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Thread: Ancient Greeks Built Ramps at Temples of Healing

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Ancient Greeks Built Ramps at Temples of Healing

    Remarkably "progressive of them". :)

    https://www.archaeology.org/news/887...s-disabilities

    "Archaeologist Debby Sneed of California State University, Long Beach, says that evidence of ramps for use by the disabled has largely been overlooked at ancient Greek temples, according to a Science Magazine report. Sneed looked for evidence of ramps in published excavation reports and visited ancient Greek sanctuaries, focusing on fourth-century B.C. sites dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Sneed said she found evidence of ramps at some sanctuaries that had not been included in excavation reports. For example, Sneed totaled 11 ramps at the main Asclepius sanctuary complex at Epidaurus. A broad stone ramp led to the main temple, while two additional ramps led through the sanctuary gates. Smaller side buildings at the site were also equipped with ramps wide enough for a single walker. The ramps, Sneed explained, would have made it easier for people who walked with crutches or canes, and would also have aided those who were carrying disabled individuals on litters or stretchers. In contrast, she added, just two ramps were found at the massive Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. “The distribution is pretty clear: They show up in places where there are more disabled people,” Sneed concluded."



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    Elite member Coriolan's Avatar
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    How can we be sure of the intended purpose of the ramp? I don't think that the ancient Greeks had wheelchairs, so it's equally dubious that the ramp was for the disabled. It may just have been for carts bringing construction materials, statues or offerings. Or maybe a procession involving chariots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    How can we be sure of the intended purpose of the ramp? I don't think that the ancient Greeks had wheelchairs, so it's equally dubious that the ramp was for the disabled. It may just have been for carts bringing construction materials, statues or offerings. Or maybe a procession involving chariots.
    That occurred to me too, but wouldn't that be placed at the back of the temple, somewhere inconspicuous.

    Also, those modern ramps aren't just for people in wheelchairs. It's easier for people with arthritis or who are just generally inform to walk up a slight incline that to actually climb steps, even with two people helping. It's probably easier to carry a litter up a ramp too.

    Just a thought.

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    ramp is not only for wheelchairs,

    ramps on temples have usually lower cline than stairs, and are easier for elder people or people with problems on legs, but can hold a bat.
    also ramps are less dangerous in case of rain and snow than stairs, depending on the tanus height.

    besides it is obvious that ramps mark the main entrance, and stairs ither helping doors.
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    It seems pretty clear to me, really . . . the ramp was there so the priests could lead the bull or bulls into the temple for the ritual slaughter. It was in front of the temple because it was a public spectacle. I think there are reliefs of just such a procession on some of the temples.

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    Here yah go,

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    Now, I may be proved wrong (and knowing this site it could happen right soon), but what I dislike about the article cited is that it tries to make a modern political statement (disabled rights) based on what should be apolitical historical research.

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    I just took it at face value, but that's a very good insight.

    More likely that's what it was for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Here yah go,
    If your theory is true that the ramps were there for the bulls there would be ramps in all the temples. Having visited quite a few of them I can testify that they did not have them. I think the bulls could go up the stairs fine.

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