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ARC 110

History of Architecture I
Module 4
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Module Outline
Lecture 10
Historical Background
Location and period
Social characteristics and beliefs
Architecture of the Civilization
Early Kingdom Tombs
Lecture 11
Early kingdom Tombs continue
Middle and New Kingdom Burial Chambers
Lecture 12
Middle and New Kingdom Burial Chambers Continue
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Architectural Elements
Lecture 13
Architectural Characteristics
Buildings and other architectural elements
Building materials, construction and technologies
Architectural Organizing principles
Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Learning Outcomes
What we expect to learn from the civilization:
The influence of geographical location on social life
and architecture
Architecture as a store of social history
Architecture of pyramids, tombs and temples
Evolution of architectural elements of column, beam,
obelisk, wall relief and clerestory lighting
Architectural principles emphasizing mass rather than
space and linearity and axiality as organizing
principles
Module 4 Lecture 10
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Outline of Lecture
Lecture 10
Historical Background
Location and period
Social characteristics and beliefs
Architecture of the Civilization
Early Kingdom Tombs
Mastaba
Stepped Pyramid
Geometrical Pyramid
Historical Background
Historical Background
Location
Located in Africa on the
northern edge of the Sahara
The Nile bisects through the
land from the south to the north
The Nile is a seasonal river that
overflows its bank yearly to
create a fertile valley
The Ancient Egyptians lived in
the fertile valley and grew their
crops
They buried their dead in the
desert
Historical Background
Period
The history of ancient Egypt started with the
land divided into upper and lower Egypt
The two regions were frequently at war with
each other
Around 3000 BC, King Menes united the two
into a single nation
Unification brought about peace that led to the
development of ancient Egyptian Civilization
Historical Background
Period
The history of ancient Egypt is divided into
periods based on ruling dynasties
Seven periods can be identified;
4500 to 2000 BC Early Dynastic
2350 2200 BC Old Kingdom
2000- 1600 BC First Intermediate period
1600 1717 BC Middle Kingdom
1350 612 BC Second Intermediate Period
612 539 BC New Kingdom
539 330 BC Greek-Roman Period
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Importance of the Nile
The Nile and its delta was
the guiding force of
ancient Egyptian
civilization
It was a very predictable
river, overflowing its
banks every year from
J uly to October
The floods leave a rich
black silt that is fertile and
is farmed by the people
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Importance of the Nile
During the floods, people were freed from farming to
engage in other activities including building work
The Nile was also the highway of Egypt connecting
upper and lower Egypt
The Nile also offered protection from Invasion by
outsiders
The Nile offered a symbolic sense of direction to the
people, forming the primary principle in architectural
organization
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Government
At the center of ancient
Egyptian civilization
was a strong central
government headed by
pharaohs
The pharaohs provided
Stability and a unified
sense of purpose
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Religion
Ancient Egyptians were
a religious people
They believed in many
Gods
Different symbols were
used to represent the
Gods and temples were
built and dedicated to
them
The pharaohs were also
held as living Gods
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Religion
Egyptians also believed in life after death
They believed that when they die, their souls
called Ka would live in them for ever
For the Ka to live, it needed either the body of
the dead person or a copy of it in the form a
statue
The Ka will return each night to the body or
statue
If both the body and statue are destroyed,
then the Ka would die
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Mummification
To ensure the availability
of a body to the ka of a
dead person, the
Egyptians developed a
process of preservation
called mummification
The process involves
cutting open the body and
removing all the internal
organs and brain
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Mummification
The body is then packed in natron to dry it out
It is then soaked in oil to preserve it
Next it is wrapped in a special cloth called mummy
cloth
The mummy is then coated with wax and a face
painted onto its wrapped head
The mummification of a pharaoh took a period of 72
days
Once mummification is finished, burial ceremonies
are performed and the body is ready for burial
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
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
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Architectural Ideas
They believed that a
dead person needs
all his worldly goods
The tomb was usually
packed with all the
treasures of a dead
person
If anything cannot be
provided, it is painted
on the walls of the
tomb
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Architectural Ideas
Tombs also have
charms to protect the
dead person & his
property
The dead were buried
in cities of the dead,
called Necropolis
located in the desert
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
Achievements
Ancient Egyptians had many achievements
This included a developed system of government, a
belief system and art of mummification already
discussed
They also left a legacy of tombs and temples that we
will study
The Egyptians develop a system of irrigation to
improve agriculture
The ancient Egyptians invented the hieroglyphics
systems of writing
Historians were able to read hieroglyphics following
the discovery of the Rosetta stone
Architecture of the Civilization
Architecture of the Civilization
Introduction
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 life time
Architecture of the Civilization
Introduction
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 stepped
pyramid to the renown ancient Egyptian
pyramid
We will examine each of these next
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
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
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 feel below ground
It was connected to burial
chamber above ground
through a shaft
The burial chamber is the
place for the burial of the
dead person
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 after life
After burial, the shaft to
the burial chamber is
sealed
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
The statue acts as a
substitute for body in
case it is destroyed
Early Kingdom Tombs
Mastaba
Egyptians believe 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
for ever
It is a colorful room meant to deceive the gods
into letting the ka enter the next world
Had a false door leading to the land of the
dead
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
End of Lecture
Module 4 Lecture 10
Module 4 Lecture 11
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Outline of Lecture
Lecture 11
Early Kingdom Tombs Continue
Stepped Pyramid
Pyramid
Middle and New Kingdom Burial Chambers
Mortuary Temples
Architecture of the Civilization
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
King Zoser was the powerful pharaoh of
the third dynasty of the old kingdom
The stepped 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
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
Dissatisfaction with the
result led to the stacking
of mastaba one on top of
another
The result was the
stepped pyramid with five
sloping setbacks
The stepped pyramid is
the intermediate step
between mastaba and
geometric pyramid
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
Stepped pyramid was 200 feet
high with 6 giant steps
The burial chamber is entered
from the north side and is 92
feet down
On either side of the chamber
are store rooms for the kings
treasures
All the treasures buried with
Zoser have long been stolen
A stone statue of zoser was
also recently found staring out
through peep holes in his
Serdab
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
The Serdab is located
on the north side, along
with the funerary temple
The stepped pyramid
stands at the middle of
a large complex
The funeral complex
consisted of palaces,
temples and the
stepped pyramid
They were all
surrounded by a fence
wall 33 feet high
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
The fence wall of the funeral complex has a breaking
pattern of about 200 projections and recessions
Fourteen of these were larger than the others and 13 out
of the fourteen had false doors
The false doors were for the use of the pharaohs ka
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
The entrance door
leads to a long hall
having two rows of
columns
This is one of the first
uses of columns in
history
The columns were
designed to look like
bundles of reeds and
had flutes
Early Kingdom Tombs
Stepped Pyramid
In the north palace is also
found stone columns with
capitals
They were designed to look
like the papyrus plant
Zosers funeral complex was
designed as a model of his
palace, city and kingdom
The shape of the pyramid
suggest a stairway to the sky
to join the sun God Amon Ra
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 were the
pyramid at Medun and two pyramids built
by Snefru at Dashur
Early Kingdom Tomb
Attempts at Pyramid Building
King Huni made the first
attempt at building a pure
pyramid at Medun
He constructed a seven
stepped pyramid with a
square plan and height of
90 meters and an angle
of incline of 51 degrees
The pyramid did not have
a mortuary temple
Early Kingdom Tomb
Attempts at Pyramid Building
Pharoah Snefru made
two attempts at pyramid
construction
His first pyramid, the Bent
pyramid at Dashur had a
square plan with a height
of 102 meters
The pyramid had a
change of angle midway,
leading to its being called
the bent pyramid
Early Kingdom Tomb
Attempts at Pyramid Building
Snefrus second
pyramid, the north
pyramid, is the place
he was buried
It had a low pitch of
43 degrees instead of
52 degrees making it
look stunted
A true pyramid has an
incline angle of 52
degreess
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Pyramids at Giza
The construction of a
true geometrical pyramid
was achieved during the
reign of Cheops, son of
Snefru
This was located at Giza
This pyramid is called the
Great Pyramid because
of its size
The pyramid is 482 ft high
on a plan 760 ft square
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Pyramids at Giza
Two additional pyramids
were subsequently built
at Giza
The second largest in the
center was built by
Chefren, the son of
Cheops
The third and smallest
was built by Mykerinus,
the son of Chefren
The three together are
referred to as the
pyramids at Giza
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Pyramids at Giza
The three are aligned
diagonally along the
projection of the
diagonal of the great
pyramid
The small pyramids
close to them were
built for their Queens
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Great Pyramid Cheops
The great pyramid has a
unique internal
arrangement
First it has a chamber
built below the base of
the pyramid
Another chamber was
built above it known as
the queens chamber
A larger burial chamber
known as the kings
chamber was built at the
center of the pyramid
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Great Pyramid Cheops
This is the chamber where
the king was buried in his
Sarcophagus
The kings chamber was 35 ft
by 17ft in plan and 19ft high
Both the king and queen
chamber are connected to
the entrance on the north
side
Two air shafts also connect
the kings chamber to outside
for ventilation
Once a king is buried, the
burial chamber was sealed
forever
Early Kingdom Tomb
Pyramid
The pyramids were
designed as part of a funeral
complex for the burial of a
pharaoh
Chefrens complex is the
best preserved example
The 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
Early Kingdom Tomb
Burial Ceremony
The death of a pharaoh marked the beginning of
a grand funeral
Hundreds of ships and barges filled with nobles
and priest sailed the Nile from Memphis to Giza
The largest barge carried the body of the
pharaoh
Early Kingdom Tomb
Burial Ceremony
The boats docked at the lower valley
temple where the body was carried to the
roof for mummification
At the end of 72 days, an opening of the
mouth ceremony was performed
A procession carried the pharaohs body
along the causeway to the pyramid
mortuary temple
Early Kingdom Tomb
Burial Ceremony
This temple had many small chapels each
with false doors
Many statues of the pharaoh were place in
the temple so that his ka could come back
each night
After prayers to the God Osiris, the body
was lowered through the secret opening on
the north side to his burial chamber
There he was laid in his stone
Sarcophagus
Early Kingdom Tomb
Burial Ceremony
Rich treasure was heaped on him
The passage was filled with rock and
sealed forever
Now it was time for the pharaohs ka to
pass to the land of the dead
The funeral complex shows the earliest
development of the components of the
newkingdom temple
Early Kingdom Tomb
The Sphinx at Giza
Located in Giza is the
great Sphinx with the
body of a lion and head of
chefren
The reason for its
construction is not clear
A theory hold that it was
produced from leftover
material
It may also have been
carved to stand guard
over the temple and tomb
of Chefren
Early Kingdom Tomb
Pyramid Construction
How were the pyramids constructed?
There is no accurate knowledge about the
method of construction of the pyramids
It is believed that 100,000 men worked 3
months each year for 30 years to build the
pyramids
The lime stone used was quarried from nearby
and transported by lever action
They were paid in food, clothing and drinks
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 gargantuan size
The pyramids were also a
product of the will to
achieve immortality by the
pharaohs
The pyramids are the
everlasting home of the
pharaohs ka
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 also afford the cost of
huge pyramid construction
Grave robbers also learned how to break into
and steal the goods buried with pharaohs
The end of the Old Kingdom therefore marked
the end of the great era of Egyptian pyramid
construction.
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
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temples Introduction
Mortuary temples served as the place for the burial and
worship of pharaohs
Temples dedicated to Gods were also located in them
Mortuary temples owe their origin to the pyramid funeral
complex, particular the valley and pyramid temples
Underground tombs became popular because of the
belief that they could not be robbed
Many power and wealthy pharaohs and noblemen
carved their 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
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep
Two mortuary temples
were built at Del al
Bahari; mortuary temple
of Mentuhotep and
Hatshepsut
Mentuhotep was the first
Pharaoh of the middle
kingdom
He built the first mortuary
temple at Del-al Bahari
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep
The temple is terraced in
two levels
The upper terrace is
faced with double
colonnades
At the center is a core
believed to have a small
pyramid on top
The pyramid is believed
to be a dummy burial
chamber
End of Lecture
Module 4 Lecture 11
Module 4 Lecture 12
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Outline of Lecture
Lecture 12
Middle and New Kingdom Burial Chambers
Rock Cut Tombs
Shaft Tombs
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
Temple of Amon
Other Temples
Other Architectural Elements
Columns, Relief carving, Obelisk, & Sphinxes
Architecture of the Civilization
Continue
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep
Entrance to the real tomb
is found at the rear from
the western courtyard
The burial tomb is
accessible through a
ramp leading down at the
center of the court yard
J ust like the pyramid
funeral complexes, the
temple of Mentuhotep
also has a causeway
leading to a valley temple
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
Queen Hatshepsuts temple was built 500 years
after that of Mentuhotep during the new kingdom
Hatsheptsut was the only female pharaoh to rule
Egypt
When Her husband Pharaoh Tutmosis died, her
step son was too young to rule
She therefore became the ruler
Even when he grew old, she would not allow him
to rule and crowned herself pharaoh
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
She dressed as a pharaoh, wearing mens cloth
with a false beard attached to her chin
The temple of Mentuhotep served as a model in
the design of her temple
Her extraordinary funeral temple located at Del-
Al-Bahari, is set against the background of the
cliffs
The architect of her temple is believed to be
Senmut who is also buried in the temple
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
The temple of Hatshepsut is
like a giant stage on three
levels
Each of the three levels was
connected by a ramp
Her temple fits very well into
the tall rock cliffs behind it
On the top level is her chapel
dedicated to the goddess
Hathor
The chapel was dug out of the
rock cliff
Hatshepsut hid her tomb in the
deep rock cliffs to stop robbers
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
But her tomb was also
plundered and smashed into
a thousand pieces
Archeologist believe that her
son Tutmosis III poisoned
her to death and wrecked her
tomb
The temple of Hatshepsut
had no dominant mass
Instead, there was a strong
horizontal axis running
across the set of terraces
and perpendicular to the
mountains
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
Her temple was not a construction of stone
masses as in the pyramids
It was rather a play of the emptiness of terraces,
ramps and courtyards against the busy
background of the cliffs
Her temple captures the shift from the compact
geometry of the old kingdom pyramids to the
linear composition of the New Kingdom temples
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
Mid & New Kingdom Burial-Cham
Underground Tomb- Rock Cut Tomb
Beni Hassan consist of
3 elements:
A colonnade entrance
portico for public
worship
Behind the 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
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
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
The large number of
rooms and their
complicated arrangement
is deliberately done to
create a maze or puzzle
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
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Introduction
The Middle Kingdom lasted
for 275 years
The New Kingdom started
after the end of second
intermediate period
The New Kingdom lasted
for 500 years
During the New Kingdom,
the capital of ancient Egypt
moved from Memphis to
Thebes
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Introduction
The most important and common
architectural elements of the New Kingdom
were temples
Several temples were built dedicated to
Egyptian Gods
The New Kingdom Temples borrowed a lot
of elements from the funeral complexes at
Giza
They also borrowed elements from the
Mortuary temples at Del-Al-Bahari
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Introduction
The borrowed elements include:
Long approaches
Guardian sphinxes
Collonaded vestibules and inner courts
Darkening shrines
Intricate linear progression of constructed space
The New Kingdom temples allow a series of
experiences passing in stages from openness
and light in the exterior to interior closure and
darkness
This feeling was deliberate as only the Pharaoh
and priest were allowed into the inner part of
temples
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Introduction
Many examples of the
New Kingdom
temples are found at
Karnak and Luxor, all
in Thebes
An avenue of
sphinxes connects
the two sites
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
The temple of Khons
at Karnak is a good
example of a simple
New Kingdom Cult
Temple
This temple show an
example of the
components and
organization of a
typical temple
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
This is dedicated to the God
Amun
A person approaching first
meets the entrance wall
called pylon
The pylon is higher and
wider than the temple
behind it
The pylons were treated
with molding and decorated
relief carvings
Mast with royal and religious
flags fly in front of the pylon
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
Behind the pylon is the
peristyle courtyard
Made up of a row of twin
colonnades on two or more
sides and was open to the
sun
It is the only place where
common people were allowed
to enter
Beyond the Peristyle
courtyard is the hypostyle hall
Hypostyle means room with
many columns.
Peristyle hall and columns
painted in bright colors
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
The ceiling was usually
painted blue to resemble the
sky with stars twinkling
The columns in the center of
the hypostyle hall were
usually higher than on the
two other sides, giving the
room two roof levels
In between the two roofs,
windows were place to allow
light to enter
These are called clerestory
windows
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
A gate from the hypostyle hall
leads into the sanctuary
Only the pharaoh and the
priest were allowed here
In the sanctuary is found boats
or barges kept on stone
Each boat had a god inside
At the far end of the Sanctuary
are found chapels dedicated to
gods and goddesses
Here the priest washed, fed
and dressed statues of the
Gods each day
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Khons, Karnak
As you move from the pylon
into the temple, the roof
becomes lower and the
floor rises up
The inside is also slowly
darkened
The sanctuary is completely
dark except for small holes
over the chapel of the Gods
Every morning, the rays of
the sun awakened the Gods
The whole temple is
surrounded by a wall
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Amon, Karnak
All the other New Kingdom
temples have the same
components and sequences
of space found in temple of
Khons
They are usually more
elaborate in terms of scale,
enlargement and
duplication of elements
The temple of Amon,
Karnak is an example of the
more elaborate temples
It is the largest of the New
Kingdom temple and it grew
in a haphazard way
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Temple of Amon, Karnak
It is the largest of the New Kingdom temples and
it grew in a haphazard way
Built by at least 16 pharaohs over a period 1700
years
Each pharaoh added either a pylon, courtyard,
hypostyle hall or decorated on parts built by an
earlier pharaoh
Queen Hatshepsut, Tutmosis II and Rameses II
all added to the temple
The front pylon had two obelisk in front
Apart from the front pylon, the temple had two
additional pylons
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Temples
Arrangement of the hypostyle
hall is particularly stunning
It consist of 134 columns
arranged in 16 rows; 7 rows of
smaller columns on each side
framing 2 rows of larger columns
The larger columns are higher
and have a higher roof
Smaller columns were of closed
papyrus bud, while the larger
ones were of open buds
The open buds of the higher
column combined with lighting
from the clerestory window
creates an effect of lifting
towards light
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Temples- Temple of Luxor
There are several other
temples built during the
New kingdom
We will not be able to
review all the others[339]
Among the important
ones are:
The temple of Luxor
(1408-1300 BC)
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Temples- Temple of Seti
The Temple of Seti
(1312 BC)
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Temples
The Ramesseum
Thebes (1301 BC)
New Kingdom Cult Temples
Other Temples
The Great Temple
Abu Simbel (1301
BC)
Do take some time to
visit some of the
websites listed in the
ancient Egyptian
civilization notes to
learn more about
these temples
Other Architectural Elements
Columns
Egyptian architecture also
developed several unique
architectural elements
Includes Columns, relief
carving, and writing, the
obelisk and sphinxes
Egyptian column has its
origin in plant materials- the
lotus flower, papyrus plant
and the palm tree
Columns were design to
imitate the plants
Capitals were designed to
resemble a bud or bell form
of a flower
Other Architectural Elements
Relief Carving and Painting
Relief carving and
painting was used to
record history or
depict everyday social
Other Architectural Elements
Obelisk
The obelisk is an
element unique to
Egyptian architecture
It was carved as a
monolithic piece of
stone and erected in
front of temples
They were usually
dedicated to a
particular God,
pharaoh or nobleman
Other Architectural Elements
Sphinxes
Sphinxes are statues
with the body of a lion
and the head of the
God Horus
They are used to line
avenues leading to
temples
They are believed to
provide protection
They also reinforce the
axial planning of the
new kingdom temples
End of Lecture
Module 4 Lecture 12
Module 4 Lecture 13
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Outline of Lecture
Lecture 13
Architectural Characteristics
Buildings and other architectural elements
Building materials, construction and
technologies
Architectural Organizing principles
Architectural Characteristics
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Buildings
Two buildings types dominated ancient Egyptian
architecture; tombs and temples
Minimal attention was paid to houses because
belief
House were simple designed to last a life time
Effort was on buildings associated with the
afterlife
Tombs and temples were design to last forever
Tomb construction varied with the various period
of Egyptian civilization
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Buildings
During the early Kingdom, tomb construction
evolved from the Mastaba through the Stepped
pyramid to the Geometric Pyramid
At Giza, we see the ultimate development of the
Egyptian Pyramid
In Middle and New Kingdoms, grave robbers
forced a change in tomb construction
Pharaohs of the periods did not also have the
power of Early Kingdom pharaohs to undertake
pyramid construction
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Buildings
Pyramid construction disappeared and
underground tombs became popular
Two types were examined-Rock cut tomb and
Shaft tomb
Rock cut tombs were carved out of existing
mountains
Shaft tombs were dug in the underground of
mountains
The Middle and New Kingdom also saw the
introduction of Mortuary temples
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Buildings
Two Mortuary temples were examined-
Mentuhotep and Hatshepsut
Mortuary temple of Mentuhotep was constructed
during the Middle kingdom
Hatshepsuts temple was constructed during the
New Kingdom
The mortuary temples were a place to bury as
well as worship a dead person
The mortuary temples owe their origin to
funerary buildings that were attached to the
Pyramids
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Buildings
During the New kingdom Focus in temple
construction shifted to Cult temples
The cult temples were dedicated to the worship
of Egyptian Gods
Two temples were examined all located at
Karnak
The temple of Khons is a typical Egyptian cult
temple
The temple of Amon shows how the temple can
become complicated through addition and
duplication of elements
Bdgs and Other Arch. Elements
Other Elements
Also examined some unique architectural elements
Includes columns, relief carving and painting,
obelisk and sphinxes
Columns designed to mirror plant materials
Evolved from attached columns in the Zosers
complex to the heavy columns of Egyptian cult
temples
Relief carving and painting were used to capture
history
Obelisk are free standing poles dedicated to Gods,
Pharaohs or nobles
Sphinxes are used to line avenues to temples for
protection
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
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
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
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 20 years to build a pyramid with a
team of 20,000 men working three to four
months during the floods
Materials, Const. & Systems
Technologies
Ancient Egyptians contributed to technologies in
the aspect of lighting
Egyptians used courtyards extensively for
lighting
Technology has existed since the ANE period
The greatest contribution of the Ancient
Egyptians is in the aspect of Clerestory lighting
In the hypostyle hall of Egyptian temples is found
one of the earliest application of the clerestory
method of lighting
By making columns higher and creating two roof
levels, the ancient Egyptians were able to admit
light into halls
Principles of Arch. Organization
Principles
Principles of Arch. Organization
Emphasis on Building Massing
Linear and Geometrical Organization
Application of harmony and Contrast
Forces shaping Arch Organization
Influence of the desert environment
Influence of religion and social symbolism
Principles of Arch. Organization
Emphasis on Building Masses
The examination of ancient Egyptian architecture
shows more concerned with massing and limited
attention to space or function
The Mastaba, Pyramids, Mortuary and Cult
temples all display a focus on massing and form
There was limited consideration on functional
space
Consideration of function in design was limited to
provision of spaces for ritual activities such as
chapels dedicated to Gods in Pyramid funeral
complexes and Mortuary and Cult temples
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 and axial organization
These include the pyramid funerary complexes
and the mortuary and cult temples
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 a
52 degree 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
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 is reflected in the 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
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
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 nothing but empty space
For anything to be visible and considered
monumental, it must match the scale of the
desert
This understanding may have influence the
architects of ancient Egypt to focus on building
massing and creating the massive buildings that
we have studied
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
Forces Shaping Arch. Organization
Religion and Social Symbolism
A review of the forces shaping architecture in
ancient Egypt will be incomplete without
considering the role of religion and social
symbolism
Religion, particularly the belief in life after death
was a strong factor in creating the monumental
architecture of ancient Egypt
The tombs and the temples are all a factor of the
desire to achieve immortality or appease
Egyptian Gods
Forces Shaping Arch. Organization
Religion and Social Symbolism
Social symbolism also played a part in shaping
ancient Egyptian architecture
Egyptian society is segregated with pharaohs,
noblemen and commoners
The desire to build massive tombs and temples
by pharaohs and noblemen is a way to express
their social standing in society
Put in another way, the buildings are an
expression of the power, authority and social
standing of the nobles and pharaohs who built
them
End of Module 4