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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ancient Architecture Part I

  As I said in my post on Church Architecture it is really important to study architecture and learn the significant aspects of each period and how we are affected by them today.  So I bring to you a series of posts on Ancient architecture.  We will start with Egypt,  but it is important to note the significance of  design and architecture from the very beginning of time, from carvings on the cave walls and hieroglyphics, etc.  These were the beginning stages of design and architecture! AMAZING!
    Now we will start with Egypt.  As with many other cultures and their histories, there are factors that made Egypt remarkable in its design, factors such as: the geography and natural resources (The Nile), religion, and their belief in kingdoms, dynasties, pharaohs and the afterlife. These factors played a huge role in the type of architecture and how these monuments were built and the significance of these buildings!
   When we think of ancient Egypt we immediately think of  their pyramids, sphinxes, temples and King Tut. 
 The pyramids were built relatively early in Egypt's history during the "Old Kingdom" when the pharaohs were seen as living gods and as such they were able to use their power to have pyramids constructed.  What is truly amazing about these huge pyramids is that they were ultimately built to protect the mummy, a deceased member of royalty, similar to a modern day masoleum.  These pyramids were a protection for them in the afterlife, the many chambers that are in the pyramids contained the rich treasures of the royal family, unfortunately most have been robbed by thieves!
 Sphinxes by definition are mythical monsters with the body of a lion and the head of another animal, either a diety or a human.  Sphinxes were very common and often would link one temple to another temple.
Now the temples are great examples of ancient interior architecture and design.  The temples were designed in an axial plan, in which the architectural elements are symmetrically arrayed around a center line.  Typically large sphinxes and statues lined the entrance to the temple.  There were large columns and courtyards with a hypostyle hall, which is a large hall with a roof that was supported by many, many columns.

Lesson: There is more to Egypt's architecture than meets the eye!

Rocking out to: Crash and Burn by Savage Garden
   

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