Friday, June 28, 2019

Deciphering ancient stonemasons' marks at Hippos-Sussita

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: Israeli Archaeologists Discover How Ancient Romans Pulled Off Their Monumental Architecture. Ikea didn’t invent the DIY diagram: Ancient stonecutters wanted credit for their efforts just like any artist, signed their work — and also marked the stone blocks with building instructions (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz premium).
At Hippos-Sussita, about 20 percent of the heavy basalt stone-block flooring bears masons’ marks. “We managed to identify 20 different types,” Kowalewska shares. “It is entirely possible that the quarriers couldn’t read or write, but they did know how to make their marks.”

Also, the marks can be a tool for reconstruction of buildings, providing they are preserved on many of the stones. If the marked stone has been reused, they can tell from which structure it was taken. Besides their usefulness for archaeologists, these marks also serve as a simple reminder of all the hard work undertaken by the builders of the past.

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