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BOOK REVIEW PRESENTATION REVIEWED BY MADHU MALUKANI (SA 1103)
Kostof emphasizes on the study of architecture as a whole and said, "All buildings of the past, regardless of size or status or consequence, should ideally be deemed worthy of study." His approach to architectural history stresses on urbanism along with architectural works and shows how buildings are embedded in their physical and social contexts. Kostof’s book A History of Architecture: Settings and rituals embodies these ideas and illustrates his new perspectives towards architectural study. Kostof shares four points which he has followed in his study. f architecture‐ wherein he regards g structure and aesthetics as inseparable; p The oneness of The setting of architecture‐ buildings can not be studied in isolation from immediate context; The community of architecture‐cultural values of the society which prevent architecture from being merely a build form; The meaning of architecture‐ wherein he discusses the reason, time and purpose behind the building being what it is.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The book is divided into three segments: The first reveals the origin and development of early cities with reference to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and other relevant civilizations. The second part discusses the medieval period, studying the urbanization of European countries until the 18th century and the third part discusses the influences of modernism. Kostof has not followed a strict chronological pattern in his depiction. The sequence is merely on the degree of evolution, yet, at times, he has laid parallels to compare the time frame. For instance he has linked the emergence of g of the Stonehenge. g This gives g the reader the clear idea of time frame of various Sumer with the third rearrangement events and thereby comparisons between various civilizations can be established. While explaining the cultural and religious aspects in relation to the city, Kostof has not neglected other details such as construction techniques and materials and their availability, hence giving a complete overview of the civilization. I have focused my study on the first few chapters which discuss the Neolithic era and the early settlements which set the foundations of urban revolution and the cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
THE RISE OF THE CITY : ARCHITECTURE IN WESTERN ASIA
• THE URBAN REVOLUTION • BEFORE THE CITIES‐ NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENTS
JERICHO, KHIROKITIA AND CATALHOYUK
• CITIES OF MESOPOTAMIA
y This gives g us the other accepted p character of The word civilization derives from the Latin word ‘civitas’. and keep written records of their transactions and beliefs. in two spots of near east. or organize food production. we have imbued the city with positive qualities the absence of which has tended to downgrade other social organisms’.. But Kostof questions the fact that civilized life can not exist outside of cities and says. civilized humanity‐‐‐ that it has for its theatre of activities an intricate artifact. there were contemporary literate cultures that knew how to work metal. which means city. He validates this with illustrations of three settlements which qualify as a town: Jericho. ‘in correlating urbanism and civilized history. the time of the third rearrangement of the Stonehenge.URBAN REVOLUTION “Near East‐ The Cradle Of Civilization” This dates back to the second millennium B.C. While Neolithic Europe carried on a stone‐using peasant economy. Khirokitia and Catalhoyuk. Mesopotamia and Egypt. the city. . “Being Civilized” .
8000‐700 B.BEFORE THE CITIES : NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENTS MAP: WESTERN ASIA.C. BC .
C. Several public buildings set aside with for worship were interwoven with the houses. (ISRAEL). The cluster pattern was dominant and hence the streets were missing. The later houses (6500 B. The earliest houses dating back to 7500 B. 7500 B.C.) were rectangular with rounded corners. . The earliest surviving town. missing The most important feature of this settlement was fortification.C. arranged around courtyards which were used for cooking. The story begins with the life giving source of fresh water (now called Elisha’s fountain) where hunters settled for agriculture. probably an imitation of round tents of the nomadic hunters. had domed houses of mud‐brick with an entrance porch and curved walls.JERICHO.
C. The fort was overseen by a massive round tower.The settlement covered about 3 hectares and once having reached its optimum spread. This dates backs to 7500 B. that have been interpreted as water cisterns. JERICHO. was fortified by a stone wall. probably acting as curtain of defense. .C. which was intimate with a series of mud‐brick enclosures. 7500 B. TOWER BUILT AGAINST SIDE OF SETTLEMENT WALL (FORTIFICATION).
KHIROKITIA. uphill. ca. forms the main spine. KHIROKITIA. This settlement shows the presence of first true street. Hence growth was not restricted. The street also showed a presence of halting place in the form of a widened platform which can be considered an antecedent to a city square.C. 5500 B. The street running from the riverbank. (CYPRUS).. Khirokita had an open composition with houses on either side of the street. NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENT. 5500 B. Unlike Jericho which was a closed town. PLAN SHOWING STREET SPINE AND HOUSES .C.
The street was built of limestone and raised considerably above ground level. There was a sense of common belonging and hence a social maturity concerning its maintenance . AN OBLIQUE VIEW OF THE AREA MARKED AS AN INSET. hence prevented erosion and also contributed stability to the houses. . Presence of such a thoroughfare had both organizational and social benefits. KHIROKITIA . VILLAGE SQUARE.
this Neolithic settlement rests on a new rationale‐trade. Besides hunting and agriculture. as metallurgy was not fully practiced until the cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt. tools and p EXCAVATIONS AT CATALHOYUK. (TURKEY). smiths making ornaments and public markets in the midst of urban fabric. Obsidian (black volcanic glass) was the main article for trade.CATALHOYUK. GODDESS POTTERY . The settlement is believed to be enriched with shops of merchants of leather and fur. Another important skill they possessed was working with metal.C. This was too early for such technical knowledge. 7000 B. Obsidian tools were probably traded for sea shells and flint from Syria. CATALHOYUK IMAGE OF GODDESS.
NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENT. decor CATALHOYUK.The settlement was neither open nor closed. ca. . The shrines were laid on the same scheme as houses. The buildings were grouped into tight quarters and which opened up an occasional courtyard.C. It also acted as a smoke stack. RECONSTRUCTION VIEW OF RESIDENTIAL AREA 7000 B. A continuous blank wall faced the y countryside. Plaster reliefs of mother goddess resembling to imagery of old stone age formed the surface decor. Entry of the houses was through a hole in the flat roof reached by a wooden ladder.. Streets were absent.
THE CITIES OF MESOPOTAMIA • LAYOUT OF CITIES • TEMPLES AND ZIGGURATS • PALACES .
THE CITIES OF MESOPOTAMIA MAP: MESOPOTAMIA .
C.C.) Rise of empire. Its history is divided into four broad segments of chronology.C.) ) • Early Kingship and establishment of hereditary kingship Monumental palace as an administrative centre Raising the defensive system of the city • Later Sumerian Period (upto 1600 B. • Protoliterate Period (3500‐ 3000 B.C.) Battlements of ringwalls Temple and ziggurat began to gain architectural definition First written document y Dynastic y Period (3000 ( ‐2350 B.C.) was the first settlement qualified as a city and the first to exhibit the writing tradition.) The northern region flourished at the expense of lower Mesopotamia imposing state reliefs and palaces accompanied by decline in position of ziggurat .Mesopotamia (from the fourth millennium B. collective rule of city‐states High point of building type of ziggurat ( ziggurat of Ur‐ Nammu) • The Assyrian Period (1350‐ 612 B.
an example of a bazaar was found: a concentration of little booths along a narrow passage with doors at either ends. The two monumental centers were the ziggurat complex overseen by the palace.LAYOUT OF CITIES History before the Early Dynastic period is still blurred. The urban fabric was a promiscuous blend of residential and commercial buildings.C. However by b then h about b a d dozen cities h had d fl flourished h d in Sumer and towards north in Babylon. . UR (IRAQ). SCHEMATIC PLAN OF THE CITY. The cities were enclosed by a wall and surrounded by suburban villages and hamlets. At Ur. Ample squares and public gardens were rare. 2000 B. ca.
C. Even while replacement. the house was raised to the ceiling using the ground as service vault. the plan of the older house had a direct bearing as the ruins were used as foundation. There were no windows towards the outside and everything opened into the courtyard. PLAN OF RESIDENTIAL AREA. UR. against the orthogonal neat design of architects. Traffic was mostly pedestrian. 2000 B. When the ground level got buried considerably. These led to public buildings and were bordered with the houses of the rich. “The architectural metabolism constantly transformed the makeup of the cityscape which was held together by stiffer f streets.” skeleton of The level of the streets rose due to the dumping of refuse leading to sinking floor levels. however service carts and chariots have also been excavated.Street width for principle thoroughfares was not more than 3 meters. Houses were grouped into congested blocks sharing party walls. .
UR COURTYARD OF RESIDENTIAL QUARTER. RECONSTRUCTION DRAWING . RESIDENTIAL QUARTER BETWEEN THE ZIGGURAT PRECINCT AND THE WEST HARBOR.LEFT: UR. PLAN ABOVE: UR.
ZIGGURAT PRECINCT. The temple complex was the hub of an economic system that has been described as “theocratic socialism”. By 3500 B. .C. and a table for offerings. 2113‐2006 B.C. attack The temple stood on a tremendous platform called the ziggurat and was free of the pressures of density in its ample precinct. They y had two standard features: a niche of epiphany marked by the statue of deity or an alter. THIRD DYNASTY.TEMPLES AND ZIGGURATS Small shrines were scattered through g out the fabric. the evolved into monumental temples. It was surrounded by its own protective wall. forming the last bulwark against attack.. UR.
t l placed l d in i open landscape at the highest of the city. the urban temple exhibited a different approach.. which was an open lofted undisturbed structure. This is in complete contrast to white temple at Warka. The temple became the innermost of f a series of f enclosed spaces with a single entrance in one of its long sides.The experience Th i of f ziggurat i t temple t l rested t d on reverential ti l climbing. OVAL TEMPLE.C. 2650‐2350 B. RIGHT: WARKA. li bi However H unlike lik the th earlier li temples. LEFT: KHAFAJE. Dedicated to lesser deities. . 3500‐3000 B. WHITE TEMPLE. Sin temple II at Khafaje f illustrates the result of f this condition. it was built closer to the living space of the city and was surrounded by common structures.C. ca.
the principal one being the palace of the king. ca.C. . SSU . C. which then completely dominated the cityscape. A During the Assyrian period. ca ca. B C D SKETCH PLANS SHOWING RELATIONSHIP OF ZIGGURAT (RED) AND ROYAL PALACE (GREEN) : A.C.C. 2000 B. ca. AT ASSUR. 700 B. AT UR.C. 1800 800 B. ca. 1200 B. C B. D.PALACES The ziggurat gg in time lost some physical p y prominence p to other focal p points of the urban fabric. AT ASSUR. the ziggurat became a mere adjunct to the king’s palace. AT KHORSABAD.
The proportions got reversed here. ca.A similar phenomenon was observed a Mari at about 1750 B. and so on. . with its walls. temples. 1750 B. offices. palace here behaved as a The p microcosm of the city. schools.C. GROUND PLAN . ROYAL PALACE AT MARI.C. residences.
THE POSITION OF ZIGGURAT IN THE PALACE COMPLEX. LEFT: KHORSABAD. Kh b d The palace here.The final Th fi l debasement d b of f the h ziggurat i occurred d at Khorsabad. rather than being surrounded by the fabric of the city. ABOVE: KHORSABAD. The palace which had started out as an accessory to the ziggurat. into a theatre of absolute power and intimidation. THE PALACE IN RELATION TO THE CITY . now grew at the expense of it. showed its back to the city walls.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT • THE LAND OF EGYPT • THE BURIAL OF KINGS • THE TIME OF THE GODS • ENDURANCE OF THE CULT .
ARCHITECTURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT MAP: ANCIENT EGYPT .
C. Later King Menes of Upper Egypt invaded the north and unified the country and established its capital at Memphis. : Architecture showed great advances during this period. • MIDDLE KINGDOM KINGDOM. 2250‐ 1570 B B. which included the Delta region until Memphis and Upper Egypt . . 1600‐1300 B. : Marked by the emergence of absolute Kingship. • ARCHAIC PERIOD.This sophisticated culture of river settlements is attributed with conservatism. • Neolithic village life along Nile developed into two independent polities: Lower Egypt. h t towards d th the end d of f thi third d millennium. This coincides with the Protoliterate Period in Mesopotamia. Dominance of religion over funerary architecture and priesthood over kingship was observed.C. beginning with brick tombs and palaces it evolved to stone monuments like those at Saqqara. • NEW DINGDOM. b l This h era also witnessed alien invasions. until 2150 B. the rule of Pharaoh.C. southwards until Aswan. ill i came to an end and the capital was established at Thebes. C : Th The period i d of f social i l and d political liti l chaos. about 3000 B. 3000‐ 2665 B. • OLD KINGDOM. This coincides with the early dynastic period in Mesopotamia.C. The architectural sequel was followed by true pyramids as those at Giza. : Monumental l temple l architecture h flourished fl h d as distinct d from f the h royal l burials.C. or rather the balance it sustains between innovation and tradition.
often back to back. PLAN SHOWING WORKERS’ HOUSING TO THE LEFT. and an enclosed compound or the king king.LAND OF EGYPT The Egyptian gyp river was subject j to unfailingly g y regular g and benign g flooding g which left the deposits p of rich black soil. This accounts as a remarkable difference between Mesopotamian and Egyptian order. mostly north and south. EL KAHUN. This narrow fertile strip of valley was rigidly divided into fields. Things ran along Nile. a quarter of large mansions for government officials. the boundaries of which had to be re‐established after every period of flooding. Orthogonal planning came naturally both in the field division and in the design of cities. El Kahun exhibits a fine example of this wherein the standardized buildings are grouped into special zones – brick row houses for workers and craftsmen. AND AMPLER GOVERNMENT QUARTERS TO THE RIGHT . or at right angles to it.
DIAGRAMMATIC PLAN OF LAYOUT. as seen in Mesopotamian ziggurat complexes. This linear character is evoked in royal burials and temples also which appear like a series of episodes along a predetermined path built over time. The belief that death was not a final thing but merely the passage to another region. ft lif AMARNA (UPPER EGYPT). axis The repetitive cycle of flooding of the river projected an eternal order. region It also acted as a major highway highway. a number of buildings with independent boundary walls were grouped together but with no unifying axis. SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP TO THE NILE AND THE COURSE OF THE MAIN STREETS. was manifestation of the same. . One’s tomb was like one’s house. built to last for eternity t it to t sustain t i the th theatres th t of f afterlife.Nile axis connected and unified the whole region. In contrast to this.
BELOW: SAQQARA (LOWER EGYPT). At Saqqara.C. MORTUARY COMPLEX OF FIRST DYNASTY . 3100‐ 2890 B. the Pharaoh was given a double burial. as a result of unification of Egypt. In later years. ABOVE: CENOTAPH AT ABYDOS (UPPER EGYPT). side and a wooden boat alongside the tomb to carry the pharaoh across heaven. sacred site of Osiris and the actual body at Saqqara. there several additional rooms holding king’s possessions. additional features were added. symbolically at Abydos. ROYAL TUMULUS TOMB OF FIRST DYNASTY. small mortuary temple on the north side.THE BURIAL OF KINGS EARLY BURIALS At first. in addition to the Burial chambers.
2680 B. earliest example of clear storey lighting 4. a simple stone mastaba was placed over it which enlarged in the course of construction. 3. MORTUARY COMPLEX OF KING ZOSER. Grand court 5. timber and plant forms of Egyptian architecture in hard medium of stone. a celebration of the re‐consecration of his reign 7. ca.ZOSER’S PYRAMID COMPLEX 11 9 8 The Saqqara tomb of Zoser. Step pyramid 13. THIRD DYNASTY. Serdab: room holding a seated statue of Zoser as a substitute for the king's body 11. 7 1. Enclosing wall 2 Entrance gate 2. 10 12 13 14 6 4 5 3 1 2 SAQQARA. . H of f the th north th 9. Designed by architect Imhotep. this is exceptionally not organized on the Egyptian principle of axial sequence. Court of the serdab 10. burial place of king’s entrails 6. House of the south 8 House 8. Sarcophagus chamber 14. Heb Sed court: for the ritual of Heb‐Sed. into a six stepped pyramid. Initially. Colonnade entry hall: with a lifted roof. this was the first interpretation of brick. Mortuary temple 12. Mastaba The body lay beneath the pyramid.C. Southern Mastaba and Offering room: a representation of royal cenotaph at Abydos. in a granite sarcophagus chamber.
It probably stood for the mound of creation whose summit was the resting place of Sun. an effect visually close to the Mesopotamian ziggurat. PYRAMID . It was also thought of as the staircase of divine ascent which led the king to heaven.The d Th desire i to monumentalize li the h tomb b and d make k it i stand d out above b the h perimeter i of f the h wall. and the pyramid was a representation of the same. RIGHT: STATUE OF KING ZOSER IN SERDAB LEFT: ZOSER COMPLEX‐ DUMMY CHAPEL. of aspiration. The king was identified with sun god Re. ll i is obvious. b i Six Si unequal l stages also give a sense of climbing.
THE PYRAMID GROUP. Chefren and Cheops. that of Mykerinos (the latest). THIRD DYNASTY. the true form of pyramid was arrived at. after subsequent attempts. ). At Giza. . 2570‐2500 B. ca.C. . GIZA ( (LOWER EGYPT).THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA To etherealize the staircase and to make the royal tomb a worth symbol of Sun. there are three separate pyramid complexes.
This is then followed by the stone mountain of the pyramid where the body lays. in front of the Sphinx. is reserved for offerings for the sustenance of the body. G PLAN OF O CHEFREN C CO COMPLEX S O SHOWING G THE MORTUARY TEMPLE (1). The mortuary temple begins with a T shaped hall followed by an open court. S hi a leonine l i body with portrait‐head of the king. THE VALLEY TEMPLE (3) AND THE SPHINX(4) WITH THE TEMPLE OF HARMAKHIS (5) ABOVE: REMAINS OF THE MORTUARY TEMPLE BELOW: REMAINS OF THE SPHINX GROUP . stands temple of Harmakhis. From here.The pyramid Th id of f Chefren Ch f i known is k f the for h noble bl form f of f Sphinx. At the east of the complex. glorified with statues of Chefren. that follows. 1 4 5 2 3 LEFT: GIZA. the body is transferred to the mortuary temple via a covered causeway that bridges the sphinx group and the pyramid. THE CAUSEWAY (2). Another valley temple stands next to it. The innermost sanctum.
and these were now dominated by the new chief deity of the national religion. The pyramid now did not even hold the real tomb. The tomb tomb’s s scale shrank and the mortuary temple grew bigger competing with the proper pyramid form. g . sun‐god Amon.THE TIME OF GODS After the term of three Giza kings. The main feature of these temples were open court containing an obelisk mounted on a podium. By the time of the New Kingdom. which had moved elsewhere within the complex. the immediate successor felt it necessary y to enhance the pyramid py settings g at Abusir with separate sun temples in the honor of Re. the pyramid was no longer a royal prerogative. The emphasis had shifted from the visual glorification of the ruler to the pious rites of the burial cult. .
scheme Being a woman. It takes the compromised supremacy of the pharaoh a little further. Amon His successor successor. the modern Karnak. woman her unusual and precarious position created an added urgency to demonstrate nearness to god. .DEIR EL‐BAHRI‐ MENTUHOTEP MENTUHOTEP’S S TOMB The entire scheme of Mentuhotep was oriented towards the newly started temple of Amon across the river. Hatshepsut marched forward with the same scheme. THEBES. intending to satisfy the provincial aristocracy and the priesthood of Amon. PLAN SHOWING RELATIONSHIP OF TEMPLES AT DEIR EL‐BAHRI AND KARNAK . Queen Hatshepsut.
. so has the unroofed causeway line with statues of king. DEIR EL‐BAHRI (UPPER EGYPT). a terrace cut out of the rock.C. His real tomb lay deep in the cliff. a narrow unit comprising of a court and a hypostyle hall. The complex now consists of a large forecourt planted with trees. The king’s king s share of the central space was marked only by a cenotaph cenotaph. . cliff approached by a long underground tunnel that started in the small court behind the temple.The valley temple has disappeared. THE MORTUARY TEMPLES OF MENTUHOTEP 2050 B. on which the mortuary temple stood. . AND QUEEN HATSHEPSHUT. The pyramid was altogether absent from the queen’s complex. 1500 B..C.
PLAN: THE MORTUARY TEMPLES OF MENTUHOTEP AND HATSHEPSHUT .DEIR EL‐BAHRI.
KARNAK AND LUXOR The two temple compounds were linked with one another by an avenue of ram‐headed sphinxes. SITE . between the two stood the palaces and administrative buildings. ldi MONTU KARNAK. TEMPLE OF AMON MUT LUXOR KARNAK. They functioned like social and economic centers whose administrators exercised power in accordance d with ith th the wealth lth of f th their i h holdings. TEMPLE OF AMON.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT . The progression emerges as ‘a ritual path. and a historic path. from the most recent reigns of the New Kingdom. KARNAK. TEMPLE OF AMON. to the oldest foundation that marked the sacred site’. the Ethiopian and Ptolemaic dynasties.The temples are endowed with multiple pylons and courts . from the most public spaces to the holy of holies.
The whole complex became active during the yearly mystic marriage of Amon and Mut. THE GREAT HYPOSTYLE HALL . crossing Mut . LUXOR RAMSES II PYLON. TOP: LUXOR. when a progression took place starting from Luxor. RIGHT: THE AVENUE OF RAM‐HEADED SPINXES LEADING TO THE AMON TEMPLE. LEFT: AMON TEMPLE. crossing the pylons of the karnak precinct finally towards Amon temple.
There were no significant modifications in the temple type. Greek empire of Alexander the Great until the Roman. a period of Ethiopian rule followed by Persian.C.ENDURANCE OF THE CULT The p primacy y of Amon was never successfully y challenged g in the New Kingdom. The later period. around first millennium B. it continued to grow under the benevolent approval of alien rulers anxious to gain the support of the conservative Amon priesthood. observed the succession of foreign dominations. g The priesthood p continued to g grow in strength g at the expense of pharaonic supremacy.. .
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