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Artscolumbia / Applied arts  / Architecture  / Egyptian Architecture  / Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture

Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture

Due to the scarcity of wood the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-baked mud bricks 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.

The core of the pyramids came from stone quarried in the area already while the limestone, now eroded away, that was used to face the yardarm came from the other side of the Nile River and had to be quarried, ferried across, and cut during the dry season before they could be pulled into place on the pyramid. 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 (unapproachable), new alluding having been erected on ancient ones. Fortunately, the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved some mud brick structures. Examples include the village Deer al-Indiana, the Middle Kingdom town at Kahn, and the fortresses at Been and Margins.

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 du walls. In a similar manner, the incised and flatly modeled surface adornment (decoration) 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 (landing place) were covered with hieroglyphic and pictorial (symbolic) frescoes and carvings painted in brilliant colors. Many motifs (design) 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. In addition, these pictorial frescoes and carvings allow us to understand how the Ancient Egyptians lived, statuses, wars that were fought and their beliefs. This was especially true when exploring the tombs of Ancient Egyptian officials in recent years. Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned with astronomically significant events, such as solstices and equinoxes, requiring precise (accurate) measurements at the moment of the particular event.

Measurements at the most significant temples may nave been ceremonially undertaken by the Pharaoh himself. Art Forms: Ancient Egyptian art forms are characterized by regularity and detailed depiction of gods, human beings, heroic battles, and nature, and were intended to provide solace to the deceased in the afterlife. Egyptian art in all forms obeyed one law: the mode of representing Pharaohs, gods, man, nature and the environment. Ancient Egyptian art splays an extraordinarily vivid representation of the Ancient Egyptians socioeconomic status and belief systems.

Architecture: Ancient Egyptian architects used sun-dried and kiln-baked bricks, fine sandstone, limestone and granite. Hieroglyphic and pictorial carvings in brilliant colors were abundantly used to decorate Egyptian structures. Papyrus: Papyrus is a plant. Papyrus was used by ancient Egyptians for writing and painting. Papyrus texts illustrate all dimensions of ancient Egyptian life and include literary, religious, historical and administrative documents. Pottery: Ancient Egyptians used estimate (some varieties were called soapstone). Different types of pottery items were deposited in tombs of the dead.

Some such pottery items represented interior parts of the body, like the lungs, the liver and smaller intestines, which were removed before embalming (the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains). Sculpture: The ancient art of Egyptian sculpture evolved to represent the ancient Egyptian gods, Pharaohs, and the kings and queens, in physical form. Very strict conventions were followed while crafting statues: male statues were darker than the female ones; in dated statues, hands were required to be placed on knees and specific rules governed appearance of every Egyptian god.

Egyptian Art Ancient Egyptian art is the painting, sculpture, architecture and other arts produced by the civilization in the lower Nile Valley from 5000 BC to 300 AD. Ancient Egyptian art reached a high level in painting and sculpture, and was both highly stylized and symbolic. Much of the surviving art comes from tombs and monuments and thus there is an emphasis on life after death and the preservation of knowledge of the past. The quality of observation and execution started at a high level and remained ear that level throughout the 2nd and 3rd dynasty.

Paintings: Egyptian painting is said to be one of the most unique and mysterious attributes of Egypt. Egyptian painting is not oil-based or fresco-based, it is tempura-based. All Egyptian relief were painted on a flat surface. Pigments were mostly mineral, chosen to withstand strong sunlight without fading. The binding medium used in painting remains unclear. After painting, a varnish or resin was usually applied as a protective coating. The paintings were often made with the intent of making a pleasant afterlife for the deceased.

Some tomb paintings show activities that the deceased were involved in when they were alive and wished to carry on doing for eternity. Egyptian paintings are painted in such a way to show a profile view and a side view of the animal or person. Periods in Art: The Ancient Egyptian art style is known as Marin art. It was characterized by a sense of movement and activity in images. Also, the human body is portrayed differently in Marin style artwork than Egyptian art on the whole. Faces are still shown exclusively in profile. Obtaining of Colors: White was made out of chalk or gypsum.

Black; was made out of carbon scraped from the bottom of cooking pots. Red; was made from oxides of iron, which provides endless colors when glazed over. Blue; was a mix of silica, copper, and calcium. This was otherwise known as “Blue Frit” or “Egyptian Blue”. Green; was made out of copper. Yellow; was made out of yellow ochre, which, like red, are iron oxides. Use of Colors: Most supplies for creating colors were available in Egypt, such as minerals, nature, and plants. Repairmen, the one material not available in Egypt, was suggested to be imported from Persia.

Egyptians used a code of colors in each painting, with each lour representing a different quality of the being represented. There were six colors the Ancient Egyptians used in their paintings: red, green, blue, yellow, black, and white. They made these colors out of mineral compounds and because of that, they last very long. The Egyptians later learned to create mixed colors from the primary ones, such as grey, pink, and brown. The Shuns Temple a (Summary) t Crank The Temple of Shuns is an example of an almost complete New Kingdom temple, and was originally constructed by Rampages Ill, on the site of an earlier temple.

In Ptolemaic dynasty (a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenic period) Ptolemy Ill Requesters constructed a great gateway and enclosure wall for the temple, only the gateway now remains. The forecourt of the temple was made in the time of Heritor (an Egyptian army officer). Size. The hypotheses hall was erected by Nectarine l, and is not of a great Frequently blocks with matching and inverted decorations can been seen, showing the amount of reconstruction and reuse of material from the surrounding temple complexes, especially in Ptolemaic times / dynasty.

The Great Pyramid at Gaza The Great Pyramid of Gaza (also called The Pyramid of Chuff and The Pyramid of Cheeps) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Gaza. It is the oldest of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure.

The Great Pyramid of Gaza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both ascending and descending passages. Chambers: There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid: 1. The lowest chamber (that was unfinished) 2. Queen’s Chamber 3. King’s Chamber Main Part: The main part of the Gaza complex is a setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Chuff (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Chuff’s wives, an even smaller “satellite” pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small master tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.

Master: (Definition) The word Master comes from the Arabic word “for a bench of mud”. A master, meaning “house for eternity” or “eternal house”, is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with outward sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminent Egyptians of Egypt ancient period. Masts were constructed out of mud-bricks (from the Nile River) or stone.

Auguries: Auguries (meaning; to build on a raised area) were massive structures having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels. Auguries were built by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrian for local religions. Each Gujarat was part of a temple complex which included other buildings. It is assumed that they had shrines at the top, but there is no archaeological evidence for this.

Purpose: The (Mesopotamia) auguries were not places for public worship or ceremonies. They were believed to be dwelling places for the gods and each city had its own patron god. Only priests were permitted on the Gujarat or in the rooms at its base, and it was their responsibility to care for the gods and attend to their needs. One practical function of the auguries was a high place on which the priests could escape rising water (of floods). For security. Another practical function of the Gujarat was