The job of the lintel is to bear the loads that rest on it (and its own load) without deforming or breaking. Masonry lintels, depending on the cohesiveness of mortar, are especially weak; therefore, in masonry construction, lintels of monolithic (single slab) stone, wood, and stronger materials are used. New forms and uses were found in medieval and particularly Gothic architecture (flying buttress, pointed arch), and Baroque architects developed a vocabulary of noncircular forms for expressive reasons. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. One notable example of this style of architecture is the Luxor Temple, built around 1400 BC. A post and lintel is an architectural system where a horizontal piece is supported by two vertical posts, or columns. Lintel construction involves two horizontal beams used to support a vertical beam. Early masonry builders could span only narrow openings because of the necessary shortness and weight of monolithic stone lintels. An error occurred trying to load this video. Most of these major buildings were temples to the gods. Natural B. Ambient C. Tertiary D. Analogous Our latest podcast episode features popular TED speaker Mara Mintzer. They were building massive palaces for the pharaohs and temples for the gods. Post-and-lintel system, in building construction, a system in which two upright members, the posts, hold up a third member, the lintel, laid horizontally across their top surfaces. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz. This form creates problems of equilibrium that do not exist in lintels. Study.com has thousands of articles about every Corrections? Already registered? | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Create your account. The most famous section of this complex is the hypostyle hall, an architectural term for an interior space filled with rows of columns. Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct in Nîmes, France. The Greeks opened their interior spaces by substituting wooden beams for stone, since the wood required fewer supports. The lintels that would have sat on top of these columns are estimated to have weighed up to 70 tons. Natural. Distinction between the history and theory of architecture, Distinction between the theory of architecture and the theory of art, “Commodity, firmness, and delight”: the ultimate synthesis. Such ancient structures as Stonehenge, in Britain, were constructed on the post-and-lintel system, which was the basis of architecture from prehistoric to Roman times. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. They are made of cement concrete and have the following types. It is also a sustainable practice that can lead to the reuse of waste materials on-site like empty cement bag, old planks/formworks, reinforcement offcuts, and waste concrete materials. They used it to make entire buildings out of stone, which was much more difficult. Continued from page 1 . The size of arches is limited only by economy; large arches exert large thrusts, and they are hard to buttress and to build. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Greeks substituted wooden beams for stone because the wood required fewer supports and opened up the interior spaces. With this style of construction, the lintels became the roof, supported by large walls and dozens of interior columns. Arches were known in Egypt and Greece but were considered unsuitable for monumental architecture. The pillars are the post, and the horizontal piece is the lintel. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. One of the earliest forms of load-bearing construction is the ____ method of construction. Masonry lintels are inefficient because they must depend on the cohesiveness of mortar, which is weaker than the blocks it bonds; so, in masonry construction, lintels of monolithic (single-slab) stone, wood, and stronger materials are employed. just create an account. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/technology/post-and-lintel-system, Brown University - Joukowsky Institute - Post-and-lintel. Our latest podcast episode features popular TED speaker Mara Mintzer. The form may be varied to meet specific problems; the most efficient forms in masonry are semicircular, segmental (segment of a circle), and pointed (two intersecting arcs of a circle), but noncircular curves can be used successfully. Select a subject to preview related courses: An even older example of the Egyptians' use of posts and lintels to build massive structures comes from the Karnak temple complex, a massive system of temples and religious buildings built around 3200 BC. The simplest illustration of load and support in construction is the post-and-lintel system, in which two upright members (posts, columns, piers) hold up a third member (lintel, beam, girder, rafter) laid horizontally across their top surfaces. The disadvantage to the post-and-lintel system is that many posts are required to support the weight of a heavy lintel. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. They built a massive civilization and filled it with some of the most notable examples of monumental architecture, or extremely large buildings, in the world. They used it to make entire buildings out of stone, which was much more difficult. “Mushroom” column with fountain, supporting a cantilever, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City, by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares, 1964. imaginable degree, area of Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support. These innovations provide a great freedom of design and a means of covering great spans without a massive substructure. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, What is a Pointed Arch? The Parthenon. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. The ancient Egyptians used the post-and-lintel system for more than stone monuments. Originally, the entire space was covered by a massive stone roof, supported by columns in a post-and-lintel system. However its stylistic conventions have become the paradigm of Classical architecture, and its style has influenced architecture for … Brick or stone, weak in tensile strength (inelastic and brittle), can provide only a short lintel; steel can be used for long lintels. Steel and concrete skeletons restore to modern architecture the formal simplicity of the oldest structures known. Uses and Types of Lintel in Construction. It can still be seen in doorways and columns, in which the space between the vertical supports is open. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Today, most post and lintel construction has a third component---the wall---which adds additional support and hides the post and lintel design within the framework. But, in its pure form, the post-and-lintel is seen only in colonnades and in framed structures, since the posts of doors, windows, ceilings, and roofs are part of the wall. The “mushroom” column is a further departure, since the unit can be extended into a covering slab and becomes a ceiling as well as a support. Moving stones of this size and weight took incredible effort and some advanced engineering innovations. Can you walk like an Egyptian? …support in construction is the post-and-lintel system, in which two upright members (posts, columns, piers) hold up a third member (lintel, beam, girder, rafter) laid horizontally across their top surfaces. Use of Realism in Ancient Egyptian Relief Carvings & Paintings, Quiz & Worksheet - Egyptian Architecture's Post-and-Lintel System, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Ancient Egyptian Buildings: Old, Middle & New Kingdoms, Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture's Relationship to Their Cosmology & Rulers, Funerary Beliefs, Practices & Temples in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture: History, Politics & Culture, Egyptian Pharaohs: History, Facts & Timeline, Egyptian Pyramids: Definition, Facts & Structure, The Luxor Temple in Egypt: Facts & Overview, Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Definition, Meaning & Symbols, Ancient Egyptian Papyrus: Paintings & Scrolls, The Rosetta Stone's Role in Understanding Egyptian Art, Biological and Biomedical Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you The use of precast lintel is a cost and time-saving alternative in construction. Did you know… We have over 220 college - Definition & Examples, Art, Music, and Architecture Around the World, Introduction to World Religions: Help and Review, NYSTCE Music (075): Practice and Study Guide, Introduction to Business: Homework Help Resource, Educational Psychology: Tutoring Solution, DSST Health & Human Development: Study Guide & Test Prep. This form of construction has been around since ancient times and is a precursor to arch construction, which is more common today. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Omissions? Lintels composed of materials that are weak in bending, such as stone, must be short, while lintels in materials that are strong in bending, such as steel, may span far greater openings. Brick or stone, weak in tensile strength (inelastic and brittle), can provide only a short lintel; steel can be used for long lintels. The ancient Egyptians used the post-and-lintel system for more than stone monuments. The simplest illustration of load and support in construction is the post-and-lintel system, in which two upright members (posts, columns, piers) hold up a third member (lintel, beam, girder, rafter) laid horizontally across their top surfaces.This is the basis for the evolution of all openings. Visit the Art of the Western World page to learn more. Because the arch is curved, the upper edge has a greater circumference than the lower, so that each of its blocks must be cut in wedge shapes that press firmly against the whole surface of neighbouring blocks and conduct loads uniformly. The interiors of Egyptian temples and the exteriors of Greek temples are delineated by columns covered by stone lintels. Their components are completely different from wedge-shaped blocks (voussoirs); they may be made entirely rigid so as to require only vertical support; they may be of hinged intersections that work independently, or they may be thin slabs or members (in reinforced concrete) in which stresses are so distributed that they add the advantages of lintels to those of arches, requiring only light supports. Post and lintel construction is a simple architecture design that can be accomplished easily as a do-it-yourself project. Turns out, we do a lot more than just walk like Egyptians. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Stonehenge, an example of early post-and-lintel construction.