Lintel (architecture)


Lintel (architecture)

A lintel is defined as a horizontal block that spans the space between two supports in classical western architecture. [cite web
url=http://www.pitt.edu/~medart/menuglossary/lintel.htm
title=Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture - Lintel
publisher=University of Pittsburgh
accessdate=2007-06-25
] In classical western construction methods, defining lintel by its Merriam-Webster definition, a lintel is a load-bearing and placed over an entranceway. [cite web
url=http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?sourceid=Mozilla-search&va=lintel
title=lintel
publisher=Merriam Webster
accessdate=2007-06-25
] Thus in ancient classical architecture, the lintel often rested on pillars made of piled stones such as in the building of the Treasury of Atreus in Mycenae, Greece. In architecture around the world however, a lintel is not considered (as it is in the very narrow view of classical architecture) as purely an element of Post and lintel

Decorative use

The use of the lintel form (rather than as a construction technique) has been employed in the architecture of many cultures over time. In non-classical architecture a lintel was frequently used for purely ornamental purposes, having no structural function. For example, the architectural use of a lintel is purely ornamental in the case of Indian rock-cut architecture. Prehistoric Buddhist temples in India were wooden structures with load-bearing lintels above openings. Subsequently excavated rock cave temples were preferred as more durable, allowing creative ornamental use of classical architectural elements; the carved stone lintels were not load-bearing. Highly skilled artisans were able to simulate the look of a wood, imitating the nuances of a wooden structure and the wood grain in excavating cave temples from monolithic rock. This use of the lintel form was purely decorative and not load-bearing.cite book
last =Keay
first =John
title =India: A History
publisher =Grove Press
date =2000
location =New York
pages = pp 124-127
id = ISBN 0802137970
]

The Maya civilization was known for its spectacular art and monumental architecture. The Mayan city of Yaxchilan specialized in the carving of ornamental stone lintels. At the archaeological site on the Usumacinta River, there are 58 lintels spanning the doorways of major structures. Among the finest Mayan carving to be excavated anywhere are three temple door lintels that feature narrative scenes of a queen celebrating her husband's anointing by a god. The earliest were commissioned in 723 CE. [cite book
first=Simon Martin
last= Nikolai Grube &
year=2000
title= Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens
edition=
publisher=Thames & Hudson Ltd.
location=London
pages= pp 117, 125
id= ISBN 0-500-05103-8
]

Decorative examples

ee also

*Marriage stone
*Rock-cut architecture

Notes


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Architecture of ancient Greece — Architecture was extinct in Greece from the end of the Mycenaean period (about 1200 BC) to the 7th century BC, when urpeppeeban life and prosperity recovered to a point where public building could be undertaken. But since many Greek buildings in… …   Wikipedia

  • architecture — /ahr ki tek cheuhr/, n. 1. the profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments, usually with some regard to aesthetic effect. Architecture often includes design or selection of… …   Universalium

  • Architecture of Cambodia — The period of Angkor is the period from approximately the latter half of the 8th century A.D. to the first half of the 15th century. If precise dates are required, the beginning may be set in 802 A.D., when the Khmer King Jayavarman II pronounced …   Wikipedia

  • architecture — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Building design Nouns 1. architectural or building design, form; architectural or structural engineering; landscape architecture or gardening; architectonics. See building. 2. (architectural styles) a.… …   English dictionary for students

  • Architecture of the California missions — The Architecture of the California missions was influenced by several factors, those being the limitations in the construction materials that were on hand, an overall lack of skilled labor, and a desire on the part of the founding priests to… …   Wikipedia

  • lintel —    In architecture, a horizontal beam of any material spanning an opening, usually between two walls or posts …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Post and lintel — For lintel as a decorative element see Lintel (architecture) : For beam as load bearing member see beam Post and lintel (synonymous with Post and beam and also called an Architrave [cite web year= month=… …   Wikipedia

  • post-and-lintel system — ▪ architecture       in building construction, a system in which two upright members, the posts, hold up a third member, the lintel, laid horizontally across their top surfaces. All structural openings have evolved from this system, which is seen …   Universalium

  • Western architecture — Introduction       history of Western architecture from prehistoric Mediterranean cultures to the present.       The history of Western architecture is marked by a series of new solutions to structural problems. During the period from the… …   Universalium

  • Western Chalukya architecture — ( kn. ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಚಾಲುಕ್ಯ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ), also known as Kalyani Chalukya or Later Chalukya architecture, is the distinctive style of ornamented architecture that evolved during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire in the Tungabhadra region of central …   Wikipedia