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Ancient Architecture: Interesting Facts About Corbel Arches

Posted  on by Heartwood Carving, Inc.

Corbel arches have been around for centuries. You値l find these unique architectural structures in quiet churches, eerie tombs, modern homes, and more. These pieces of ancient architecture have a storied past and a bright future. If you want to learn more about them, check out these interesting facts about corbel arches!

An Ancient Technique

Corbelling is a building technique in which corbels (decorative brackets) are used to support a structure. Corbels and corbelling have been around for a long time. You can find one of the oldest corbel arches known to man in the Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland葉his structure was built sometime between 3200 and 2500 BCE.

Other early fans of corbelling were the ancient Greeks and Mayans, who used corbels for entryways, vaults, walkways, and more. Corbel arches were also popular in southeast Asia during the medieval era, where they were used in bridges, homes, and temples. And don稚 forget the English Victorians, who adorned their churches and cathedrals with intricate corbel arches.

The Beak Arch

Another interesting fact about corbel arches is that they池e named after a bird. Did you know the word 田orbel comes from the Latin word corbellus? Corbellus is a diminutive of corvus, which means 途aven. Corbels were given their name because of their beak-like appearance. And the bird references don稚 stop there擁n French, a bracket corbel is called a corbeau, meaning 田row.

Corbel Arch vs. True Arch

What痴 the difference between a corbel arch and a true arch? From a distance, they look the same. However, a true arch has no overlapping material. The material is pre-carved and carefully applied to create clean corners. A corbel arch, on the other hand, features overlapping material that痴 cobbled together to create an arch. True arches used to be far more structurally sound than corbel arches, but today, the two are fairly matched in terms of strength.

Still Used Today

You won稚 just find corbel arches in old, crumbing temples. Corbel arches remain popular, and you値l commonly find them inside and outside homes. They池e used to divide spaces and frame windows, range hoods, and other details that could use embellishment.

If you池e looking for decorative wood corbels to adorn an arch or another area of your house, come and shop with Heartwood Carving! We have a diverse collection of masterfully carved wood corbels that will look wonderful in your home.

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