In the outside, on the top step, 26 austere, Doric columns formed the outer ring of the Tholos. The visitor had to stand between the colonnade and the wall/cella of the monument, in order to see the splendid decoration of the double coffers of the roof (Plate here above).
The apparent course of the Sun
on the outer coronna of the Tholos
Today the visitor would certainly ask, why such a beautiful decoration should have been concealed from the general view of the public? Was there a hidden message?
On the ceiling, between the Doric column and the cella, an outer series of double coffers with 70 radii depicted the apparent course of the sun. It resembled a huge chariot, which ran along the Ecliptic Zone every day, giving rise alternatively to day and night on earth and planets. Advancing at a rate of one degree per day along the Zodiac the Sun forms the year of the four seasons. According to Mythology it was the chariot of the Sun with the four horses, that is to say the four seasons.
In fact, the apparent course of the sun was interpolated between the Doric colonnade and the wall of the cella on top of the monument, as it should be seen travelling through the firmament.
by ALTANI, Researcher
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