ark of god


  • John James
  • University of New South Wales
  • Chris Henige
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Mission and Methodology

About This Project


Over many years John James has studied the sculpted capitals from over a thousand buildings in northern France, England, Italy and Spain, and has used their evolution as the basis for establishing a firmer chronology for medieval building. These have been published in his five-volume work, The Ark of God, now available in digital form in this website.

This resource provides both additional confirmation for judgments about dating found int he Creation of Gothic Architecture (COGA) project, as well as a means to more effectively visualize the evolution of capitals, and to track their distribution across time and space.

At the moment this site serves as a complement to the Creation of Gothic Architecture (COGA) project, and links are provided from that site to this one. If the capitals for a particular building are available on this site, a green button labelled "Capitals" will be visible in the navigation area of the other site. Ultimately, search tools like those found in the other sites will be available here as well, and the site can be used more effectively for research.