Karnak is an ancient Egyptian temple precinct located on the east bank of the Nile River in Thebes (modern-day Luxor). It covers more than 100 hectares, an area larger than some ancient cities.
Egypt’s history spans some five millenniums, and encompasses the origin of civilization, the rise of the Greeks and Romans, the establishment of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions, the colonial era when first France and then the English ruled the country, and finally, a return to independence. Egypt has played an important role through all of these eras, and today one can find monuments that evidence Egypt’s role in most of the world’s historic events.
“Cleopatra and Caesar” by Jean Leon Gerome
In Egypt, we find the earliest detailed records of warfare recorded thousands of years ago, but we also find the cemeteries and monuments of the world’s last global war, World War II. In Egypt, we find some of the first written words of civilization, but we also find great thinkers and writers throughout the Greek period, into the Christian era, the archaic Islamic period and even modern Nobel Literates. We find ancient pyramids and giant columns supporting massive temples; now we can find these architectural elements spread throughout the world. Along with the first monumental buildings made of stone, we find the first paved roads, the first wines and beer and even the first peace treaties between organized governments. We also find the world’s first scientists, doctors, architects and mathematicians.
Art of belly dancing
Egypt is our window to humanity’s distant past and in understanding its history, we find both mankind’s greatest glories and achievements, as well as his often-repeated mistakes. We can follow along with the building of empires, only to see them collapse again and again. We find great men and rulers renowned, but we often also see their ultimate demise. And here, we learn about religion, its evolution and, as the world grows older, its replacement with newer religions.
Please, take the time to understand ancient Egyptian history for you will find, within this knowledge, a better understanding of this modern world in which we live.
This article is Gail Ingis’s writing from her text book and lectures: History of Architecture & Interior Design. (unpublished).
Have you been to Egypt? Any favorite sites? Did you ride a camel . . . in Egypt? Can you belly dance?
Temple Precincts on the banks of the Nile
You are looking at Upper Egypt on the banks of the Nile River, with its ruins of the Temple Amon, built by King Tut after he took the throne, ca.1332BC-1323BC in the conventional chronology. The ruins, excavated in the 20th century, are huge, though nothing remains of the houses, palaces, and gardens surrounding the Temple. Since people always want more space, It was added onto over the centuries, expanding the temple area.
The exteriors of these areas gave important information to future generations about structure and design. What works and what doesn’t.
Stonehenge inside facing
At first, buildings were supported by vertical and horizontal elements. What you might know as post and beam, could be wood, could be stone, as in Stone Henge shown here. Technically this type of construction is known as Trabeated construction.
Trabeated construction: column and beam
In the image with the columns, aesthetic elements in carvings of various designs have been cut/incised into the columns. We were and are still seeking the aesthetics.
Tutankhamun, King for only ten years, died at nineteen after a short reign.
King Tut's throne. Carving on back he & his sister-wife
He reigned long enough to change the direction of idol worship in his country. In my blog last week (http://gailingis.com/wordpress/?p=1862), Samson died a pauper’s death, unlike Tutankhamun whose regal properties were buried with him.This young man, affectionately called King Tut, made an aesthetic difference in his kingdom. He not only had temple architecture designed and built, but he influenced the design of furnishings, to this
day. We still create chairs that mimic Tut’s throne. All were discovered in 1922 in his well-stocked tomb.
This iron and brass chair, with a leather seat and back, is a 19th century design taken from King Tut’s throne. This is still being made today, and with many variations. It was popular in the French Directoire period under Napoleon.
Do you have a throne? Would you like to have a throne, or would a simple chair suffice? Have you ever wanted to visit the pyramids?