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Grant number like: FEL-273616-21

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Sara Galletti
Duke University (Durham, NC 27705-4677)
History of Stone Vaulting in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean: Practices, Theories, and Patterns of Knowledge Transfer

Research and preparation of a book on the history of stereotomy, an architectural vaulting technique used in the Mediterranean region from about 300 BCE through the 18th century CE.

In this book, I explore the history of a stone vaulting technique called stereotomy from a transnational, longue durée perspective across the Mediterranean from the third century BCE—when the oldest of known stereotomic vaults was built in the Sanctuary of Delphi—through the 16th and 17th centuries, when pioneering theoretical works such as those by Philibert de L’Orme (1514–70) and Alonso de Vandelvira (1544–1626) crossed the boundaries of the building trades and stereotomy became the focus of a broader intellectual debate about solid geometry. I argue that the history of stereotomy is far more complex and fascinating than historians have assumed so far and that it offers a privileged perspective on the cultural and material exchanges that have taken place, across spatial, linguistic, and chronological boundaries, in the long history of the Mediterranean and its peoples.

Project fields:
Architecture; Art History and Criticism


Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022