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Glossary

Arrow slit - a thin vertical aperture in a fortification through which an archer could launch arrows from a bow or crossbow.
Bartizan (turret) - a small tower with windows or arrow slits generally added to the most prominent corner of a bulwark or fortification as a watchtower or lookout point.
Bulwark - a rounded bastion or tower projecting outward from the walls of a fortification.
Casemate - a fortified, closed and vaulted structure from which guns are fired; it may be separate from or integrated in a larger fortification.
Crenel - the void spaces between the merlons on top battlements on fortified walls or castles.
Flying buttress - a construction element with a segmental arch on the exterior walls of Romanic and Gothic buildings that served as supports and to distribute the weight of the walls and columns.
Gargoyle - a carved stone figure with a spout designed to carry rainwater from a roof and away from the side of a building.
Machicolation - a mediaeval defensive element that was commonly used in keep towers; it is a floor opening between the corbels of a battlement through which stones or other objects could be dropped on assailants at the base of the battlement.
Manueline - a decorative style characteristic of the late Gothic period in Portugal (late 15th century and first quarter of the 16th century).
Merlon - the solid raised parts on a parapet between two crenels. In many cases merlons also featured arrow slits.
Neuroballistic artillery - devices that used force resulting from bending or torsion of materials as a means of propulsion. Examples are the bow, crossbow and catapult.
Platband - a flat moulding or group of mouldings on a balustrade or entablature.
Pyroballistic artillery - weaponry that used gunpowder as a means of propulsion. Examples are the cannon and later the musket and pistol.
Vault - an arched ceiling resting on four support points (columns or pillars).

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