STONE

   The Neolithic era of Prehistoric architecture has traditionally been called the "Stone Age" because of the appearance of stone tools and other implements, as well as large-scale stone constructions. The earliest masonry structures are Neolithic settlements from around 3100 BC, such as the one at Skara Brae, located on the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland. This island had little forestation, and its rocky coastline provided ample masonry for this seaside village. Houses were built in square shapes with rounded corners, made with layers of flat stone stacked without the use of mortar and slanted slightly inward to create a partial corbel. The smaller roof opening was then thatched. Inside the rooms, stone was used to create partitions for bedding and niches for storage. A hearth area with a low stone bench was located in the middle of the room. The houses were linked with covered passageways. Tomb mounds were also created from large rocks, called megaliths, and were placed into a post-and-lintel structural system to create passageways into the tomb interiors. Such monumental rocks were often transported large distances, and furthermore, the fact that different types of stones came to symbolize different aspects of society demonstrates the beginnings of a socially stratified culture with codified rituals. Stonehenge, located in the Salisbury Plain of Wiltshire, England, dates to around 2750 BC and is the most famous example of a large-scale stone monument.
   The Inca of Peru devised a unique and structurally superior method of stone construction as seen at the mountainous town of Machu Picchu, Peru, built around AD 1450. Here the stone buildings are all of a superior dry stone construction technique called ashlar, in which massive stones are cut to fit perfectly together without mortar. Irregularly shaped rocks fit at perfect junctions while the walls lean slightly inward, which is characteristic of Inca construction. Despite the severe earthquakes and the pillaging of Inca stonework to build Spanish churches in Peru, surviving Inca wall junctions remain perfectly tight with no spaces or cracks or threat of collapse. Making these architectural feats more impressive is the fact that the Inca did not have the wheel or the horse, and therefore used manpower and llamas to drag large rocks up these mountains.
   Despite the prevalence of stone monuments across almost all cultures, stone structures came to be primarily associated with Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman architecture because of the beautiful white marble found mainly in the area around Greece. The term megalith comes, in fact, from the Ancient Greek encounter with these large (mega) stones (lithos). Subsequent stone constructions built throughout the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance then came to recall this enduring classical history and to express an alliance with the papacy or the Holy Roman Empire. The use of stone to signify architectural authority continued in the early-20th-century Beaux-Arts style, when architects such as Richard Morris Hunt and Charles Follen McKim, inspired by the idealized but temporary "White City" constructed for the World's Columbia Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, went on to build stone structures across the major East Coast cities of the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Public Library in Boston. Although more recent buildings are formed from steel skeletons and feature curtain walls of glass and other materials, stone is still often used to provide a more historically based, "grand" curtain wall for buildings.
   See also BRICK.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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  • Stone — Stone, n. [OE. ston, stan, AS. st[=a]n; akin to OS. & OFries. st[=e]n, D. steen, G. stein, Icel. steinn, Sw. sten, Dan. steen, Goth. stains, Russ. stiena a wall, Gr. ?, ?, a pebble. [root]167. Cf. {Steen}.] 1. Concreted earthy or mineral matter;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stone — may refer to:Construction and building* Masonry, the building of structures from stone * Coade stone, a special form of vitreous stoneware, used for monumental work and architectural decoration * Standing stone, a solitary stone set vertically… …   Wikipedia

  • Stone — (englisch für Stein) steht für: Stone (Familienname), der Familienname Stone Stone (Band), eine finnische Thrash Metal Band Stone (Einheit), eine englische Masse Einheit Stone (Film), ein Thriller aus dem Jahr 2010 von John Curran Stone… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • STONE (R.) — STONE RICHARD (1913 1991) Économiste anglais né en 1913, Richard Stone a commencé sa carrière chez un courtier londonien, avant de rejoindre en 1940 les rangs du Bureau central des statistiques, à l’initiative de John Maynard Keynes. Ses… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • stone — ► NOUN 1) hard, solid non metallic mineral matter of which rock is made. 2) a small piece of stone found on the ground. 3) a piece of stone shaped for a purpose, especially to commemorate something or to mark out a boundary. 4) a gem. 5) a hard… …   English terms dictionary

  • Stone — Stone, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Stoned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Stoning}.] [From {Stone}, n.: cf. AS. st?nan, Goth. stainjan.] 1. To pelt, beat, or kill with stones. [1913 Webster] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stone — [stōn] n. [ME < OE stan, akin to Du steen, Ger stein < IE base * stāi , to become thick, compress, stiffen > L stiria, a drop (< stilla), Gr stear, tallow] 1. the hard, solid, nonmetallic mineral matter of which rock is composed 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • stone — adverb. Combinations such as stone cold and stone dead, in which stone is used adverbially (‘like a stone’), have been recorded for centuries. More recently, stone has developed a freer adverbial use as a mere intensive equivalent to very or… …   Modern English usage

  • STONE (M. H.) — STONE MARSHALL HARVEY (1903 1989) Après ses études à l’université Harvard, Marshall Harvey Stone enseigna dans diverses universités: Columbia (1925 1927), Yale (1931 1933), Harvard (1927 1931, puis 1933 1946) et Chicago (depuis 1944). Il fut élu… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stone — Stone, Nicholas * * * (as used in expressions) Stone, Edward Durell Stone, Harlan Fiske Stone, Lucy Stone, Oliver Stone, Robert (Anthony) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • STONE, I.F. — STONE, I.F. (Isidore Feinstein; 1907–1989), U.S. journalist, born in Philadelphia. Stone edited the liberal weekly The Nation, 1940–46. From 1952 until 1971 he published I.F. Stone s Weekly written by himself and noted for its criticism of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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