this a double standard?
 
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 10:52
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Carros e cavalos
 
Notice the brick-constructed bridge in the center where the Han procession of troops and chariots are riding over.


Looks like a brick pillar bridge with wooden planks substituting the arches.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 10:46
Originally posted by flyingzone

 
Maybe there is immense aesthetical potential for a particular culture or cultures, but there is no universal aesthetic standard for all the cultures in the world. What appeals to one may not appeal to another. This is actually the point that I have been trying to make repeatedly here....Beware of ethnocentrism, Gun.


Actually, I have been talking very little about aesthetics (a subjective criteria), but about constructional, structural and architectural methods which are more open to objective analysis. I thought this to be self-evident...Beware of becoming patronising.







Edited by Gun Powder Ma - 14-Oct-2006 at 10:49
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 05:14
 
 
Nice Eric.
 


Edited by Hellios - 14-Oct-2006 at 05:16
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 04:59
Gun Powder Ma,
 
I find Chinese architecture more exquisite.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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