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Imposing interior space with a flat roof that rests on many rows of columns. The design allows for the construction of large spaces without arches. It was used extensively in ancient Egypt (e.g., Temple of Amon at Karnak) and Persia. The elaborately carved pillars consumed much of the floor space and therefore assumed great importance. Hypostyles are rarely seen in more recent architecture because of more effective means of roof support.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hypostyle hall, visit Britannica.com.
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