Egyptian Art and Architecture

4176 Words Apr 15th, 2005 17 Pages
Egyptian Art and Architecture
I INTRODUCTION

Egyptian Art and Architecture, the buildings, paintings, sculpture, and allied arts of ancient Egypt, from prehistoric times to its conquest by the Romans in 30 bc. Egypt had the longest unified history of any civilization in the ancient Mediterranean, extending with few interruptions from about 3000 bc to the 4th century ad. The nature of the country, fertilized and united by the Nile, and its semi-isolation from outside cultural influences, produced an artistic style that changed little during this long period. Art in all its forms was devoted principally to the service of the pharaoh, who was considered a god on Earth, to the state, and to religion. From early times a belief in a life
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The great Step Pyramid in which the remains of the king were laid is the oldest surviving example of monumental architecture; it also illustrates one of the phases in the development of the true pyramid.

The architecture of the Old Kingdom can be described as monumental in the sense that native limestone and granite were used for the construction of large-scale buildings and tombs. Of the temples built during this period little remains.

The pyramid complex at Giza where the kings of the 4th Dynasty were buried illustrates the ability of Egyptian architects to construct monuments that remain wonders of the world. The Great Pyramid of Khufu originally stood about 146 m (480 ft) high and contained about 2.3 million blocks with an average weight of 2.5 tonnes each. The purpose of pyramids was to preserve and protect the bodies of the kings for eternity. Each pyramid had a valley temple, a landing and staging area, and a pyramid temple or cult chapel where religious rites for the king's spirit were performed. Around the three major pyramids at Giza a necropolis (city of the dead) grew up, which contained mastabas (Arabic, mastabah, "mud-brick bench"), flat-roofed tombs with sloping slides, so called because of their resemblance to the sloped mud-brick benches in front of Egyptian houses. The mastabas were for the members of the royal family, high
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