David Roberts Paintings : The Ancient Egpyt and Egyptian Architectures (Vol.02)
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Ancient Egyptian architecture
The Nile valley has been the site of one of the most influential civilizations which developed a vast array of diverse structures encompassing ancient Egyptian architecture. The architectural monuments, which include the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx of Giza, are among the largest and most famous.
Characteristics of Egyptian Architecture
Due to the scarcity of wood, the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-baked mud brick and stone, mainly limestone, but also sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. From the Old Kingdom onward, stone was generally reserved for tombs and temples, while bricks were used even for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns, and for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes.
Ancient Egyptian houses were made out of mud collected from the Nile river. It was placed in molds and left to dry in the hot sun to harden for use in construction.
Many Egyptian towns have disappeared because they were situated near the cultivated area of the Nile Valley and were flooded as the river bed slowly rose during the millennia, or the mud bricks of which they were built were used by peasants as fertilizer. Others are inaccessible, new buildings having been erected on ancient ones. Fortunately, the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved some mud brick structures. Examples include the village Deir al-Madinah, the Middle Kingdom town at Kahun, and the fortresses at Buhen and Mirgissa. Also, many temples and tombs have survived because they were built on high ground unaffected by the Nile flood and were constructed of stone.
Thus, our understanding of ancient Egyptian architecture is based mainly on religious monuments, massive structures characterized by thick, sloping walls with few openings, possibly echoing a method of construction used to obtain stability in mud walls. In a similar manner, the incised and flatly modeled surface adornment of the stone buildings may have derived from mud wall ornamentation. Although the use of the arch was developed during the fourth dynasty, all monumental buildings are post and lintel constructions, with flat roofs constructed of huge stone blocks supported by the external walls and the closely spaced columns.
Exterior and interior walls, as well as the columns and piers, were covered with hieroglyphic and pictorial frescoes and carvings painted in brilliant colors. Many motifs of Egyptian ornamentation are symbolic, such as the scarab, or sacred beetle, the solar disk, and the vulture. Other common motifs include palm leaves, the papyrus plant, and the buds and flowers of the lotus. Hieroglyphs were inscribed for decorative purposes as well as to record historic events or spells.
Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned with astronomically significant events, such as solstices and equinoxes, requiring precise measurements at the moment of the particular event. Measurements at the most significant temples may have been ceremonially undertaken by the Pharaoh himself.
- 23. Paintings of Ancient Egypt : View Of Philae, 1838
- 24. Paintings of Ancient Egypt : View Of Philae From Nile, 1838.
- 25. The Egyptian Pyramids : View Of The Pyramids, 1838
- 26. The Ancient Egypt : The Great Sphinx Of Gizeh, 1838.
- 27. David Roberts Paintings of Ancient Eygpt : Temple Of Abu-Simbel, 1838.
- 28. David Roberts Paintings of Ancient Eygpt : Statues Of Memnon, 1838.
- 29. David Roberts Paintings of Ancient Eygpt : Ruins Of Memnonio, 1838
- 30. David Roberts Paintings : Ruins Of Luxor From South West, 1838
- 31. The Egyptian Pyramids : View Of The Pyramids Of Dashur And Saqqara, 1838
- 32. The Ancient Egypt : View Of Karnak, 1838
- 33. The Ancient Egypt : The Pyramids Of Gizeh From The Nile, 1838