The writer investigates possible anti-seismic construction techniques used in Minoan architecture on Bronze Age Crete. The frequency of earthquakes in the Aegean seems to imply the presence of such techniques. Starting by noting the methods still in use in Turkey and other dangerous areas, the writer looks at the practice of projections and setbacks, the near absence of windows, room dimensions, roof and floor construction, the presence of partition walls, the size and number of stories, town planning, the presence of cornices and ring beams, and other construction details which helped to improve the anti-seismic capability of Minoan houses. Attention is given to the location of houses and to the question of whether or not the Minoans used these methods consciously. The writer believes they did, not only because of the frequency of these earthquakes but also because of the religious connotations and the existence of an architectural koiné in earthquake-stricken areas in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, in contrast with Egypt.
- Copyright 1987 The Society of Architectural Historians