Sara Galletti (Duke University), “Stone Vaulting in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean”

This talk will 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 sixteenth and seventeenth century, 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. The complex, fascinating history of stereotomy 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.