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Lydian Architecture

Lydian Architecture

Ashlar Masonry Structures at Sardis

Christopher Ratté

ISBN 9780674060609

Publication date: 06/13/2011

From the sixth to the fourth century B.C., the western Anatolian region of Lydia was home to a distinctive local tradition of ashlar masonry construction. The earliest datable example of fine stone masonry in the environs of Sardis, the capital of the Lydian empire, is the tomb of King Alyattes, who died in ca. 560 B.C. Contemporary monuments include a city gate and monumental terraces. Alyattes’ son Croesus was overthrown by the Persians in 547 B.C., but the Lydian building tradition survived in chamber tombs at Sardis and throughout Lydia.

This richly illustrated volume examines the monuments of Sardis and environs in the context of contemporary developments in Lydia and throughout the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The study of Lydian architecture illuminates traditions of Anatolian kingship, technological exchange between Lydia and Greece and the Near East, and the origins of Persian imperial architecture.


  • Christopher Ratté is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan and Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology.
  • Michael H. Ramage is a Senior University Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge.
  • Robert H. Tykot is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 9 x 12 inches
  • Archaeological Exploration of Sardis
  • Appendix by Michael H. Ramage and Robert H. Tykot