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The octagon, the hendecagon and the approximation of pi: the geometric design of the clypeus in the enclosure of Imperial cult in Tarraco
Toldrà Domingo, Josep M.; Macias Solé, Josep Maria; Puche i Fontanilles, Josep Ma; Costa, Agustí; Solà-Morales, Pau; Espallargas, Antoni; Ferré, Albert
The ancient temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Augustus on the hilltop of Tarraco (today’s Tarragona), was the main element of the sacred precinct of the Imperial cult. It was a two hectare square, bordered by a portico with an attic decorated with a sequence of clypeus (i.e. monumental shields) made with marble plates from the Luni-Carrara’s quarries. This contribution presents the results of the analysis of a three-dimensional photogrammetric survey of one of these clipeus, partially restored and exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona. The perimeter ring was bounded by a sequence of meanders inscribed in a polygon of 11 sides, a hendecagon. Moreover, a closer geometric analysis suggests that the relationship between the outer meander rim and the oval pearl ring that delimited the divinity of Jupiter Ammon can be accurately determined by the diagonals of an octagon inscribed in the perimeter of the clypeus. This double evidence suggests a combined layout, in the same design, of an octagon and a hendecagon. Hypothetically, this could be achieved by combining the octagon with the approximation to Pi used in antiquity: 22/7 of the circle’s diameter. This method allows the drawing of a hendecagon with a clearly higher precision than with other ancient methods. Even the modelling of the motifs that separate the different decorative stripes corroborates the geometric scheme that we propose.
2014
90 - Arqueologia. Prehistòria
Arquitectura romana -- Tarragona (Catalunya)
Tarragona (Catalunya) -- Arqueologia romana
Culte imperial -- Tarragona (Catalunya)
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10 p.
info:eu-repo/semantics/bookPart
         

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