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December 14, 2007

Sima (architecture)

In classical architecture, a sima is the upturned edge of a roof which acts as a gutter. Sima comes from the Greek simos, meaning bent upwards.

Form

The sima runs around all four sides of a building, the raking sima is continuous, while the sima on the other sides is broken by spouts. Early sima featured tubular or half cylindrical spouts, but these were mostly replaced with animal head spouts by the middle of the 6th century BC.

Simas may be made of terracotta or stone.

Decoration

Simas were normally decorated. Stone simas had continuous naratives, especially on the raking sides where they would not be interrupted by spouts, similar to a frieze. Terracotta simas had repeating patterns that were easy to reproduce with molds.

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