Characteristics of Ancient Egyptian Architecture

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The Ancient Egyptians created the most impressive structures of the ancient world, which involved a high degree of architectural knowledge and engineering skill, along with a large workforce of highly trained craftsmen and laborers. In spite of thousands of years of invading armies, earthquakes, and other forces of nature, the Egyptian pyramids, tombs, temples, and palaces still stand as monuments to humankind’s creativity and genius.

• Tombs: The first royal tombs, called Mastabas, were built during the first and second dynasties. Courtiers and families of the monarch were buried in these low rectangular brick or stone structures that were inscribed with their names. The burial chambers were cut into the rock, lined with sun-baked bricks, and faced with wooden boards. The tombs were surrounded by a large number of graves meant for servants of the kings, who were sacrificed to serve them in the afterlife.

• Pyramids: The spectacular Egyptian pyramids are among the most famous constructions in the world, and The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only Wonder of the Ancient World still in existence. A pyramid is basically a tomb that has a four-sided stone structure that symbolizes the sacred mountain, humanity’s universal striving to reach the heavens. These were built as royal burial structures until 1640 B.C

• Temples: Numerous temples were built along the Nile River to honor the dead and venerate local and national gods. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals necessary for the gods to continue to uphold the divine order of the universe. Their typical design consisted of a series of enclosed halls, open courts, and massive entrance pylons. Karnak and Luxor are two such famous temples.

• Palaces: The Royal Palaces in ancient Egypt were not only the residences of the kings but also the centers of government administration. They were essentially rectangular structures consisting of high walls topped with towers, often decorated with rich cornices or panels. Rooms were located to one side of the hall to accommodate the needs of the court. Government buildings, lakes, and gardens were also added to these complexes, creating magnificent residences for the kings of Egypt.

• Materials: Most buildings in Ancient Egypt were made from bricks of Nile-mud that were baked in the sun. However, the more grandiose structures, like pyramids and temples, were made from stone, making them last longer. White limestone or red granite was used to make the casings of the pyramids. Mud bricks were also used sometimes in the construction of important structures like temples and palaces. Smooth, largely unbroken walls were also popular in Ancient Egypt and ornamented with brightly painted art and hieroglyphs.

Author Bio :

The author is an architecture and design aficionado who enjoys visiting and studying ancient buildings throughout the world. The Egyptian Pyramids are among his favourite structures to study.

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