Etrusco-Italic monumental architectural space from the Iron Age to the Archaic period : an examination of approach and access
Meyers, Gretchen E., 1970-
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This dissertation is a study of the patterns of approach and access in the EtruscoItalic world utilizing the archaeological evidence of the first monumental structures in Italy. A great deal of attention has been devoted in previous studies of early Etruscan and Latial architecture to the nature of a structure's plan and the categorization of function for different building types. This has led to a greater knowledge of the diversity and development of Etrusco-Italic building technologies and architectural planning. My work expands upon the progress already made in these prior studies by employing a new method of evaluation that deepens our understanding of how Etrusco-Italic buildings were meant to be approached, viewed from afar, entered and moved through. Using the archaeological remains of settlements in the Etrusco-Italic world as a guide, I recreate the ancient approach routes via land and water, the visual effect of entryways and the mechanics of movement inside structures and building complexes. I begin my survey of these processes with the origins of hut settlements in the Iron age and continue through the Archaic period with two case-studies of monumental architectural complexes at the Etruscan sites of Poggio Civitate (Murlo) and Acquarossa. The resulting patterns are indicative of an Italic spatial awareness suitable for a variety of functions from the public, private and sacred spheres. A final look at similar approach and access patterns in the monumental spaces of early Rome illustrates the transmission of this architectural tradition into the Roman world.