tapered concrete pillars

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Jules wrote:

It's more surface area to resist settling.
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wrote:

I assumed he meant they were narrower at the bottom than in the middle, but I guess it's not clear which way he meant it.
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wrote:

Just as an FYI, the columns on many ancient structures, such as the entrances to amphitheaters, were wider at the top than at the bottom.
This was done on purpose so that the columns look like they are the exact same diameter from bottom to top. If they *were* the same diameter, they would look narrower at the top when viewed from the bottom, which happens to be where most folks view them from.
Many other surfaces that appear straight and even from the ground were actually curved and/or wider/narrower to give the illusion of them being "even" in the mind of the observer.
Them there ancients were pretty darn smart.
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On Wed, 09 Dec 2009 13:13:53 -0800, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Yeah, so I'd heard (and Stonehenge uses the same psychology, but makes them even narrower at the top to give the illusion of greater height)

Definitely. Some of the arguments related to astronomical alignments in their structures are quite compelling, too - shame it all gets lumped in with the same groups that say it was all down to aliens :-)
cheers
Jules
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On Wed, 9 Dec 2009 13:13:53 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

The famous Rolls Royce grill is another example.
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