Cyclopean

Cyclopean (sĪkləpēˈən) [key], name often applied to a primitive method of prehistoric masonry construction, found throughout Greece, Italy, and the Middle East. The term is derived from Cyclopes, the mythological beings who were supposed to have built walls in this manner. The Cyclopean technique involves the use of huge, irregular boulders, carefully fitted together without the use of mortar, thereby creating a massive wall with an uneven face. These walls were characteristic of Mycenaean civilization. Remaining examples are found at Knossos, Mycenae, Tiryns, and Athens. There are many Cyclopean walls in Etruscan and Anatolian architecture. Somewhat similar examples are seen in China, Japan, and Peru.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Cyclopean from Fact Monster:

  • Eryx - Eryx Eryx , ancient city, W Sicily, Italy. Long a source of conflict between Carthage and Syracuse, ...
  • Sacsahuamán - Sacsahuamán Sacsahuamán , stronghold of the Incas outside Cuzco, Peru. Built in the ...
  • Itháki - Itháki Itháki or Ithaca, island (1991 pop. 3,082), c.37 sq mi (96 sq km), W Greece, ...
  • Lefkás - Lefkás Lefkás, formerly Levkásor Leucas, mountainous island (1991 pop. ...
  • Balearic Islands - Balearic Islands Balearic Islands , Span. Baleares, archipelago, off Spain, in the W Mediterranean, ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Archaeology: General