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Technological engineering plays a large part in the construction of any major building, especially any large-scale monument. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon as they supposedly existed in the 6th century B.C. would have been an especially impressive feat of technology, from the complex construction of the gardens’ terraces, which used layers of many different materials from bitumen to lead to create massive waterproof planters, to the gardens’ innovative system of irrigation, which employed an apparatus later known as an Archimedean screw in order to raise water to the mountain’s towering heights. Irrigation in particular was one of the foremost technological advances in the ancient world, allowing both for the practical watering of crops and for the maintenance of more indulgent structures such as the Hanging Gardens.
In its most basic definition, technology refers to a particular development of knowledge and usage of a set of tools or crafts, specifically tools or crafts which lend the user a greater ability to adapt to or control his environment. Technology’s etymology stems from the Greek word technologia, coming from “techne” meaning “craft” and “logia” meaning “saying.” Technology is often critical to the construction of works of art, for many artists rely on innovative or unusual technological advances to actually create the piece. Furthermore, art often employs technology to somehow enhance or enrich the basic functionality of the piece, as with the hypothesized features of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Not only was technology required to build the Gardens’ artificial mountain and waterproof planters, but feats like the Archimedean screw served as both practical tools and impressive spectacles for display.
(Graciela Kincaid, November 28 2008, 12:20 pm.)
Technology is the practical application of scientific knowledge to modify nature and meet specific needs or desires. The Minoan Palace of Knossos was known for its highly advanced technology in sanitation. In the domestic quarters of the palace, several latrines were discovered, all equipped with handles that flushed waste down a vent – incredibly similar to our own modern technology. Running through the entire palace complex was a sophisticated plumbing and drainage system, a remarkable network of terracotta pipes that descended from the upper floors and ran along the stairwells. The wastewater was lead down to the lowest step where it was either deposited in a “settling-basin” or discharged into the main channel. The central conduit carried the water away from the palace and continued its course down the hillside where it drained into a nearby stream. This sanitary system helped to maintain a clean environment for the residents and visitors; this was just one of the many luxuries of the complex.
Technology refers to scientific advancements that enable the achievement of goals. such forward movement and new acquisition of knowledge can refer to any broad number of subjects including art and architecture. Technology as it refers to technique allows for novel approaches to creating art, sculpture, or visual representations. For architecture, technological advancements allow for better engineered, sturdier, and more creative buildings and monuments. The "Porch of the Maidens," for example, on the South porch of the Erechtheion on the Athens Acropolis is enabled due to technology. With mathematical knowledge of how support systems work to hold up the structure, these fascinating caryatids are able to be used instead of the typical ionic columns making for a more dynamic and unique structure.
Posted at Dec 01/2008 01:37PM:
Alex Yuly: Technology in its broadest sense refers to any tool or set of tools employed to accomplish a task not capable with the human body alone. Technology can be embodied in something manual, such as a shovel, that a human being must operate with the use of his hands. Or, technology can be something automatic, such as the Archimedes screws that may have mechnically pumped water upwards to irrigate the plants of the Hanging Gardens of Mesopotamia. Technology typically begins with a specific purpose in mind but may be later applied to other purposes or modified to suit other needs.