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Egyptian Architecture

Egyptian Architecture

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ANCIENT egypt architecture the great pyramid pyramids tombs funerary temples temple of khons mastabas
ANCIENT egypt architecture the great pyramid pyramids tombs funerary temples temple of khons mastabas

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Published by: Shivansh Singh Gautam on Feb 10, 2010
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11/05/2012

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Egyptian Architecture
Due to the scarcity of lumber, the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-bakedmud brickandstone, mainly limestone, but also sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. From theOld Kingdomonward, stone was generally reserved fortombsandtemples, while bricks were used even for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns, and for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes. Egypt houses were made out of mud collected fromthe Nile river. It was placed in molds and left to dry in the hot sun to harden for use in construction.Manyegyptiantownshave disappeared because they were situated near the cultivated area of the Nile Valley and were flooded as the river bedslowly rose during the milennia, or the mud bricks of which they were built were used by peasants as fertilizer. Others areinaccessible, new buildings having been erected on ancient ones. Fortunately, the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved somemud brick structures. Examples include the villageDeiral-Madinah, the Middle Kingdom town at Kahun, and the fortresses atBuhenand Mirgissa. Also, many temples and tombs have survived because they were built on high ground unaffected by theNile flood and were constructed of stone. Thus, our understanding of ancient Egyptian architecture is based mainly onreligious monuments, massive structures characterized by thick, sloping walls with few openings, possibly echoing amethod of construction used to obtain stability in mud walls. In a similar manner, the incised and flatly modeled surfaceadornment of the stone buildings may have derived from mud wall ornamentation. Although the use of thearchwasdeveloped during thefourth dynasty, all monumental buildings arepost and lintelconstructions, with flat roofs constructed of huge stone blocks supported by the external walls and the closely spaced columns.Exteriorand interior walls, as well asthecolumnsandpiers, were covered withhieroglyphicand pictorial frescoes and carvings painted in brilliant colors. Many motifs of Egyptian ornamentation aresymbolic, such as thescarab, or sacred beetle, thesolar disk, and thevulture. Other common motifs includepalmleaves, thepapyrusplant, and the buds and flowers of thelotus.Hieroglyphswere inscribed for decorative purposes as well as to record historic events or spells.AncientEgyptian temples were aligned withastronomically significant events, such assolsticesandequinoxes, requiring precise measurements at the moment of the particular event. Measurements at the most significant temples may have been ceremonially undertaken by thePharaohhimself.
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Egyptian Architecture
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Egyptian Architecture
The word Mastabacomes from the Arabic word for "bench", because when seen from a distance it resembles a bench.Inside the mastaba, a deep chamber was dug into the ground and lined with stone or bricks. The exterior buildingmaterials were initially bricks made of sun dried mud which was readily available from theNile River. Even as moredurable materials of stone came into use, the cheaper and easily available mud bricks were used for all but the mostimportant monumental structures. The above-ground structure was rectangular in shape, had sloping sides, a flatroof, was about four times as long as it was wide, and rose to at least 30 feet in height. The mastabawas built with anorth-south orientation. This above ground structure had space for a small offering chapel equipped with afalse doorto which priests and family members brought food and other offerings for the soul of the deceased. A second hiddenchamber called a "serdab", from theArabic
word for “cellar,” housed a statue of the deceased that was hidden within
the masonry for its protection. High up the walls of the serdab
were small openings. These openings “were not meant
for viewing the statue but rather for allowing the fragrance of burning incense, and possibly the spells spoken inrituals, to reach the statue.
The Tombs-Mastabas
 
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