H.P. Lovecraft didn't invent Cyclopean architecture, but he sure did love it. The term comes up again and again in Lovecraft's stories, usually connected with various cosmic horrors that are beyond human comprehension, or the worshippers of said horrors. And usually involving water. Lots of water.
In "Dagon" he writes:
Across the chasm, the wavelets washed the base of the Cyclopean monolith; on whose surface I could now trace both inscriptions and crude sculptures.
In "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" he says:
Great watery spaces opened out before me, and I seemed to wander through titanic sunken porticos and labyrinths of weedy Cyclopean walls with grotesque fishes as my companions.
And in "The Call of Cthulhu," after describing great Cthulhu himself, he notes:
Behind the figure was a vague suggestion of a Cyclopean architectural background.
In fact, if you did a word count of all of Lovecraft's work, you'd find that Cyclopean comes up 47 times. See what I'm saying? He really liked it.
So exactly what is Cyclopean architecture anyway? Consulting wikipedia yields this handy explanation:
'Cyclopean', the term normally applied to the masonry style characteristic of Mycenaean fortification systems, describes walls built of huge, unworked limestone boulders which are roughly fitted together. Between these boulders, smaller hunks of limestone fill the interstices. The exterior faces of the large boulders may be roughly hammer-dressed, but the boulders themselves are never carefully cut blocks.But words can only convey so much, so let's take a look at what Cyclopean architecture actually looks like. Below are 5 real-world examples:
1. Example from Wikipedia - a typical Cyclopean wall near Grave Circle A at Mycenaean:
2. West Mill Tor in the United Kingdom
3. Kaleo Kastro, Agios Adrianos
4. Corbel arch built from Cyclopean masonry, in the Greek Arkadiko bridge
5. Saxsayhuaman, the greatest monument of the Incas, above Cuzco in the Parque Arqueológico de Sacsayhuamán.