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Ancient Africa: Egyptian Temple Architecture. I. From Middle Kingdom uncertainty to New Kingdom confidence: Stone architecture for pharaohs and gods. Old Kingdom. Middle Kingdom . New Kingdom. 2600 bc. 2500 bc. 2030 bc. 1550 bc. 1400 bc. King Zoser’s Mortuary Complex.

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Ancient Africa: Egyptian Temple Architecture

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Ancient Africa: Egyptian Temple Architecture


I. From Middle Kingdom uncertainty to New Kingdom confidence: Stone architecture for pharaohs and

gods

Old Kingdom

Middle Kingdom

New Kingdom

2600 bc

2500 bc

2030 bc

1550 bc

1400 bc

King Zoser’s Mortuary Complex

Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Amon, Luxor

Great Pyramids, Giza

(mortuary complex)


I. A. Historical Context: Political power sharing: pharaohs, priests, and nobles

Nile Valley in Upper Egypt


I. B. What major change was there in Middle and New Kingdom mortuary temple design compared to

Old Kingdom (Saqqara and Giza)?

Middle Kingdom (ca. 2040 – 1640 B.C.)

A rock-cut tomb at BeniHasan, 2000-1900 B.C.


I. B.

New Kingdom: Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple, Deirel-Bahri, Egypt, c. 1500 bc

Middle Kingdom Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep,

2061-2010 bc


I. B.

Mortuary temples facing the Nile River

Actual burials in the Valley of the Kings

Middle- and New-Kingdom mortuary temples

at Deir el-Bahri


I. B.

Middle Kingdom

Old Kingdom

New Kingdom

Great Pyramids at Giza

Mentuhotep’s Mortuary Temple

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple


II. Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple: innovation and tradition in Egyptian design

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple


II. A. Tradition: Queen Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple and earlier mortuary complexes

  1. Major parts of the New Kingdom mortuary temple

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple


II. A. 2. How did Senmut’s design dramatize the progress of the processional ritual for Hatshepsut?

Great Pyramids at GIza

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple


II. B. Innovation: Aspects of the new temple design that could be attributed to gender . . .

1. Colonnades, open terraces

Great Pyramids at Giza

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple

Like the myrrh terraces of Punt, mythical homeland of the gods

ramp to third terrace


II. B. 2. Landscape orientation

Great Pyramids at Giza

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple

“welded to the rockscape as if nature were an

extension of Senmut’s design” (Kostof 82)


II. B. 2.

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple

a framed view on the central axis

ramps up and in

views back and out


II. B. 3. Architectural language: Is it more representational (vernacular) or more abstract?

Columns from Saqqara and Giza

Doric columns in Greece

Hatshepsut’s “proto-Doric” columns


Egyptians were the first to use stone columns not merely as structural supports but as forms connoting certain values.

II. B. 3.

polychrome Osiris statues with the face of Queen Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple

Osiris


III. New Kingdom Temples to gods and the Elaboration of Spatial Progression

New Kingdom Temples near Thebes

Temple at Karnak

Temple at Luxor


III. A. Context: Why did the truly extensive monumental temples not come about until the New Kingdom

period (1552-1070 BC)?

displays power through gigantism

Temple at Karnak

Temple at Luxor


III. A. What are the parts of a New Kingdom Egyptian temple in spatial progression?

Temple at Luxor

Temple at Luxor

pylon

truncated pyramidal towers flanking the entrance of a temple

Avenue of Sphinxes


III. A.

Phase 1

Phase 2

hypostyle

Pylon

courtyard

pylon

Inner sanctuary

courtyard

East

West

Temple at Luxor

Archaic hypostyle columned entrance

(as at Saqqara)


III. A. 1. Why do the parts of the temple often repeat themselves?

The Four Characteristic Parts of an Egyptian Temple Again

courtyard

hypostyle

pylons

pylon

courtyard

hypostyle

inner sanctuary

East

West

Temple at Karnak


III. A. 2. What is Kostof’s approach to this spatial progression as a product of ritual?

Spatial Progression

Difficulty of approach

Temple at Luxor

Limited or graduated access

inner sanctuary

hypostyle

courtyard

Egyptian royal palace at Amarna, c. 1350 B.C.


III. B. Section by section, what are the spatial/experiential qualities shaping the ritual progression and to

what does each section correspond in representing the Egyptian creation myth?

small, low, utterly dark

half-light, half-dark mystery

open, sunny & defined

vertical wall & passage

(Temple of Horus at Edfu)

5. inner sanctuary

4. hypostyle

3. courtyard

2. pylon

Edfu

Luxor

Luxor

Luxor


III. B. 1. temenos wall


III. B. 2. pylon

Luxor

threshold = pylon

Karnak


III. B. 3. courtyard

Luxor

Luxor


III. B. 4. hypostyle hall and its clerestory

Karnak

Veil of mysterious semi-darkness

clerestorey


III. B. 4. a. the character of the hypostyle hall as an interior space

a space half filled with mass


III. B. 4. a.

Spaces created by Egyptian clerestorey-lit hypostyle halls

Zoser’s Funerary Complex

Giza (Chephren’s Valley T.)

Karnak hypostyle hall


III. B. 5. inner sanctuary

(Temple of Horus at Edfu)


Geography and Landscape Kingship (pharaohs v. priests)

Religious belief in the afterlife Symbolic architectural language Ritual


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