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Egyptian Architecture. Architectural Ideas Ancient Egyptians viewed earthly dwellings as temporary They paid little attention to house construction The.

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Presentation on theme: "Egyptian Architecture. Architectural Ideas Ancient Egyptians viewed earthly dwellings as temporary They paid little attention to house construction The."— Presentation transcript:

1 Egyptian Architecture

2 Architectural Ideas Ancient Egyptians viewed earthly dwellings as temporary They paid little attention to house construction The tomb was seen as a permanent dwelling for the afterlife Tremendous effort was exerted in tomb construction The mummified dead body was buried in a stone box called sarcophagus in the tomb Lets Recap… Historical Background Social Characteristics & Beliefs

3 Architectural Ideas Believed a dead person needs all her/his worldly goods Tomb usually packed w/ all the treasures of dead person If anything cannot be provided, it is painted on the walls of the tomb

4 Historical Background Social Characteristics & Beliefs Architectural Ideas Tombs also have charms to protect dead person & her/his property Dead buried in cities of the dead, called Necropolis located in desert

5 During the old Kingdom, the pharaoh and his court lived in Memphis When they died they were buried at the Necropolis at Saqqara The earthly dwelling of the ancient Egyptians was seen as temporary and the tomb as a permanent dwelling Houses were built of temporary materials to last for a lifetime Architecture of the Civilization Introduction

6 Tombs were most outstanding architectural element of the period Tombs also serve as the focus for the worship of the dead The Tomb evolved during the old kingdom from the Mastaba, through the steppe pyramid to the renown ancient Egyptian pyramid

7 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba The earliest method of burial in ancient Egypt was in shallow pits in the desert The desert dried the bodies and preserved them When animals preyed on bodies, the people dug deeper In the end they built a bench-like structure over graves to create first burial structure called Mastaba

8 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba The name mastaba is derived from podiums found in the front of traditional houses In the Old Kingdom, rich and noble person built mastaba for their burial in the city of the dead Above ground the Mastaba is a large bench of sun-baked bricks rising 9 meters high It had a flat top and slanting walls The earliest royal tombs were decorated with painted patterns in brilliant colors

9 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba Internally, a mastaba consist of three parts- a burial chamber, a serdab and a chapel The burial chamber was located 30 below ground –Connected to burial chamber above ground through a shaft –place for the burial of the dead person

10 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba In the chamber is found the sarcophagus where the dead body was placed The burial chamber is packed with all the necessary things needed in the afterlife After burial, the shaft to the burial chamber was sealed

11 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba The Serdab and Chapel are located above ground The serdab is a room where the statue of the dead person is kept –Statue acts as a substitute for body in case it is destroyed

12 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba Egyptians believed that the Ka must return to the body or a copy of it each night If both body and statue are destroyed, the ka would die The chapel is where the ka is supposed to live forever –Colorful room meant to deceive the gods into letting the ka enter the next world –false door leading to the land of the dead

13 Early Kingdom Tombs Mastaba Some mastabas had fence walls, and chambers for burial of servants Mastaba served as an embryo for the evolution of the pyramid

14 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid King Zoser (Djoser) was the powerful pharaoh of the third dynasty of the old kingdom The steppe pyramid was built for king Zoser by Imhotep It was built as a funeral complex in the necropolis at Saqqara Imhotep initially conceived of the tomb as a large Mastaba of stone

15 More on Egyptian Architecture

16 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid Dissatisfaction w/ result led to stacking of mastaba Result was stepped pyramid w/ five sloping setbacks The steppe pyramid is the intermediate step between mastaba and geometric pyramid

17 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid Steppe pyramid was 200 high w/ 6 giant steps Burial chamber is entered from north side & is 92 down On either side of chamber are store rooms for kings treasures All treasures buried w/ Zoser have been stolen A stone statue of Zoser also recently found staring out through peep holes in his Serdab

18 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid Serdab located on north side, along w/ funerary temple Steppe pyramid stands at middle of large complex Funeral complex consisted of palaces, temples & steppe pyramid All surrounded by fence wall 33 high

19 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid Fence wall of funeral complex has breaking pattern of ~200 projections/recessions Fourteen were larger than the others & 13 out of the fourteen had false doors False doors for use of Pharaohs Ka

20 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid Entrance door leads to long hall w/ two rows of columns One of the 1 st uses of columns in history Columns designed to look like bundles of reeds… & had flutes

21 Early Kingdom Tombs Steppe Pyramid In North Palace also stone columns w/ capitals Designed to look like papyrus plant Zosers funeral complex designed as model of his palace, city & kingdom Shape of pyramid suggests stairway to the sky to join the sun God Amon Ra

22 Early Kingdom Tomb Attempts at Pyramid Building After the stepped pyramids, there were several attempt at building a pure geometric pyramid Among the prominent attempts: –pyramid at Medun –two pyramids built by Snefru at Dashur

23 Early Kingdom Tomb Attempts at Pyramid Building King Huni made the first attempt at building pure pyramid at Medun Constructed seven- stepped pyramid with square plan and height of 90m and Angle of incline: 51° Pyramid did not have mortuary temple

24 Early Kingdom Tomb Attempts at Pyramid Building Pharoah Snefru made two attempts at pyramid construction 1 st pyramid, the Bent pyramid at Dashur had a square plan with a height of 102m The pyramid had a change of angle midway, leading to its being called the bent pyramid

25 Early Kingdom Tomb Attempts at Pyramid Building Snefrus 2 nd pyramid--north pyramid--is place he was buried Low pitch of 43° instead of 52° making it look stunted A true pyramid has an incline angle of 52°

26 Early Kingdom Tomb The Pyramids at Giza Construction of a true geometrical pyramid achieved during reign of Cheops, son of Snefru Located at Giza Called Great Pyramid because of size The pyramid is 482 high on a plan 760 square

27 Early Kingdom Tomb The Pyramids at Giza Two additional pyramids built at Giza 2 nd largest in the center built by Chefren, the son of Cheops 3 rd and smallest built by Mykerinus, son of Chefren The three together are referred to as the Pyramids at Giza

28 Early Kingdom Tomb The Pyramids at Giza Three are aligned diagonally along the projection of the diagonal of the great pyramid The small pyramids close by were built for queens

29 Early Kingdom Tomb The Great Pyramid Cheops Great pyramid unique internal arrangement First: a chamber built below base of pyramid Another chamber built above it known as queens chamber Larger burial chamber known as the kings chamber built center of pyramid

30 Early Kingdom Tomb The Great Pyramid Cheops Chamber where the king was buried in his Sarcophagus Kings chamber 35 x17 and 19 high Both king & queen chamber connected to the entrance on the north side Two air shafts connect kings chamber to outside for ventilation Once a king is buried, burial chamber sealed

31 Early Kingdom Tomb Pyramid The pyramids designed as part of a funeral complex for burial of pharaoh Chefrens complex is best preserved example Complex consist of three interconnected units: –A valley temple by the river Nile where the pharaohs body was embalmed –A pyramid mortuary temple for rituals –A long narrow causeway connecting the two

32 Early Kingdom Tomb Pyramid Construction How were the pyramids constructed? No accurate knowledge about the method of construction of the pyramids Estimates vary:~ 100,000 men worked 3-4 months each year for 30 years to build the pyramids. Limestone quarried from nearby -- transported by lever action Paid in food, clothing and drinks

33 Early Kingdom Tomb Why did Egyptians Build Pyramids The pyramids were in general a response to the vast desert landscapes For structures to be visible in the desert they have to be of huge size The pyramids were also a product of the will to achieve immortality by the pharaohs Pyramids are the everlasting home of the pharaohs ka

34 Early Kingdom Tomb End of Pyramid Construction After the Mykerinus period, the era of pyramid construction ended More pyramids were built later but they were smaller and less complex Later pharaohs could not afford the cost of huge pyramid construction Grave robbers learned how to break into and steal the goods buried with pharaohs End of the Old Kingdom therefore marked the end of the great era of Egyptian pyramid construction.

35 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Mortuary Temples Introduction The Middle Kingdom began when pharaoh Mentuhotep united Egypt again after the first intermediate period During the middle kingdom, the practice of pyramid construction disappeared Focus in architectural development was however still on tombs and burial chambers Two categories of structures came into use- mortuary temples and underground tombs

36 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Mortuary Temples Introduction Mortuary temples served as place for burial and worship of pharaohs Temples dedicated to Gods were also located in them Mortuary temples owe origin to pyramid funeral complex, particular the valley and pyramid temples Underground tombs became popular because of the belief that they could not be robbed Many powerful and wealthy pharaohs and nobles carved tombs directly into rock cliffs and underground during the Middle and New kingdoms Most of the tomb and burial chamber construction was carried out at Del Al Bahari

37 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Underground Tomb- Rock Cut Tomb Two types of Underground tombs were built by pharaohs and nobles during the Middle and New Kingdom periods- Rock cut tombs and Shaft tombs Rock cut tombs are tombs that are carved out of rocks Many of theses are found along the cliff of the Nile A very good example is the Rock cut tomb at Beni Hassan

38 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Underground Tomb- Rock Cut Tomb Beni Hassan consists of three elements: –Colonnade entrance portico for public worship –Behind portico, a chamber or hall with columns supporting the roof serving as a chapel –A small recess towards the back of the chapel where the person is buried

39 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Underground Tomb- Rock Cut Tomb The columns on the exterior were shaped like a prism with 8 or 16 sides The columns in the interior were designed as a bundle of reed tied together by rope

40 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Underground Tomb- Shaft Tombs Shaft tombs were a complex series of underground corridors and rooms cut out of the mountains in the valley of the King at Del-Al-Bahari Large # of rooms & complicated arrangement deliberate--to create a maze or puzzle

41 Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham Underground Tomb- Shaft Tombs This is designed to make it difficult for robbers to determine where a dead person is buried A dead pharaoh or nobleman is buried in one of the many underground rooms Once the burial is finished, the entrance is sealed permanently and hidden from everybody

42 Materials, Const. & Systems Materials Three common materials of construction in Egypt –Plant materials, clay and stone Plants consist of readily available material like reeds, papyrus and palm ribs and shaft Timber was available in limited quantity; used for roofing Clay was used for construction either as for frame construction or as sun dried brick Stone was not much used during the early period of ancient Egyptian civilization It became popular after the 3rd dynasty of the Early Kingdom and was used for tombs and temples

43 Materials, Const. & Systems Construction System Construction system in ancient Egypt reflected the availability of materials Two construction systems were predominant: Adobe construction and post and beam construction Adobe construction took the form of clay on vegetable material or sun dried brick construction This construction was reserved for houses and other buildings of daily life These buildings are supposed to last for only a generation

44 Materials, Const. & Systems Construction System Egyptian monumental construction is mainly of a post and beam style This is expressed mainly in pyramids, tombs and temples Columns are designed to look like plant material Their shaft resemble bundles of plant stems tied together Their capitals are derived from the lotus bud or the papyrus flower or the palm leave Great importance was attached to relief carving and it was an integral part of the architecture

45 Materials, Const. & Systems Construction System The true arch was not extensively used in ancient Egypt The principle was however known Construction in Egypt took place during the period of floods It took 30 years to build a pyramid with a team of 100,000 men working three to four months during the floods

46 Principles of Arch. Organization Emphasis on Building Masses Ancient Egyptian architecture shows more concern with massing and limited attention to space or function The Mastaba, Pyramids, Mortuary and Cult temples all display a focus on massing and form Limited consideration on functional space Consideration of function in design limited to provision of spaces for ritual activities --such as chapels dedicated to Gods in Pyramid funeral complexes and Mortuary and Cult temples

47 Principles of Arch. Organization Application of Linear & Geometrical Org The Most important compositional principle in ancient Egypt is linearity and axial organization Linearity means organization along a line, while axial organization means that there is a defined axis running through the whole composition Almost all the predominant monuments have a linear & axial organization These include the pyramid funerary complexes, the mortuary & cult temples

48 Principles of Arch. Organization Application of Linear & Geometrical Org Egyptian architecture also displays an understanding and application of geometry in design This is noticeable in the pyramids at Giza All the three main pyramids are Geometrical pyramids A geometric pyramid has a square base and 52 ° inclination of its sides All the pyramids are also aligned in a straight line along their axes This could only have been achieved with the understanding of geometry

49 Principles of Arch. Organization Application of Harmony & Contrast Architecture in ancient Egypt also displays understanding of the principle of Harmony and contrast Example of this reflected in pyramids at Giza The color and material of the pyramid create a harmony between the pyramids and the desert The form and shape of the pyramids however contrast sharply with the smooth undulating desert

50 Principles of Arch. Organization Application of Harmony & Constrast This understanding is also displayed in the temples of Mentuhotep and Hatshepsut A double row of columns used to front the lower and upper terraces create a harmony with the rugged background of the mountain cliffs The terraces of the temples are however in sharp contrast with the mountainous nature of the environment The temples appear like an island of peace in a rugged and violent environment

51 Forces Shaping Arch. Organization Influence of the Desert Ancient Egyptian architecture can only be understood by also looking at the environment in which it is located Egypt is essentially located in a desert and the desert is empty space For anything to be visible and considered monumental, it must match the scale of the desert This understanding may have influenced the architects of ancient Egypt to focus on building and creating the massive buildings that we have studied

52 Forces Shaping Arch. Organization Influence of the Nile The Nile had an important influence in the linearity and axiality of ancient Egyptian Architecture The Nile was a very straight river The straightness of the line provided the ancient Egyptians with both a symbolic sense of direction and a principle for application in the creation of monumental buildings

53 Located in Giza is the great Sphinx with the body of a lion and head of Chefren Reason for its construction is not clear A theory holds that it was produced from leftover material It may also have been carved to stand guard over the temple and tomb of Chefren The Sphinx

54 Dimensions of the Sphinx Paws: 50 long (15m) Head: 30 long (10m) 14 wide (4m) Entire Body: 150 (45m)

55 Originally commissioned by Kaphre (a son of Cheops) Constructed from a single piece of stone weighing hundreds of tons bedrock found within the Valley of Giza. Age of the Sphinx: ~5,000 years old Dates from 4 th Dynasty. The Sphinx

56 Archeologists and historians found many pictures of the Sphinx drawn with wings, the body of a lion and ox, and the face of man Theories: Muhammad Saim al-Dahr British Turks Napoleon Bonaparte Mamluks restoration

57 The Sphinx ?

58 Review of Architectural Principles Culture - Nile - source for all life -East bank: land of the living -West bank: land of the dead - Mystery of sun, moon, stars, futility & grave - Complex hierarchy of gods - Service to religion: made their art & architecture Religion - Survival after death depended on preservation of body -At day of resurrection, "Ka" entered dead - Good Burial" became obsession - mummification an art Burial - Impregnable tomb - the basis for Egyptian architecture - Man mummified and buried w/wives & possessions - Tombs to be durable and "look" durable - monolith

59 MAJOR WORKS Major Works Old Kingdom 1. Mastabas 2. Stepped Pyramid of Saqqara by Imhotep 3. Great Giza Cheops (Khufu) Chephren (Kafra) Mykerinus (Menkaura) Middle Kingdom 4. Rock Cut Beni Hasan New Kingdom 5. Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut 6. Temple of Luxor 7. Temple of Karnak 8. Temple of Rameses Abu Simbel 9. Mortuary Complex of Rameses Medinet Habu 10.Temple of Edfu BC 2650 BC 2575 BC 2530 BC 2500 BC BC BC BC 1500 Deir el-Bahari by Senmut BC BC 1257 BC BC 322 BC

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61 Team Prompts 1 1. Analyze the evidence supporting the claim that Ancient Egyptians used a concrete-like mixture in constructing some segments of the pyramids. 2. Discuss the evidence/arguments refuting the above claims. 3. Make the best case for either side. FOR FULL CREDIT, BE SPECIFIC IN CITING EVIDENCE/SUPPORT FROM THE READING. Team Prompts 2 1. Discuss the significance of the Nile river in the development of the Egyptian civilization. 2. What was the significance of -- and discoveries at -- Kom el- Ahmar (Greek name: Hierakonpolis) 'the Red Mound'. FOR FULL CREDIT, BE SPECIFIC IN CITING EVIDENCE/SUPPORT FROM THE READING. EACH PROMPT RESPONSE SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF FOUR COMPLETE AND DETAILED SENTENCES, FILLED WITH SPECIFICITY FROM THE SOURCES AND REFLECTING INSIGHT AND ANALYTICAL THOUGHT…NOT MERELY SUPERFICIAL GENERALITIES…THANK YOU!

62 Team Prompts 1. Analyze the evidence supporting the claim that Ancient Egyptians used a concrete-like mixture in constructing some segments of the pyramids. 2. Discuss the evidence/arguments refuting the above claims. 3. Make the best case for either side. FOR FULL CREDIT, BE SPECIFIC IN CITING EVIDENCE/SUPPORT FROM THE READING. EACH PROMPT RESPONSE SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF FOUR COMPLETE AND DETAILED SENTENCES, FILLED WITH SPECIFICITY FROM THE SOURCES AND REFLECTING INSIGHT AND ANALYTICAL THOUGHT…NOT MERELY SUPERFICIAL GENERALITIES…THANK YOU! Important Notes Below…


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