A view of the Arch of Hadrian from The antiqvities of Athens.
Stuart, James, Revett, Nicholas, Reveley, Willey, Woods, Joseph, Cockerell, C. R., Kinnard, W., Donaldson, Thomas Leverton, Jenkins, William, Railton, W. The antiqvities of Athens v. 3 London: Printed by J. Haberkorn, 1762-1830.
Image ID: SIL-39088003519535_0151
Original Caption: A view of the Arch of Hadrian. Elevation of the front facing the southeast.
Arches, the rounded structure that you often see on doors, windows, and bridges, have been around for a long time. The arch in this image is the Arch of Hadrian in Athens, Greece. It was constructed almost 2,000 years ago to celebrate the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. Rome was Greece's younger, competitive neighbor that helped define Classical style. The Ancient Greeks and Romans perfected the arch and were the first to use the arch in the construction of bridges, monuments, and buildings. In this restoration picture, you cannot see the actual stones in the arch that are visible today. These stones are wedge-shaped, and the central top stone, called the keystone, was the last stone to be put in place. After the builders put in the keystone, they could then remove the temporary supports holding up the structure. The weight of the stones on either side of the arch would press together against the keystone and hold the entire structure together. This is how an arch supports itself. It's tricky to build, but it lasts for ages!