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Osiris – The god of the underworld.

Influences Isis – The mother of Horus.
Horus – The child of Osiris and Isis
1. Geographical
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of North MEMPHIS TRIAD
Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches the Nile Ptah – The chief diety of Memphis & patron deity of
River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. craftsmen.
Sekhmet - The consort of Ptah & the giver of the
“Nile, life of Egypt” divine retribution, vengeance, and conquest.
 Irrigation turned desert into fruitful fields. Nefertem – the Protector of the two lands.
 Its gentile current was favourable for
 Trade and commerce prospered along King Menkaure – the last Great Pyramid builder
banks. Hathor 0 the goddess of music and love, is shown to
 Early Egyptian civilization had its birth along the right of Menkaure, holding his hand.
the Nile. The 17th deified nome of the upper Egypt.
 Important religious structures like the tomb,
pyramids, and temples for the gods were ROYAL SYMBOLS:
built in strategic places along the banks of
the Nile. Double Crownheadress (‘pschent’) represents the
kingship of the 2 lands, Upper and Lower Egypt. The
2. Geological white crown (‘hedjet’) is for the Upper Egypt and the
(‘deshret’) for Lower Egypt.
 Principal construction is post and lintel. Nemes Crown is a large striped head cloth worn
 Mud brick was the principal material for almost exclusively by the king in representations like
domestic buildings. a sphinx or falcon.
Ankh symbolizes life, health, strength.
 Stone (sandstone, limestone, granite &
3 ways they used the ankh: 1. clutched in the hand by
marble) was favoured for temples and
the gods and goddesses. 2. giving the ankh to the
king or pharaoh. 3. the god or goddess holding the
 The ancient Egyptians didn’t use mortar so
symbol to the mouth or nose of an Egyptian royalty.
the stones were carefully cut to fit together.
Feather of Ma’at represents justice, truth, morality
and balance.
3. Climatic
The heart of the deceased is weight with the feather
Due to the aridity of Egypt’s climate, population
of Ma’at. The heart should be lighter than the feather
centres are concentrated along the narrow Nile Valley
because a heavy heart is full of sin.
and Delta.
Eye of Horus symbolizes protection and royal power.
Effects of Climate on Buildings:
Cartouche is a rope enclosing a royal name thereby
 Simple design serving as the protector of that name.
 Few windows Scepter symbolizes power and dominion.
 Flat roof The Was sceptre has a stylized animal head on top &
 Massive walls a forked end. It was a visual representation of the
concept of “power” or “dominion”.
4. Religious & Social The Sekhem sceptre denotes the concept of “power”
The religious rites of the Egyptians were traditional & and “control”.
mysterious as manifested in tombs & temples. Sun Disk represents light, warmth, and growth.
Scarab symbolizes resurrection and rebirth.
Religious practices: Boat of Ra. Earn a place in Ra’s boat by having a
1.Monotheistic in theory light heart.
1. Polytheistic in practice (natural phenomena, Crook & Flail are symbols of royalty, kingship,
heavenly bodies & animals). majesty and dominion. The crook is a sceptre
symbolizing government. These are the 2 most
There was no dividing line between gods and kings. prominent in the royal regalia or insignia.
They were frequently associated in triads. Uraeus/Cobra symbolizes royal protection and the
Falcon is divine kingship. They also represent the
THEBAN TRIAD unification of Lower Egypt (cobra) & Upper Egypt
Amun - the King of the Gods (falcon).
Mut - consort to Amun & queen of the gods Ibis symbolizes reincarnation.
Khons – the son of Amun and Mut; the god of the
moon and time The outstanding feature of the religion of the
Egyptians was their strong belief in the afterlife.
Mummification was reserved for the richest and most 2. Thutmose Ill was called the Napoleon of ancient
powerful in Egyptian society. The process was long Egypt because of his military genius & built many
and expensive. There were three main people who structures.
took part in this process; the scribe, the cutter, and 3. Tutankhamun was a young pharaoh at the age of
the embalmer. It takes 70 days to prepare the body 9 so his uncle Ay, who was the highest minister, ruled
for burial. Their belief: for him while he was a boy. He was the 126 king of
the 18th dynasty.
 An intact body is an integral part of a 4. Rameses II was one of the longest ruling
person’s afterlife & assuming themselves a pharaohs of ancient Egypt for 67 years. He lived for
successful rebirth into the afterlife. over 80 years with over a dozen wives and more
 Without a physical body there is no shadow, than 100 children.
no name, no spirit, no personality & no 5. Cleopatra (Queen of the Nile) was the last
immortality. pharaoh of ancient Egypt though she was not of
Egyptian lineage, being the daughter of Ptolemy XII
Mummies are contained in coffins called the (Greek).
sarcophagus. In the case of Tutankhamun, his
mummy was contained in 3 coffins, each one within ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER
next. The outer coffin was made with gilded wood
covered with gold. The middle coffin was made of Ornaments:
wood covered with gold, semiprecious stones, glass
and obsidian. The inner coffin was made of solid gold Papyrus (Symbol for Lower Egypt & Fertility)
and weighs 110k. (which at 2004 prices is worth over Lotus (Symbol for Upper Egypt & Fertility)
1.5 million US dollars). His death mask was made of Palm (Fertility)
solid gold and inlaid with semi-precious stones, it
weighs 11 kilograms. 3 Types of Ornamentation:
1. Geometric Forms
Everlasting monuments for the preservation of the 2. Animals
dead: 3. Plants
1. Temple of the gods
2. Tomb pyramids of the kings. COLUMNS are indicative of plant stems gathered at
the base with capitals derived from the lotus bud,
The Kings of ancient Egypt are known as papyrus flower & the palm.
Pharaohs. ‘Pharaoh’ is a Greek word that is based on
an Egyptian word that meant ‘great house’ TOMB ARCHITECTURE
The pharaoh was the political and religious leader
holding the titles: 'Lord of the Two Lands' and 'High 1. Royal Mastaba is a broad pit below ground
Priest of Every Temple'. covered with a rectangular flat mound with sides
As 'Lord of the Two Lands' the pharaoh was the ruler sloping at 75 degrees. The word mastaba is an Arabic
of Upper and Lower Egypt. He owned all of the land, word meaning 'bench of mud".
made laws, collected taxes, and defended Egypt Main axis lay north and south & has a false door on
against invaders. the southern side allowing the spirit of the dead to
As 'High Priest of Every Temple', the pharaoh enter and leave at will.
represented the gods on Earth. He performed rituals A mastaba has a shaft descending to the tomb
and built temples to honor the gods. chamber.
Heavy stones (porticullises) are dropped through the
The pharaohs have been divided into 30 dynasties. slots to seal the chamber.

The rulers would have the members of their own Parts of a Mastaba:
families be married within the family itself so that the a. A Serdab is an enclosed room containing the
throne would remain with them. In spite of such statue of the deceased. It has a hole allowing the
occurrences, where men were marrying their own spirit of the dead to communicate with the living
sister, daughters and granddaughters, there were world.
loads of times when the rule changed hand, b. The Stele in the offering chapel has the name of
contributing to one of the most complex and the deceased inscribed on it.
interesting royal history ever.

Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

1. Hatshepsut ruled herself as the first woman
pharaoh after the death of her husband Thutmose 11.
She ruled with her nephew Thutmose Ill who was too
young to be the heir.
The King’s chamber is a hollow space in the middle of
a massive structure of stone. The chamber is of hard
granite surrounded by softer limestone.

The ante-room in the King's Chamber must have

been blocked with portcullises to seal the tomb
chamber. The stones must have been lowered by
pulleys fashioned from ropes.

Ex.: Mastaba, Faraoun

Mastaba, Tarkhan
Mastaba, Saqqara
Mastaba, Gizeh

2. Step Pyramid

Ex.: Step Pyramid of Djozer by Imhotep is the

world's first large scale monument in stone with no
free-standing columns.
Itis a series of 6 successively smaller mastabas one The Pyramid of Chephren (Khafre)is slightly smaller
atop of another & originally clad in polished white than the great Pyramid of Cheops & guarded by the
limestone. Sphinx believed to bear the face of King Chephren. A
sphinx is a mythical monster with the body of a lion
and the head of a pharaoh, hawk or ram.
3. Bent Pyramid.The bent pyramid is a unique The Pyramid of Mykerinos (Menkaura, son
example of early pyramid development.The lower part of Chephren) is the smallest & the last among the 3
rises at a 55 degree inclination & the top section is pyramids to be built in the Giza Plateau.
shallower at 43 degrees.
Ex.:Bent Pyramid of Snefru, Dashurhas the best
preserved limestone outer sheath of any pyramid in The logistics of construction at the Giza site are
Egypt. staggering when you think that the ancient Egyptians
had no pulleys, no wheels, and no iron tools. Yet, the
4. The Pyramids at Giza dimensions of the pyramid are extremely accurate
and the site was leveled within a fraction of an inch
Parts of a Pyramid: over the entire 13.1-acre base. This is comparable to
a.Offering chapel the accuracy possible with modern construction
b.Mortuary temple (for the worship of the dead) methods and laser leveling. That's astounding. With
c.Causeway their 'rudimentary tools’, the pyramid builders of
d.Valley building (for interment & embalmment ancient Egypt were about as accurate as we are
today with 20th century technology.
The Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) is the oldest and
largest (13 acres) of the 3 pyramids in the Giza Recruitment of the Skilled Labor Force
Necropolis. It is the oldest of the 7 Wonders of the
Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely Pyramid construction was paid labor during slow
agricultural seasons, not slave labor as is commonly
The granite blocks weigh 2.5 tons.The original outer supposed. It was hugely labor-intensive.
casing of the pyramid was of white Tura stone, a
beautiful white limestone. A worker's city was constructed-barracks,
administrative buildings, granaries, bakeries
The capstone was plated with gold, silver or electrum, breweries, work yards, smithies, and foundries.
(an alloy of gold and silver) that would also be highly There were permanent dwellings for those who
reflective in the bright sun. brought their families to settle, and the king
encouraged this heartily. Those craftsmen and
The Grand Gallery's was constructed of corbelled artisans who were first to arrive had the most
desirable jobs, the finest housing, the best in all 4. Sanctuary is the holiest part &accessible only to the
things. king & high priests.
5. Enclosure wall
6. Colossal statues of the Pharaoh
The Ramp Theory 7. Obeliskis a tall 4-sided narrow tapering column
Stones were dragged on a prepared slipway (on the terminating in a pyramidion, its most sacred part,
ramp) that was lubricated with oil. 8. Avenue of sphinxes

1. Straight ramp
2. Zigzag ramp
3. Spiral ramp
4. Internal ramp
5. Rock-cut Tombs

Types of Rock-cut Tombs

a. Hillside Tombswereelaborately decorated tombs

carved into the llmestone cliffs.
Temple Plan
Ex.:Tombs, Beni Hasan has 39 ancient rock-cut
tombs. Temple walls were designed with inward inclinations
called batter walls.
b. Corridor Tombscontain stairways, passageways,
corridors & burial chambers located below the valley Examples:
floor. Temple of Isis, Philae was the last pagan temple to
exist in the Mediterranean.
Ex.: The Valley of the Kings, Luxorwas the royal It was dedicated to goddess Isis, wife of Osiris &
necropolis of Ancient Egypt where the kings mother of Horus,
& powerful nobles were buried. The valley was listed
in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Great Temple of Amun, Karnak(ancient Thebes)is
the grandest of all Egyptian temples & built by many
The tomb of Tutankhamun was one of the smaller kings.
tombs in the Valley of the Kings as Tutankhamun was It was most important sanctuary of the cult who
a fairly minor king who had a very short reign. worshipped the sun god, Amun-Ra.
Over 3,500 items were recovered from the burial of
Tutankhamun, and many are breathtaking in their It has 6 pairs of pylons, approached by avenues of
beauty and a testament to the skill of Egyptian sphinxes & a pair of obelisks flank the main entrance.
It a has a Great Court with 134 super-sized columns
Ex.: The Valley of the Queens, Luxor is a place in 16 rows, 21-24 m. high and 3.60 m. in diameter.
near the Valley of the Kings where wives of Pharaohs
were buried in ancient times. Temple of Luxor was mostly built by Amenophis III,
dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut &

Types of Temples: Great Temple, AbuSimbelis a rock-hewn temple with

1. Mortuary temple is used for the 4 rock-cut colossal statues of Rameses II over 20 m.
ministrations to deified pharaohs. high.
2. Cult Temple is for the worship of the ancient
& mysterious gods, Small Temple, AbuSimbelis a rock-hewn temple
dedicated to Rameses ll's delfied queen, Nefertari &
Light & shadow are important features in temples. the goddess Hathor.
Light came through:
 Wall openings Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Valley of
 Gaps between columns the Queens, Deir el-Bahari was built by Senmut
 Clerestory windows &dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra."
It is connected to a corridor tomb.
Parts of an Egyptian Temple:
Mortuary Temple of Mentuhetep, Der-el-Bahari is
1. Pylon is the monumental gateway directly related to a corridor tomb.
2. Great Court is surrounded by columns
3. Hypostyle Hall is a forest of columns, portraying the Temple of Khons, Karnak was a cult temple mostly
illusion of infinity &vastness of space. done by Rameses lII.
Temple of Seti I, Abydos. The close-grained
limestone wall relief is the finest in Egypt.

The Ramesseum, Thebes, by Rameses Il is a

mortuary temple of the cult type.

Temple of Horus, Edfu, built from sandstone blocks,

is the most completely preserved of all
temple remains.

Mammisi Temple, Edfu wasbuilt to celebrate the

divine birth of Horus.

***A mammisi temple is often referred to as a birth

house of the gods located within the temple precinct.

Mammisi Temple at the Temple of Hathor,

Dendera is dedicated to lhy (the son of Hathor
and Horus).


Egyptian houses are made of crude bricks,

1-2 storeys high with flat & parapeted roof.

Characteristics of Egyptian Architecture:

 Simplicity
 Solidity
 Gandeur

Prepared by:MDSachez, 2011