The Architecture Of Ancient Egypt
All the most wonderful ancient Egyptian monuments are concentrated on a fairly narrow band in the 15 – 20 km wide, in the fertile valley of the Nile. Those structures that have survived to our days, are directly related to various funerary cults that prevailed in this ancient state.
The main features of ancient Egyptian architecture
The main features of the architecture of Ancient Egypt include the following:
1. The monumentality. The dimensions of the pyramids of this country is simply astonishing. Monumentality is evident in the geometry of structures, simple and majestic, and in the laconism, and the complete absence of decor. Even relatively small monuments look very impressive due to the special technique – scaling. Inside the building there are any parts that mimic its structure. Thus, a small element that copies the structure as a whole, emphasizes its grandeur.
2. Symmetry. This principle is expressed in the uniform mass distribution of the buildings with respect to the Central axis. In order to emphasize its direction, used special architectural techniques. For example, changing the height of the columns, special moldings above the entrance, etc.
3. The presence of Canon, strict rules of construction defined religious beliefs, which was not broken ever.
The pyramids at Giza are the greatest architectural monument
Pyramids at Giza – the oldest phenomenon in the culture of mankind, they are as archaic, and so mysterious in its ambiguous nature. These structures have been preserved so well that it is easy to imagine how they looked thousands of years ago. Because Egyptian rulers were fond of luxury and wealth, it would be logical to assume that they are tombs full of treasures. So decided and the Arabs in the year 820 tried to plunder the pyramid of Cheops. According to ancient sources, they did not find any treasure. The gap left by them have been preserved to our days. Now it serves tourists to see this magnificent building from the inside. The huge hole, located at a height of 17 meters from the ground, begins a very narrow passage leading into the bowels of the pyramid.
The residents of Egypt called the three pyramids of Cheops, Chefren and mycerinus – “hillside heights”. The shape of these huge structures originates in the architecture of Imhotep. Imhotep designed the first step pyramid at Saqqara near Memphis (the so-called pyramid of Djoser is the oldest stone building Dating back to CA. 2650 BC). Imhotep is the inventor of the pyramidal architectural form: he proposed to build on over a stone mastaba (rectangular tomb) Pharaoh 3 mastaba smaller size, turning the whole building into a four-tiered pyramid. Thus, the architect acts as the founder of the architectural tradition of the entire Ancient Kingdom, centered on the use of a pyramidal shape in the design of the Royal tombs.
The great pyramid of Cheops in ancient times was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. About how the pyramids were built, scientists in our day are judged according to the stories of the ancient historian Herodotus. According to his records the erection of the great pyramid lasted about 30 years. 10 years left for the construction of roads used to deliver the material. In the process of construction was attended by about 100 thousand people. The construction of the great pyramid began in the XXVIII century BC Is the building blocks of 2300000. Today its height is 138,75 m. once this number was equal 146,6 m and at the top was a huge stone – pyramidion, which, apparently, fell during one of the earthquakes. Inside the buildings there are absolutely no inscriptions and drawings. Around the three largest pyramids are the pyramid smaller. The complex includes also the famous Sphinx.
The Great Sphinx
The great Sphinx, the biggest and the oldest monumental statue in the world. It is carved out of monolithic limestone blocks. This is a monument something between a man and a lion; the face of a long tradition ascribes the portrait features of the Pharaoh Khafre (C. 2575-2465 BCE), whose funerary pyramid is located at a distance. Its length is 73 m, height 20 m is Constructed the Sphinx was in 2500 BC
The temples at Abu Simbel and Luxor
Abu Simbel is the name of the cliffs on the West Bank of the Nile, in which are carved two famous ancient Egyptian temple during the reign of Ramses II (CA. 1298-1213 BC). Located in Nubia, 280 km South of Aswan. Outstanding almost to the river rock from fine-grained Sandstone, with a height of 100 m, is named in the hieroglyphic inscriptions “sacred mountain” and, as you can imagine, was fortified, so the area in the inscriptions is called “the fortress Ratesspecial”. The modern name Abu Simbel comes from the rock on which the bas-relief carved male silhouette, in zaostreno apron which Arab sailors saw the likeness of a grain measure; so the image is called “Abu Simbel” – “Father of bread” (from the Arab. sinbel — ear), and then this name was assigned and the whole band rocks with their temples.
The great temple was erected in honor of the king Ramses II; other, small, in honor of his first wife, Queen Nefertari. In the first one, characterized by well-preserved important historical images and inscriptions, shows the king worshipping himself, i.e. his divine image, which worships the king-man. Surrounded by other deities, it stands out in the form of a huge figure with his back turned to rock. At the entrance to the temple, on each side, cut in the rock are four colossal seated image of the king, to a height of approx 20 meters Before the small temple are six statues carved with high relief, namely on each side by two images of the king and one the Queen. After the revolution of 1952 began work on the design of the second dam on the Nile near Aswan. Situated on the banks of the Nile the temples were threatened by flooding. This would lead to the destruction of buildings made of Sandstone. In 1959 began the campaign to save the historical heritage. With international support, ruins of temples have been saved by moving to a new place. The construction of the dam began in 1960. The transfer process of the monument took place from 1964 to 1968. The temples were cut into blocks weighing up to 30 tons (average 20 tons), moved to a new location and reassembled 200 m further from the river.
Residential buildings of Ancient Egypt
Residential buildings of Ancient Egypt we know very little. As in most ancient civilizations the first home in this state was an oval structure made out of mud bricks. More wealthy citizens had homes made of logs. The palaces of the pharaohs by guesswork scientists were built of brick. Unfortunately, due to the use in the construction of not very durable materials, such constructions have not survived. In Egypt, besides the pyramids at Giza, the temples at Abu Simbel and Luxor and the Sphinx there is a lot of variety of monuments, clearly showing the audience all the grandeur of this once prosperous state.