Ancient Egyptian Architecture Essay

Submitted By AhmadU97
Words: 1317
Pages: 6

Around 3100 B.C an ancient civilization arose. This ancient civilization was Ancient Egypt, which was located in the northeastern part of Africa concentrated around the Nile River. Like many other civilizations the ancient Egyptians were concentrated around the Nile River due to the fertile land, which helped aid agriculture and it provided a quick way of transportation by boat, which helped communication and increased trade. Due to the abundance of food the people of Ancient Egypt were able to use their free time and resources for cultural, technological, artistic as well as various other pursuits. Architecture was a way in which cultural, technological and artistic pursuits were achieved. Different types of architecture included houses, pyramids, tombs, temples, statues and monuments. As a result of the scarcity of wood, the two most important building materials were sun baked mud brick and stone. The stone used for the building material included mainly limestone, but also sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. From the Old Kingdom (2649-2150 B.C.) onward stone was reserved for only the tombs and temples while brick was used for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns. With the pyramids, 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 pyramids 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 with mud, which was obtained from the Nile River. One flaw with the use of sun-dried mud for houses was that when the Nile flooded which happened often the houses were washed away. Temples and tombs figured high within the main religious rituals. Temples were built to worship the Egyptian gods and were constructed using stone, which wasn’t widely used in other buildings like the houses or the royal places. The temples of Ancient Egypt were made to worship the Egyptian gods. Because the pharaohs were considered as gods, pyramids/tombs were built for them after their deaths. Throughout history there are four different types of structures, which the Egyptians used as tombs. Over time, the development of each of these structures led to what is known as the true pyramid. The earliest structures were called mastabas (Mastaba is the Arabic word for stone bench). The mastabas were made of mud or stone bricks faced with limestone slabs. Unlike the pyramids most people are familiar with, they were rectangular shaped, flat-topped, and had sloping sides. From there, the mastaba developed into the step pyramid. The step pyramids were not much different than the mastabas, in that they were a series of mastabas placed one on top of the other; each smaller than the one beneath. A series of ramps would be used to get the stones from one mastaba level to the next. Mastabas Step Pyramid The first step pyramid was designed by the architect Imhotep for King Djoser in 2780 B.C. This pyramid still stands today on the west bank of the Nile River at Sakkara near Memphis. As the fourth dynasty came about the Egyptian pyramids went through another phase of development and design. The bent pyramid was a combination of the mastaba and what would later be known as the true pyramid. The bottom portion of the bent pyramid looked like a mastaba while the middle and upper portions resembled a true pyramid. This was sort of the halfway point of the evolution towards the true pyramid. There were four basic materials that the Egyptians used to build the pyramids: limestone, pink granite, basalt, and alabaster. It was during the reign of King Snefru (2613-2589 BC) founder of the fourth dynasty, that the fourth and final pyramid, the true pyramid, was built. The builders knew what materials to use and how to transport those materials.