Theses Master's

Anagrapheia and the Architecture of the New Grave

Ford, Alexander

Extensive documentation of the ancient remains at Mt. Lykaion in Arkadia, Greece, has been conducted over the last ten years, and the state plan drawing—an encompassing analytical record of ruins on site—is nearly complete. The Sanctuary of Lykaion Zeus atop the mountain, a 5th century site of Pan-Hellenic importance and renowned for the Lykaion Games, consists of ten buildings and the only ancient Hippodrome still visible in Greece today.

Much of the material on site has been moved, removed, destroyed, lost, or has on rare occasion been incorporated by local shepherds into vernacular constructions dating from the Byzantine era to present-day; Lykaion is incomplete. The preservation of the architectural character of the sanctuary is held hostage by this present uncertainty. in an effort to contend with a wildly incomplete site—as is common in the Peloponnesus—this thesis proposes a method of categorizing those sites for which a ‘reconstruction’ is generally considered canonical, and those sites for which there is not enough material to be so presumptuous.

With the state plan drawing serving as the project’s scientific foundation, this thesis will address the uncertain nature of building morphology at Mt. Lykaion. The goal of this thesis is to consider the role of design toward the end of preservation on untenable sites, and to consider the role of architectural simulation in the process of interpreting and re-interpreting archaeological facts. By applying the tools of the architectural design process to the generation of an archaeological theory, the thesis aims to open an interdisciplinary dialogue about the experimental preservation of an incomplete object.

The thesis consists of three proposed interventions, at three separate points within the Upper and Lower Sanctuary at Lykaion. Three areas deemed in need of preservative action. Complicating the matter its he fact that Mt. Lykaion is not a dead site. It’s alive and active, and rests at the center of a thriving contemporary community. The injection, or re-injection of modern architectural program into the interpretive capacity of the ancient material is a method by which we might offer Lykaion something more than a wholly intellectual object. And so each of the three interventions has three duties: First, to protect its ancient material. Second, to offer something to the living site. And third, to act as an interpretive conduit for the ancient material.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Otero-Pailos, Jorge
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 20, 2016