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Thessalonica In 51 AD

A reconstruction of the Greek city in its New Testament days.

Scale Model

Thessalonica in 51 AD: Scale Model Project
Model Images Found Below... Scroll Down!

Okay, the layout is to "scale", but the model itself is far from finished... here are some pictures of my progress so far. (If anyone has any expertise in modelling, please scroll down, and leave some helpful knowledge below! Thanks in advance!)

There are six pictures here. Incidently, the city was roughly one square mile, and this layout I'm building is just about 2 feet by 2 feet almost square. In metric terms (because most of my research comes from Europe) that makes my modelling scale as follows. One milimeter equals one meter. (Or, in English units, 1/8 of an inch is about 10 feet.) (That's a 1:1000 scale!)

The layout is virtually on-scale. The walls and trial-version buildings I've done so far are nowhere near perfectly to scale... but when they're finished they'll still complete the image nicely, and produce the effect I'm after... I hope! :)

So now, without further ado...

Picture #1:

This is an overhead shot. The seashore is "South" (the image should be rotated a quarter-turn, counter-clockwise) and the hilltop is "North". Each ridge you see in the contour lines is a "ten meter" rise (30 ft.). The whole city rises about 120 meters from sea level to the acropolis (in the NE/bottom-right corner). Those tiny wood blocks are my trial efforts to size things up and get a view of them. (Did I mention I've got a lot of work left to do? :)

Picture #2:


Number two's a little fuzzy, but it shows a different angle. You get a better view here of how the hill slopes up gradually, but more and more the further you go from the sea.

Picture #3:

A "boat-level" view of the city. If you ignore my bookshelf in the upper part of the image, you can see the north ridge where the wall was placed, including that little acropolis in the top right (NE) corner of the walls system. Also, those four little rows of houses I put in look taller here, don't they? (They're just a bit off-scale.) It's about a mile walking up the middle of the city, and it definitely felt very steep when I walked it in 2001!

Picture #4:

This one came out VERY fuzzy, but it shows the crude little buildings I'm experimenting with a bit closer up. The yellow blocks that look like little wooden teeth coming up are supposed to be houses. I've got to work on a better way to make them set properly, and go in more uniformly... at least, relative to how they are now. The little drawn on flat-pieces are simply place holders for the major elements in the city's center: the agora, the stadium and the gymnasium are definite, and the fountain house, which I'm concluding was probably between the gym and the agora.

Picture #5:

This one shows a downhill view from the acropolis, which was the last-ditch defense and safest place in case invaders got through the walls. Notice how it's near the upper city where the rich folks lived? Isn't that nice? Anyway... if you look downhill to the West (far right) you can see the side of a little woodchip placeholder that I'm using to decide where the theater was. No one has dug one up yet - and may never, since a million people live there today - but I figure it had to be up in the hilly part somewhere. I mean, come on, it was a greek theater! They had to take advantage of the hillside... and they had to have a theater! No self-respecting wanna-be-king would found a proper city without a proper theater! Really!

Finally, Picture #6:

You can see the place holders up close in this one. The Agora was surrounded by shops and the council house. Across the main street from there was the stadium area, which I believe had one diagonal track, about 200 meters long, with seating in the NW (top right) corner of that area, and a staging area at the east (lower) end. The fountain house might have been East (below) of that, and the Gymnasium had a large, square atrium in the middle for outdoor training. At the top of this picture, you can see the placeholder for the theater, up there in the hills. Finally, those four white city-blocks at the top center of this picture have some writing on them; they say "Sacred Area", which is the eight city blocks where the most important temples were located. You might note that it also straddles the main road, where almost all foot traffic came into the city. Walking in from those Western gates, visitors would get an impressive view of the finest architecture the city had to display, directly on their path to the city's center of buisness and politics.

That's all the pictures, and all the progress I've made so far on the "Scale Model". If you want to, you can choose to support this portion of my project for only the cost of a pound of clay and bass-wood a week! :)

Thanks for looking around... please leave a comment. --Bill

4 Comments:

Input from Blogger ADieL :

This page is overall very impressive. I hope you continue in your efforts! God bless you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007  
Input from Anonymous Anonymous :

Hey Bill, I really like the site you're building here. I'm currently doing a partner project about Thessalonica. The scale model photos shown here are impressive, and I hope you don't mind if I use them. This site will definitely be cited in my work. Thank you!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011  
Input from Blogger Bill :

Hey, Nony. Your'e absolutely welcome to cite this site, and thanks for the compliments. I'm sorry those pics are so blurry. If the model wasn't in a big box right now I'd take better ones. Someday I hope I'll dig that out again and actually finish it.

Thanks again for your interest...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011  
Input from Blogger Beverly P. Clay :

I'm at present doing an accomplice extend about Thessalonian. The scale model photographs indicated here are noteworthy, and I trust you wouldn't fret on the off chance that I utilize them. This site will without a doubt be refereed to in my work and imago2.com

Sunday, May 11, 2014  

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