The Walls of Megalopolis: An Analysis of the Circuit Course Proposed by the British Excavation of 1890-1893
AuthorSavage, Stephanie Lynn
AdvisorRomano, David G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the late 19th century, the British excavation of Megalopolis produced a site plan and map of the ancient city. This plan included a theorized projection of the course of the city walls with a perimeter almost 9 kilometers long. The projected course of the circuit was based on twelve segments of wall found and excavated. Even though a minute portion of the entire circuit of the walls (less than 3%) have been identified and studied by the British, a wealth of information has been derived from them. What cannot be determined from the archaeological remains of the walls of Megalopolis might be surmised from the characteristics of the walls of other poleis either founded or refounded around the same time: Messene and Mantineia. For this reason, the wall circuits of these two cities will also be discussed in detail. My thesis re-examines this projected track of the city walls at Megalopolis and evaluates whether or not they make sense. With the help of the program AutoCAD, I recreated the plan of Megalopolis drawn by Loring in 1892 as well as the plan of the twelve individual wall segments. My data indicated areas of the projection where there is little evidence to support the theorized path of the circuit wall. One such area is the northwest section of the site plan of Megalopolis. The place between walls A and M accounts for almost 30% of the total purposed perimeter. The British excavators support their argument by calling attention to the natural topography of the Megalopolis basin. I explain also why this evidence is not enough to support the British excavators’ theorized plan. As well as the track of the city wall, my thesis explores other questions surrounding the walls of Megalopolis, such as why they are not as well preserved as those from other contemporary poleis. The goal of my thesis is to discuss this evidence in depth and to call attention to why the Loring plan of Megalopolis and the path of the circuit wall should not be accepted so readily.
Degree ProgramGraduate College