Stone Glossary

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Term Definition
Abacus

The uppermost component of a classical column, most often a plain square slab but sometimes embellished.

Acropolis

Elevated symbolic center of a Greek city-state, bringing together its most important sacred and civic buildings in one urban space, invariably on a high plateau. The most famous is the Acropolis in Athens, which is centered around the Parthenon, the great white marble temple of Athena Parthenaos, the city-state's namesake deity.

Aedicule

A canopied niche framed by colonettes, resembling a temple and intended as a shrine or votive offering; a doorway or window flanked by a pair of columns and topped by a pediment.

Agate

A variegated type of quartz showing colored bands or other markings (clouded, moss-like, etc.)

Aggregate

The sand, gravel or stone which is mixed with cement and water to make concrete.

Amphitheater

A circular or elliptical arena enclosed by rising tiers of stone seats around a central open area used by the Romans for circuses and gladiatorial contests. Ancient Greek amphitheaters were typically semi-circular and set into the hillside.

Anchor

Metal rod, wire, or strap that secures stone or other masonry to structural framework, backup wall, or other elements, or holds stone units together. Types for stone work include:

FLAT STOCK: strap, cramps, dovetail and dowel, strap and dowel, and 2-way anchors. CORRUGATED: corrugated wall ties and dovetail anchors. ROUND STOCK: rod cramp, rod anchor, eye bolt and dowel, flathook wall tie and dowel, dowel and wire toggle bolts.

Apex Stone
Uppermost stone in a gable, pediment, pyramid, vault or dome.
Arris

A natural or applied line on a stone from which all leveling and plumbing is measured; an edge at the intersection of two planes; the ridge between adjoining flutes on a classical column.

Ashlar

Building stone that has been smooth cut, or dressed, into squared or rectangular blocks.