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Ancient Egyptian architecture had a number of well known generic building types (pyramids, Mortuary temples and so on). Select o - Essay Example

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Architecture Abstract: The Egyptian Pyramids present an awe-inspiring reminder of the extraordinary crafting of mankind that could not be learnt fully, even today. The Pyramids appeared for the first time on earth when economic stability dominated in Egypt and the Kings were seen as godly creatures to facilitate human kind…
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Ancient Egyptian architecture had a number of well known generic building types (pyramids, Mortuary temples and so on). Select o
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Download file to see previous pages The word ‘pyramid’ was adopted from the Greek word of ‘pyramis’ that stands for ‘wheat cake’ (Ancientegypt.co.uk). The word pyramis was used by the Greeks to refer to the ancient buildings in Egypt because they resembled the Egyptian wheat cakes with pointed tops. The later dynasties of the Old Kingdom were flourishing in terms of economy and stability and thus the Kings held a notable position in that era. They were seen as divine majesties and were thought to be gods’ servants on earth who facilitated the people. As a result heavy reverence was attached to the kings and all measures were taken to secure the king’s majesty even after his death. Since it was believed that a part of the king’s soul remained with the body to help him rule the dead ones, the body was turned into a mummy to preserve it and all possible equipments were buried along with him that were thought to facilitate the king. These equipments involved vessels, cutlery, furniture and even food items. Thus the pyramids built for these dead kings became the focus of the world’s attention and were included into the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. Early History The history of pyramids dates back to the very early time of the Dynastic Era, when tombs with flat roofs were carved out of rocks for the kings, then known as ‘mastabas’. These mastabas were short rectangular constructions with two paired offering niches and exterior open air chapels marked by crude brick walls (Reisner, 1934). These structures marked the birth of pyramids. The procedure involved building a mastaba on top of another but smaller in size of the one below it. This resulted in a hierarchy of mastabas, ending up in a triangular like structure now known as pyramid. Contrary to mastabas, this structure was completely made out of stone and had a similar chamber for burial as in a mastaba. The first pyramid of this style was built at Saqqara and was known as the Step Pyramid (Thinkquest.org, 1992). It was built by the architect Imhotep to preserve the body of the King Djoser, who ruled Egypt during the third dynasty. The memorial was 62 feet tall, with six steppes terraces made out of stone and had a number of shrines and courtyards around it. Today, it is the oldest discovered architectural monument on earth and is now referred to as the Great Step Pyramid. The stepped pyramid style continued for several years until the first attempt at the smooth-sided pyramid was did at Dahshur by the Pharaoh Snefuru (Dunn and Winston, 1950). The pyramid was 300 feet high and was coated with limestone on the outside. Unfortunately, the sides of this pyramid turned too steep about halfway towards the top, resulting in an uneven structure. This resulted in a failed attempt at building a smooth-sided pyramid; however the change was a turning point. Archeologist wonder if the material was running low that caused the labors to complete the pyramid in this shape. A second attempt was made again by Pharaoh Snefuru to build a smooth-sided pyramid. This time the construction turned out more flat and even and, thus, ‘The Red Pyramid’ was born. The Red Pyramid is 345 feet high and has an angle of 43 degrees (Sacred-Destinations, 2005). It contains three chambers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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