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assise de voûte

English translation: courses

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07:26 Apr 2, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Architecture / Ancient Egyptian architecture
French term or phrase: assise de voûte
In an article about Ancient Egyptian architecture, describing arches. Context: “Enfin, les Égyptiens connaissent l'art de la voûte depuis très longtemps mais ne l'utilisent que très rarement sous l'époque pharaonique. Il s'agit de la voûte à clef de voûte, en briques ou en pierres ou de la voûte en encorbellement dont les *assises* se rejoignent au sommet.” What is the exact technical term for “assise” in this context, please? Thanks in advance.
Nicky Over
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:17
English translation:courses
Explanation:
I'm afraid I don't really understand what they are getting at.

In general terms, "assise" refers to a course of brick or blockwork (only more or less at the same level and of the same height in the case of stonework) in a wall, but also in an arch. In reference to arches though, it usually refers only to the "assise de retombée", the course where the arch starts (though I don't know if if refers precisely to the last course of vertical wall or the first course of inclined arch, or both).

Here they seem to be drawing a distinction between arches with a keystone and arches without; in the latter case, the "courses" meet at the middle, instead of having a keystone inserted. Can't say I can see what substantive difference that makes, so there must be a subtlety I haven't cottoned on to.

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Note added at 23 mins (2008-04-02 07:50:11 GMT)
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Oh, I think I can see what they are getting at.
With a "keystone arch", the arch is built first, on temporary supports. In theory the supports can be removed once the keystone is in place, and the rest of the wall etc. built on top of it.

In a cantilever arch, each course of brick/block/stonework is cantilevered out a little over the opening, the "back" end of each overhanging brick consquently being weighted down by the next course. Eventually the two sides of the arch will meet in the middle, and having been self-supporting all the time, no keystone is required.

So "courses" it will be. Since the Egyptians didn't have articulated lorries to haul bricks to the construction site, they probably had horses for.
Selected response from:

xxxBourth
Local time: 21:17
Grading comment
Thanks, once again, for your help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5coursesxxxBourth


  

Answers


17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
courses


Explanation:
I'm afraid I don't really understand what they are getting at.

In general terms, "assise" refers to a course of brick or blockwork (only more or less at the same level and of the same height in the case of stonework) in a wall, but also in an arch. In reference to arches though, it usually refers only to the "assise de retombée", the course where the arch starts (though I don't know if if refers precisely to the last course of vertical wall or the first course of inclined arch, or both).

Here they seem to be drawing a distinction between arches with a keystone and arches without; in the latter case, the "courses" meet at the middle, instead of having a keystone inserted. Can't say I can see what substantive difference that makes, so there must be a subtlety I haven't cottoned on to.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 23 mins (2008-04-02 07:50:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh, I think I can see what they are getting at.
With a "keystone arch", the arch is built first, on temporary supports. In theory the supports can be removed once the keystone is in place, and the rest of the wall etc. built on top of it.

In a cantilever arch, each course of brick/block/stonework is cantilevered out a little over the opening, the "back" end of each overhanging brick consquently being weighted down by the next course. Eventually the two sides of the arch will meet in the middle, and having been self-supporting all the time, no keystone is required.

So "courses" it will be. Since the Egyptians didn't have articulated lorries to haul bricks to the construction site, they probably had horses for.

xxxBourth
Local time: 21:17
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 539
Grading comment
Thanks, once again, for your help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mary Carroll Richer LaFlèche
9 mins

agree  B D Finch
12 mins

agree  swanda
16 mins

agree  Christopher Crockett: Looks right. Not much wood in Egypt, for building "formwork," either.
5 hrs

agree  Cervin: Yr right (of course) about the keystone arches-we've had quite a few built in our house and when the temporary supports were remove nothing fell down! (I'm glad to say) and they were supporting a whole first floor.
11 hrs
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