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Anta is a term used in architecture and construction to refer to a pilaster or pillar that is square or rectangular in shape, typically projecting from a wall to provide structural support or decorative embellishment. Derived from the Latin word anta, meaning pilaster, these vertical elements have been used in various architectural styles throughout history, particularly in classical Greek and Roman architecture. Antae are often found flanking the entrance of a building or framing a doorway, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. In ancient Greek temples, antae were commonly used in the pronaos, the front porch or vestibule leading to the cella, the main inner chamber of the temple. The antae would project from the side walls, creating a defined entrance space and supporting the roof structure above. Antae were also employed in other parts of Greek temples, such as the opisthodomos, the rear porch, and the pteroma, the colonnade surrounding the cella. The use of antae in classical architecture contributed to the overall symmetry, balance, and visual harmony of the building's design. Beyond their structural role, antae provided opportunities for artistic expression through intricate carvings, moldings, and capital designs that adorned their surfaces, reflecting the architectural style and cultural aesthetics of the time period.

pilaster, pillar, classical architecture, Greek temple, pronaos

John Armstrong


Anta is a term that has been used in various contexts, including architecture, language, and zoology. In the context of architecture, anta refers to a type of decorative or structural element that can be found in various styles of architecture, from classical to Mesoamerican. The anta is typically a short column or pillar that is used to support a lintel or arch, or as a decorative element at the entrance of a building. In the context of language, anta is a morpheme that has evolved over time to signify the genitive plural in certain contexts. In zoology, anta refers to an African antelope of the genus Oryx, characterized by long, straight horns. One important aspect of anta in architecture is its versatility. Antae can be used in a variety of ways, from supporting the weight of a structure to providing a decorative element. In classical architecture, antae are often used to support the weight of a lintel or arch, as well as to create a sense of balance across a structure. In Mesoamerican architecture, anta columns are used to mark the entrance to a sacred space, and to express the importance of the space to the local people. Another important aspect of anta is its historical significance. Antae have been used in architecture for thousands of years, from ancient Egypt to classical Greece and Rome, and continue to be used in modern architecture today. The evolution of the anta as a morpheme in language is also reflective of its historical significance, as it has evolved over time to signify the genitive plural in certain contexts. Overall, anta is a term that has multiple meanings and applications, from architecture to language to zoology. Its versatility and historical significance make it an important concept to understand in various fields of study.

architecture, classical, Mesoamerican, support, decorative, entrance, history, morpheme, genitive plural, zoology

Andrew Hill


Anta is an architectural term used to describe the large entrance columns of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican ceremonial structures. These entrance columns typically consist of two square pillars that are connected at the top by a stone lintel. The two pillars are often decorated with reliefs or carvings of mythological figures and animals, and are found at the entrances of large public buildings, including palaces, temples, and other ceremonial sites. Anta columns were used by many Mesoamerican societies, including the Maya, Aztec, and Olmec cultures. These columns are believed to have been used to mark the entrance to a sacred space, and to express the importance of the space to the local people.

Pyramid, temple, ritual, Mesoamerican, lintel.

Mark Wilson


Anta is a type of architectural element commonly used as a decorative element or support for columns or pilasters. It is a short and carved column, typically found at the entrance of temples or used to support a roof. It is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt, where it was used as an ornamental element on temples. Anta columns were later adopted by the Greeks and Romans, where they were used as a structural element in the construction of temples, tombs, and other public buildings. In the modern context, anta columns are still used as decorative elements in both residential and commercial architecture.

Architecture, Ornament, Support, Decoration, Columns.

Michael Adams


Masonry anta, also known as an antae, is a prominent feature of classical architecture. It is a short, rectangular column formed by the end of a pediment or wall, and traditionally supports the weight of a lintel or arch. Antae are often seen in Ancient Greek, Roman and Renaissance architecture. From a structural perspective, antae are essential in that they support the load of the lintel or arch above, and can also be used to accentuate the beauty of the structure. Masonry antae also provide a way to transition between two distinct architectural elements, such as a wall and an arch, as they can be designed to blend seamlessly between the two. Moreover, antae are often used to create a sense of balance across a structure, as well as to offer a strong visual anchor to the design.

Anta, Masonry, Architecture, Pediment, Lintel, Arch.

Shelly Stone


Classified as a noun, “anta” can be defined as an African antelope of the genus Oryx, characterized by long, straight horns. Synonyms for “anta” include gemsbok and oryx, while antonyms may include prey and predator. Cognates of “anta” include bongo and kudu, as well as variants such as “enty” or “enthu”.

Etymological origin, African antelope, Oryx genus, African fauna, linguistic morphology, related linguistics.

George Adrian Postea


Morphologically, the word 'Anta' is a combination of two morphemes: ‘an’ and ‘ta’. The root morpheme ‘an’ has come from the Proto-Indo-European ‘*h2en’, which has cognates in Old English ‘an’ to mean ‘at’ and in Greek ‘an’ to mean ‘if’. In Latin, the morpheme is ‘an’ to mean ‘not’. The added morpheme ‘-ta’ is a suffix that came from Proto-Germanic ‘-ti’ and its cognates in Old English ‘-th’ to express plurality. It is also recognizable in Modern English as ‘-s’ to form the plurals of nouns. The historical evolution of 'Anta' is reflective of its meaning as a syntactic marker for the genitive plural. In summary, the word 'Anta' is a combination of two ancient morphemes ‘an’ and ‘ta’ that has evolved over time to signify the genitive plural in certain contexts.

Etymology, Morphology, History, Pragmatics, Evolution

Henry Fontaine

CITATION : "Henry Fontaine. 'Anta.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on July 24, 2024)"


Anta, a term originating from the Latin ante, is used to denote before or forward in time or position. In the English language, antonyms for the word 'anta' include after and behind. Other languages also have their own terms for the concept of ante, which may be phonetically similar or entirely unrelated. For example, in Spanish, the word antes is used, in French, avant is preferred, and in Arabic, ta'dib is the equivalent term. Additionally, other languages may use the words pro, przed, vor, or voor to denote the concept of ante. In German, the term vorherige is often used, while Japanese prefers the term mae. Furthermore, in Chinese, the term qian is often used, and in Italian, prima is preferred.

Spanish antes, French avant, Arabic ta'dib, German vorherige, Italian prima, Japanese mae, Chinese qian, pro, przed, vor, voor.

Harris Awan


Anta is a form of architectural design that utilizes natural elements in order to create a more sustainable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing living or working space. Anta design is about working with the environment and its natural resources, rather than against it, to create a space that is both functional and beautiful. This type of design incorporates a variety of material choices from wood to glass, stone, metal, and concrete, all in order to create a pleasing, organic form. Additionally, special consideration is given to how light interacts with the space, creating a natural ambience. Anta design is a modern way to create a space that is not only aesthetic, but also sustainable, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient.

architecture, design, sustainability, efficiency.

Ji-Soo Park


Anta is an architectural concept that refers to the practice of designing and constructing buildings to ensure energy-efficiency. It requires an understanding of the relationship between energy needs, building materials, climate, and site management. The goal is to reduce the energy consumed by a building, making it more sustainable and cost-effective. Anta includes practices such as passive cooling, natural lighting, and energy-efficient ventilation. This approach requires a greater understanding of the environment, climate, and local geography in order to produce effective designs.

Energy-efficiency, sustainability, climate, building materials, passive cooling, natural lighting, energy-efficient ventilation.

Lauren Moore

Anta Definition
Anta on Design+Encyclopedia

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