Although critics in the late twentieth century refuted the tendency of early Western scholars to regard Achaemenid architecture as merely eclectic and thus lacking in originality, these old assumptions still influence the study of Achaemenid material culture. Mahdi Motamedmanesh draws upon interdisciplinary approaches to illuminate the material context that enabled the Achaemenids to forge new architectural vocabularies in his essay Achaemenid Building Technology: The Key to a New Reading of Royal Achaemenid Architecture. Based on analysis of the building techniques of Achaemenid hypostyle architecture in dialogue with construction history and the history of the Achaemenid Empire, the essay argues that Achaemenid builders gradually developed an advanced understanding of structural behavior. This approach offers an opportunity to reexamine earlier arguments about the unprecedented forms and geometric innovations that distinguished Achaemenid palace layouts and details. By proposing a general theoretical framework for Achaemenid architectural innovation, this article seeks to encourage further cross-disciplinary investigations of Achaemenid building technology.

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