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Typology of Residential Structures in Mediterranean and Middle East in the Era of Antiquity

Abstract: Spatial layout of residencies – today urban typology is very often defined as urban conception, i. e. functional and spatial layout of present buildings and areas that are designed to be built, and also layouts and adjustments of landscape. Although every city has different geographical and topological conditions, we can see few basic types of their basic spatial layout in basic layout of cities. We usually talk about 7 possible ways of formal layout of cities, and out of these, the most common cities are in a radial - circular and chess-like form. These forms are logically related to our nowadays cities; however, different forms could have been used in a historical context. For example, chess- like form, very often discussed and used even in present, origins far away in history, as far as we know, first one who used it was Hippodamos of Milétos in 479B.C., when he was renovating his hometown after attack of Persians. Even though it is visible that Hippodamos wasn’t “the inventor” of this urban structure, but he continued to build in the way how older cities were built, and so the “famous” hippodamic structure is just a culmination of urban-typological development of middle-eastern residencies from the time of later antiquity. The study analyses the basic spatial layout - typology of residencies in the era of antiquity and our targeted area will be Mediterranean and Middle East and the search for their common typological elements and their interpretation. The study is based on the analysis of accessible spatial structures of antique middle-eastern and Mediterranean cities which is based on literary and archaeological sources, and also on our own personal terrain observation of a few chosen housing estates. Out of this analysis it is clear, that antique cities of Mediterranean and Middle East can be separated in a few elementary categories, grown cities (rectangular, circular, linear and irregular) and based cities (rectangular, circular, and irregular). The grown cities are logically older, although some areas report very quick rise of number of cities that were based, or at least regularly rectangular structured. So, this study tells us, that the prevailing type of urban structure (the quantity is really surprising) of antique cities of Mediterranean and Middle East are cities with rectangular ground plan, which are also the most ancient cities, time wise. Surprisingly, soon we can see based cities next to grown cities (especially Mohendjo Daro), and so it seems that with the “discovery” of based cities also Harappan civilization (first half of 3rd century B.C.) entered our history.

ŠILHÁNKOVÁ, Vladimíra (2020). Typologie sídelních struktur ve Středomoří a na Blízkém Východě v období starověku. In: Jiří Kugl, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 13. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 28-59. ISBN 978-80-01-06762-8. ISSN 2336-7695.