EGYPTIAN ARCHITECTURE

  1. EARLY CHRISTIAN and BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE
  2. ORDERS of ARCHITECTURE
  3. PART III. ARCHITECTURE OF CIVIL BUILDINGS
  4. Summarizing information about Egyptian and Roman architecture.

During the Old Kingdom, the period when Egypt was ruled by the Kings of the 3d to 6th Dynasties, artists and craftsmen were drawn to the court to work under the patronage of the king and his great nobles. Techniques of working in stone, wood, and metal made tremendous progress, demonstrated by surviving large scale monuments, such as the pyramidsof the 4th Dynasty and the sun temples built by the 5thDynasty kings. The pyramids of the 4thDynasty are the most spectacular of all the funeraryworks and the only remained wonder of the world. These monuments celebrated the divinity of the kings of Egypt, linking the people with the great gods of earth and sky.

This was a time when trade and the economy flourished. Craftsmen worked in the finest materials which were often brought great distances, and were able to experiment with recalcitrant stones as well as new techniquesof metalworking. This enabled them by the 6thDynasty to produce large metal figures. The earliest that survive are the copper statues of Pepi I and his son, found at Hierakonpolis. Made c. 2330 BC they are badly corroded but still impressive in their stiffly formal poses. The eyes are inlaid, And the crown and the kilt of the king, now missing, were probably originally made of gilded plaster.

During the prosperousperiod known as the middle kingdom fortresses were built to defend the southern and eastern borders, and new areas of land were brought under cultivation. Craftsmen achieved new levels of excellence. Very little architecture remains - many royal monuments were robbed for their stone in later periods - but what has survived shows great simplicity and refinement. The example is the pyramid of Sesostris I at Lisht.

The establishment of the 18thDynasty marked the beginning of the New Kingdom and a new blossomingof the arts and crafts of ancient Egypt. Craftsmen benefited fromwider contact with other civilizations, such as those of Crete and Mesopotamia, and were also to work with imported raw materials.

The kings gave encouragementsto artists and craftsmen by ordering great temples and palaces to be built throughout Egypt. The temple walls were covered with reliefs celebrating the achievements of the kings and the powers of the gods. The courtyards and inner sanctuaries were enriched with statuary. The most notable monuments are the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatsheput at Deir-el-Bahari (c. 1480 BC; Fig. 2.1), which had a series of pillared colonnades on three sides of three superimposed terraces linked by gigantic ramps and magnificentGreat Temple at Karnak to Amon as the universal of Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Architecture was revivedunder the Ptolemies, the successor of Alexander the Great, who built numerous temples of traditional style of which the finest examples that survive are the Temple of Horus at Etfu and the temples on the islands of Philae (c. 323 - 30 BC).

5 Read the text again and answer the questions that follow (1-5):

1. Into what periods could ancient Egyptian architecture be classified?

2. What typical structures did the architecture of Egypt produce?

3. What is the only remained wonder of the world?

4. When did the final revival of ancient Egyptian architecture take place?

5. What are the greatest examples of the period of revival?

Follow-up

6 a) Find in the text the synonyms for the following words:

Pharaohs; spectacular; gigantic; to protect; to plunder; modesty and elegance; to prosper; methods; to be adorned; impressively beautiful.




| FOREWORD | THE CONSTRUCTION-RELATED ENGINEERING PROFESSION | WORD LIST | In which situations would you put each point from Ex.1 into the first place? | THE NATURAL BEGINNING | B) Find synonyms for the words in italics. | Benefits of Daylighting | Summary Writing | Express your opinion on the problem raised in Ex.15 and discuss it with your partner using the expressions from Appendix 1. |

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