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  • Projects from
    the Middle Eras
    1000.C.E. to
    1700 C.E
  • Central Middle Ages
    1050 to 1300 C.E.
    Chartres Cathedral Project
    France 1145-1220 C.E.
    The competition for pilgrims among cities
    spurred the cathedral boom. The cathedrals
    had an important impact on a city’s prosperity
    and importance, as they attracted thousands
    of pilgrims and City merchants recognized this.
    In this period, world-record fever gripped
    the cities as they poured in resources for
    for their cathedral projects. In France the
    record was broken five times in 62 years.
  • Late Middle Ages
    1300 to 1450 C.E.
    Florence Duomo
    Project 1420–1436 C.E.
    This was the most significant dome project in
    Europe in 1300 years, and possibly the most
    significant, innovative and complex project
    of the Renaissance era. It still stands as
    the largest brick dome ever built.
  • Christopher Columbus
    Voyage of Exploration
    (1492-1493)
    When the sailors saw the last trace of land fade from
    their sight, many were wracked by superstitious fears.
    The crew came close to mutinying several times. It had
    taken the Portuguese 16 attempts to cross the equator
    south because sightings of the North star disappeared
    and the crew feared sailing on.

Middle Eras

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From Chartres to Taj Mahal

Gothic Cathedral

In the West there was not much project activity till the 11/12th century and the central medieval period which saw a massive building program of Gothic Castles, initiated by the Norman invasion of Britain. As Europe came out of the Dark ages towns and cities expanded and grew. Cathedrals became central to their economic development, driven by the competition for pilgrims. Through a period of several hundred years these projects strived to out do each other and entered a skyscraper race in creating the ultimate cathedral in splendor and height. In these years in France more stone was excavated than at any time in Ancient Egypt. Project Management was at the forefront. These projects employed a relatively small project workforce over long periods (measured in centuries). This required a clear project charter, stong project governance, committed stakeholders, careful cost control and a well thought out project plan that delivered a series of building campaigns, where a campaign would deliver part of the end-build which would be put to use right away.

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Duomo ProjectThe European Renaissance saw the development of new types of accounting systems and a financial revolution. With this a new banking system evolved in Italian states, and this flourished into a European money economy. This provided projects in the West a source of funding and also better defined cost controls through the new types of accounting. Renaissance architects as exemplified by Brunelleschi, Michangelo and Leonardo brought a fresh approach to projects with the use of perspective drawings and more accurate measures, and this led to the most ambitious of projects since the Roman era. Brunelleschi's Duomo project (Florence Cathedral) was a masterpiece that finally came close to achieving what the Roman's had with the Pantheon, 1000 years earlier. Both of these projects could not be readily replicated in today's world.

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Columbus The fall of Constantinople cut off Europe from the trade routes to the middle and far East. This was a catalyst for the great European Voyages of Exploration of the 15th century across oceans and the world in search of alternative trading routes. It was accelarated with advances brought about by grids/maps, astrolabe, compass, lateen sail, and improvements in ship building (Caravel). Many of these new technologies were from the East. The Renaissance continues and with its impact on arts and architecture is catalyst for projects to flourish.

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Parthenon The century saw ever riskier and greater European Voyages of Exploration. Although these were very high risk they had a great return for the investors, and acted as catalysts for explorations to the far corners of the earth, and European expansionism around the world. For example, only one of five ships returned from Magellan's fleet. It was packed with cloves and this covered the costs of the whole of expedition. The latter part of the century saw the First Scientific Revolution (spawned by the Renaissance) that provided important scientific discoveries and inventions, and made a significant impact on Western society.

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Hagia Sophia The momentum of the First Scientific Revolution saw great developments in Mathematics and Physics which had an impact on Project Management as it moved from a purely non-empirical approach to one based on scientific and mathematical calculation that predicted potential empirical outcomes. The forces in a strucure could now be calculated vastly improving estimates for materials required. The completion of the scientific revolution is attributed to the "grand synthesis" of Isaac Newton's 1687 Principia, that formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation. The Scientific Revolution led to the start of the Modern Age of Engineering, which in turn led to the First Industrial Revolution and the monumentous changes brought about it.

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