New Study Says Ancient Greek Temples Designed for Accessibility

LONG BEACH, CA – California State University, Long Beach Classicist Debby Sneed recently published a study in the journal Antiquity, titled The Architecture of Access: Ramps at Ancient Greek Healing Sanctuaries, noting that ancient Greek temples were likely designed with accessibility in mind since those “with the highest number of ramps were common destinations for ailing visitors,” Smithsonian Magazine reported.

In the abstract of the study, Sneed writes, “Ancient Greece is well known for its many temples and sanctuaries, including several dedicated to healing and associated cults. Informed by disability studies, this article analyzes the architecture of public spaces and facilities, alongside epigraphic, iconographic and literary evidence, to argue that the ancient Greeks sought to ensure the accessibility of healing sanctuaries. Even without a framework of civil rights as we understand them today, the builders of these sites made architectural choices that enabled individuals with impaired mobility to access these spaces. It is hoped that this research may stimulate further investigations into accessibility at other sites in the Classical world and beyond.”

Sneed “developed her theory by visiting dozens of archaeological sites across Greece,” Smithsonian reported, adding that “the Sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus, for instance, boasts 11 stone ramps installed across nine structures, reports Laura Geggel for Live Science.”

For more information: https://www.thenationalherald.com/archive_general_news_greece/arthro/new_study_says_ancient_greek_temples_designed_for_accessibility-652691/