Antiquity Egypt

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
  • Architecture

Solidarity and monumentality characterize surviving architecture which consist mainly of tombs and temples built of stone. Architectural compositions portray axiality, simple forms, geometric volumes, rectangular, shapes, and straight lines. walls are thick, solid, and usually unbroken by fenestration. Colorful decoration highlight the walls and columns. Protect from heat and light. Temples are grand in scale, axle procession, and massive gateways symbolize societies strong religious emphasis and social hierarchy. Important features include hieroglyphics, the post or column (part of the post and lintel system), along with nature inspired motifs. Few domestic structures survive because they are generally built of impermanent materials. The Hierarchy of buildings reflect the cultural belief in eternal life.

Temple of Horus

Great Sphinx with pyramid of Menkaure

Temple of Khons

Temple of Amon-Ra

Misc. images

Floor Plans

Domestic Dwellings very in size and configuration with class and wealth. Simple homes have one or two stories with three or four rooms, while great mansions have many rooms and several courtyards.


Palaces and dwellings are made primarily of sun-dried mud brick, plastered and whitewashed.


Extant examples depict plain facades.


Flat roofs provide additional storage and sleeping areas in very hot weather. They often have vents to catch breezes.

  • Interiors

Egyptian Tomb

Wall Paintings

The extant interiors are in tombs, but knowledge of wealthy domestic ones comes from excavations, painted images in tombs, and models. rooms are rectangular with relatively straight walls, flat ceilings, few windows, and limited architectural details.


Typical colors include blue-green, rust red, gold, black, and cream mainly derived from earth pigments. Architectural details may be highlighted in orange, green, and blue. Colors can also be symbolic.


Saucers with wicks in oil and torches of twisted plant material smeared with fat. some lamps have naturalistic forms, such as the alabaster lamp shaped like a lotus plant.


Tombs and dwellings are mostly of pressed clay; few are brick. Finer homes have polished plaster floors, sometimes decorated, floor mats of woven rushes are common.


Plastered and whitewashed. Tombs depict the deceased in various activities arranged in bands. Grander homes the walls in important rooms are panted. The lower portion is white, black, or dark blue with patterning above. A frieze near the ceiling depicts abstractions of nature or symbols.


Small and Rectangular, often have wood grilles or rolled mat coverings woven of reeds.


typically wooden boards with pivot hinges; double doors may define important rooms. rolled mats may also cover openings. And lintel doorways, may be surrounded by hieroglyphics and other symbols; commonly used symbols relate to the monarch, life, fertility, and wealth


Flat; a few, often in rock-hewn tombs, are barrel vaulted. Some dwellings and places have ceilings of important rooms raised by columns for clerestory windows that add light and air circulation.

  • Symbols and Motifs

Object and forms are formal and convey monumentality through simplicity, order and balance. Careful organization, geometry, and stylization reflect the essence, regarded as an eternal principle.


The lotus, papyrus, and palm; hieroglyphics. The sun disc and vulture(appear over temple doors to avert evil); the sacred beetle or scarab (eternal life); Introduced the guilloche (twisted circular bands); Spiral, palmette, and weave patterns. Figures are idealized and shown frontally. They and other motifs may be outlined with incised lines and exhibit slight modeling, but there are no highlights, shading, or shadows. Size indicates importance, and scenes appear in bands.


Egyptian lotus

Sun disk and vulture


  • Decorative Arts

Furniture is Rectangular with few curves. Can be plain or decorated, Most surviving examples are from royal or upper class tombs.


Chairs, with and without arms, folding and rigid stools, footstools, chests, tables, and beds

Distinctive Features

Chairs, stools, and beds are distinctive with front and rear animal legs positioned naturally and raised on a cylinder, often beaded. Lion legs are most common.


Acacia or sycamore are local, Cedar, cypress, and ebony are imported. poor-quality woods are veneered and painted, invented a type of plywood composed of small wood pieces glued together. inlays include ebony, ivory, faience, and precious stones. Sheet, foil, and gold and silver leaf are common on furniture.


typical chair is simple and square, some have animal legs, with paw feet placed naturally and raised on a cylinder. Throne Chairs, Stools (made in various heights), and folding stools used by military commanders.



Small with rectangular or round tops for eating and display, wicker stands are more common.



Chests and baskets (store possessions), linen, clothing, and food.


wooden frames with leather or rush webbing, richly carved and have footboards, but no headboards, folded linen serve as a mattress.


Decorative Arts

Pottery, alabaster, copper, bronze, gold, silver, storage jars, bowls, jugs, washbasins, and mirrors.




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