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Shaft



The tapering, cylindrical portion of a column that rests upon the base and below the capital.

Description: The shaft tapers from the bottom upward, often taking a delicate curve, called entasis. The Doric column springs directly from the stylobate. Its shaft usually has twenty flutes, though sixteen flutes are found in the earliest Doric temple columns (but this is rare after the early sixth century B.C.), and examples are also found which have twenty-four flutes. The shaft is usually built of separate drums, to which the fluting was applied after the drums were erected. Monolithic shafts, of one piece save for the capital, are rare. The joins between the drums usually fitted closely along the exterior edges only; this fitting was termed anathyrosis. Within the drum of the column, upon both its upper and lower surfaces, was an unfinished shallow depression containing at its center a deep, rectangular hole which held a wooden block, the empolia, fixing the drums in place.





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