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History of Architecture 01

Ar. Mark Kevin V. Lingan, uap
The Historical
Timeline of Architecture


Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]



• Egypt consists of a sandy desert with a

strip of fertile and arable land on the
banks of the Nile River.

• The possession of the Nile, moreover,

was of immense advantage, not only on
account of its value as a trade route,
and as a means of communication, but
also because its waters were the
fertilizing agents that made desert
sands into fruitful fields.

• It was on the banks of this ancient river

that the cities of the Egyptians were
naturally placed; thus the chief remains
of the Tombs, Temples, and Pyramids
are found in this area.
“NILE RIVER, the Life of Egypt”
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• Existed an abundance of limestone in

the north; sandstone in the central
region; and of granite in the south
(Syene). Said stones were used for the
construction of temples, and tombs.
Gold were also found in Nubia in the

• Bricks (sun-dried) were also employed,

and were used for the construction of
houses, and palaces.

• There were very little building timber,

but the indigenous date palm, was
sometimes used in logs, for roofing.

• Palm leaves, reeds and rushes used to

frame or reinforce mudbrick
constructions, or as mats for such as
panels, partitions and fences, had a
EGYPTIAN great and permanent influence on the
MESOPOTAMIAN form and character of stone
Egyptian Architecture
CLIMATE [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Mummification
• The climate is uniform and of warm
temperature. An intact body is an integral part
• Two seasons - spring and summer. of a person's afterlife & assuring
• Snow is non-existent & Rain is rare themselves a successful rebirth
into the afterlife.
Effects of Climate on Egyptian Architecture:
• Simple design & Construction Method Without a physical body there is
• Few windows no shadow, no name, no spirit,
• Flat roof no personality & no immortality.
• Massive walls Tutankhamun’s
King Tutankhamun
• In theory, the religion was Monotheistic,
ruled Egypt from
but in practice it’s Polytheistic.
1333-1324 BC,
ascending the throne
• The Egyptians were strong believers in a
at age nine.
future state (after life); hence their care in
the preservation of their dead
(mummification) and the erection of
everlasting monuments such as pyramids.
MESOPOTAMIAN • Pharaohs/Kings were buried, bringing with
GREEK them the things they might need in the Computer image of his face
afterlife, even living people.
Egyptian Architecture
• Tutankhamun’s mummified body was [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
contained in 3 coffins or sarcophagi,
each one within the next.
Inner Coffin

Tutankhamun’s Made of solid

Outer Coffin gold and weighs
110 kg
Made of gilded
wood covered
with gold

Death Mask

Made of solid
gold and inlaid
with semi-
Tutankhamun’s precious stones,
Middle Coffin it weighs 11
Made of wood covered
with gold,
semiprecious stones,
glass and obsidian

Egyptian Architecture
• There was no dividing line between god [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
and king. Often, they filled the double MENKAURE TRIAD
function as kings of their people and
priests of their gods, and were King Menkaure - the
last Great Pyramid
themselves gods commanding priestly builder
service. They were frequently associated
in triads. Hathor - the goddess
of music and love, is
shown to the right of
Menkaure, holding his
Amun - the King of
the gods
To the left of
Mut - consort to Amun
Menkaure is the
& queen of the gods
personified 17th
Nome of Upper Egypt.
Khons - the son of
Amun and Mut. The
god of the moon and MEMPHIS TRIAD
Ptah - The chief deity
of Memphis & patron
deity of craftsmen.
Osiris - The god of
Sekhmet - The consort
the underworld.
of Ptah & the giver of
divine retribution,
Isis - The mother of
vengeance, and
Horus - The child of
GREEK Nefertem - the
Isis and Osiris.
ROMAN Protector of the two
Egyptian Architecture
• The dwelling-house was looked upon by
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
them as a mere temporary lodging, while
• The Kings of ancient Egypt are known
the tomb being the permanent abode,
as Pharaohs (from the title “Peraa”
hence, typified in the two predominant
meaning “Great House”. The pharaoh
types of Egyptian buildings:
was the political and religious leader
• Temple Architecture for the gods, &
holding the titles: 'Lord of the Two
• Tomb Architecture for the dead
Lands' and 'High Priest of Every
• Society were divided into groups, by order
Pharaohs were:
of importance: senior priests, officials,
• Seen as gods dwelling on earth
noblemen, and army commanders
• Sole masters of the country and its
• Most ordinary Egyptians were farmers • Builders, Leaders; and initiators of
designing, financing, quarrying,
• Craftmanship was highly developed; transporting of materials, organization
Egyptians had great skill in weaving, glass- of labor, and construction of edifices
making, pottery, metal works, jewelry and
furniture making.

• Workmen were receiving food as their

wage, thus, a state of cheap labor existed
which was eminently favorable to the
execution of large and important
EGYPTIAN structures.
ROMAN • War captives were as well put to forced-
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: EGYPTIAN ROYAL SYMBOLS

1. Hatshepsut ruled herself as the first

woman pharaoh after the death of her
Ankh symbolizes life,
husband Thutmose II. She ruled with
health & strength
her nephew Thutmose III who was
too young to be the heir.
2. Thutmose III was called the
Napoleon of ancient Egypt because
of his military genius & built many
3. Tutankhamun was a young pharaoh Eye of Horus symbolizes protection &
at the age of 9 so his uncle Ay, who royal power.
was the highest minister, ruled for
him while he was a boy.
4. Rameses II was one of the longest
ruling pharaohs of ancient Egypt for
67 years. He lived for over 80 years
with over a dozen wives and more
than 100 children.
5. Cleopatra (Queen of the Nile) was
the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt
though she was not of Egyptian
MESOPOTAMIAN lineage, being the daughter of
Ptolemy XII (Greek).
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

symbolizes power,
dominion &

Crook & Flail are Sun Disk

symbols of royalty, represents light,
kingship, majesty warmth & growth.
and dominion. The
crook is a scepter

Cartouche is a
rope enclosing a
royal name in
Egyptian texts
& rebirth.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• The Egyptians, especially the priests,
Uraeus/Cobra attained to a very high degree of
symbolizes royal learning in astronomy, mathematics,
protection & the and philosophy which were all written
Falcon is for on a papyrus and stone tablets
divine kingship. including music, literature, and history.

They also Heiroglyphics (the god’s words) – Evident in ancient

represent the Egyptian monuments, is a system of pictorial writing
used by ancient Egyptians to represent religious
unification of rituals, historic events, and daily pursuits.
Lower Egypt
(cobra) Papyrus – writing material of ancient times and also
& Upper Egypt the plant from which it was derived, Cyperus papyrus,
also called paper plant. The papyrus plant was
(falcon). long cultivated in the Nile delta region in Egypt and
was collected for its stalk or stem, whose central pith
was cut into thin strips, pressed together, and dried to
form a smooth thin writing surface.
with the god
EGYPTIAN of wisdom
MESOPOTAMIAN and writing
Egyptian Architecture
HISTORY [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

4. The New Empire (17th-20th Dynasty),

• Egyptian civilization is the most ancient B.C. 1738-950. This period had
of any of which there is a clear Thebes as the capital, and many
knowledge ; its history is partly derived imposing buildings were erected at
from Holy Scripture and from Greek and Karnac, Luxor, and elsewhere.
Roman authors, but more particularly
from the Egyptian buildings, by which it 5. Period of Foreign Domination (21st–25th
can be traced back for more than 4,000 Dynasty), B.C. 950-663.
years B.C.
6. The Late Egyptian Period (26th–30th
• Pharaohs were divided into 30 Dynasties Dynasty), B.C. 663-332. This period
arranged in the following periods. includes the Persian Domination.
1. Prehistoric Pd. (23,000–4,777 BC) 7. The Graco-Roman Period, B.C. 332
A.D. 640:
2. The Ancient Empire (1st – 10th Dynasty, i. Alexander the Great and Ptolemaic
B.C. 4777-2821). The capital being at Period, B.C. 332-30.
Memphis, the tombs of this period are ii. The Roman Period, B.C. 30-A.D. 395.
at Abydos, Nakadeh, Memphis, iii. The Byzantine Period, A.D. 395-640.
Sakkara, Gizeh and Abusir.
8. Medieval Egypt (Mahometan Period),
3. The Middle Empire (11th-16th Dynasty, A.D. 640-1517.
B.C. 2821-1738. A prosperous period
MESOPOTAMIAN in which much building was carried 9. Modem Egypt (Turkish Domination),
out. This period includes the dynasties A.D. 1517 to the present time.
EARLY CHRISTIAN of the "Hyskos“ or shepherd kings.
Egyptian Architecture
ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]


• The primitive architecture in the valley of

the Nile consisted of readily-available and
malleable materials like reeds, papyrus
and palm-branch ribs - reeds were bound
together and placed vertically in the
ground at intervals, the angle bundles
being of greater strength. Joining these
reeds, at the top, were laid horizontally
other bundles, which bound the heads of • Cut-stones were used for monumental
the uprights together - plastered over with and religious buildings such as
clay. temples and tombs.

• Sun-dried mud-brick were mainly used for • Palm logs were used for roofs
houses and palaces.
• The jambs and lintels of the doors and
Made of Nile mud and mixed with chopped straw or windows were made of reeds in the
sand and thoroughly matured by exposure to sun humbler dwellings and of palm trunks
the mud bricks were very long lasting and large, in those of more extravagance.
about 356 mm (14 in.) long 178 mm (7 in.) wide
and 102 mm (4 in.) thick. • Egyptian monumental architecture,
which is essentially a columnar and
MESOPOTAMIAN • Stone was not much used except as rubble
and as a stiffening or foundation to mud solid trabeated style, is expressed mainly in
walls until the third dynasty. pyramids and other tombs and in
BYZANTINE temples.
Egyptian Architecture
• Egyptian molding/cornice originated from [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
the pressure of the clay of which primitive
• The surface decoration of the stone
roofs were constructed – on the upright
walls was derived from the practice of
reeds which formed the framework of the
scratching pictures (sgraffito) on the
early mud-plaster walls. The flat and
windowless surfaces were eminently
suitable for relief and explanatory

• Batter Wall – wall/s

diminishing course by
course towards the
top for stability
purposes, which
remained one of the
principal characteristic
of Egyptian
PRE-HISTORIC Architecture. The
outer face of the wall
GREEK inclined while the
inner face remained
BYZANTINE upright.
Egyptian Architecture


a. Mastaba
b. Royal Pyramids
c. Rock-Hewn Tombs


An ancient Egyptian rectangular, flat topped

funerary mound, with battered (sloping)
sides at 75 degrees, covering a burial
chamber below ground.

1st Dynasty Mastaba

2nd and 3rd Dynasty Mastaba (Stairway
- Simulates house plans of several small
rooms; a central one containing the
- Tomb chamber, having been sunk much
sarcophagus and the other rooms for
deeper and cut in the rock below.
receiving funerary offerings
- Main axis of the tomb lay North and
- Constructed in a broad pit below ground
South & has a false door on the
PRE-HISTORIC - Wooden roof supported by wooden posts
southern side allowing the spirit of the
or brick pillars
MESOPOTAMIAN dead to enter and leave at will, and has
GREEK - Covered by a rectangular flat mound of
a table in front for the daily offering of
ROMAN soil retained by thick brick walls.
EARLY CHRISTIAN fresh fruits.
Egyptian Architecture
- Steps and ramps connect with a shaft [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
which descended to the level of the tomb 4th Dynasty Mastaba
chamber from the North end of the top of - A small offering room was developed
the Mastaba. tacked on or constructed within the
- After burial, Heavy stones (portcullises) mastaba.
are dropped through the slots to seal the - Majority of the mastabas were made of
chamber. limestone.

Mastaba at Gizeh: 4th Dynasty

5th & 6th Dynasty Mastaba

- Rooms or group of rooms including a
columned hall with walls lined with vividly-
colored reliefs depicting scenes from the
daily life of the deceased were adjacent
MESOPOTAMIAN or within the mastaba mound.
Subsequent changes in the design of the mastaba is
due to the attempt to achieve greater security for the
BYZANTINE body of the dead and the goods buried with him.
Egyptian Architecture
Parts of Mastaba (2nd – 6th Dynasty): [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Examples of Mastaba
1. Stele – located in the offering room
(outter chamber), is an upright stone slab Mastaba at Beit Khallaf is a massive,
inscribed with the name of the dead. Walls plain, and solid looking “stairway” tomb
are decorated with representations of festal typical of the 3rd Dynasty made up of
scenes, and life of the dead bricks with five (5) porticullises guarding
the stairs and the ramp.
2. Serdab (Inner Secret Chamber) –
containing statues of the deceased, and
members of his family.

3. Well leads to the chamber containing the

sarcophagus with its mummy.

Egyptian Architecture
Mastaba at Gizeh adjoins the great [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
pyramids arranged in orderly ranks from
number two (2) to three-hundred (300). Mastaba of Thi, Sakkara It dates from
Mostly of the 4th and 5th Dynasty. the fifth dynasty, and was erected to the
Royal Architect and Manager if pyramids
Development of the offering chapel and Thi.
typical “shaft” with deep underground tomb
chamber and a sloping sided superstructure A large pillared court is attached to the
having two widely spaced recesses on the north end of the east side, approached
long east side. from the north by a portico which has a
serdab alongside. A passage connects
A false door is located in the southern the court with a small chamber and an
portion for offerings. offering room, with two pillars lying inside.
This is equipped with two stele and an
offering table against the west wall; on the
south of it is a second serdab with three
slots through the intervening wall
corresponding to the three duplicates
statues of Thi.

The masonry of the tomb is carefully

jointed and covered with flat reliefs, which
are generally considered the best
PRE-HISTORIC specimens of their kind.
Egyptian Architecture
The principal reliefs are in a second tomb [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
chamber, 22 feet 9 inches by 23 feet 9 Plan Legend:

inches and 12 feet 6 inches high. These 1: Portico with two pillars
reliefs represent harvest operations,
shipbuilding scenes, scenes representing 2: First serdab, visible through two narrow windows
from the portico and from the courtyard
the arts and crafts of the period, the
slaughtering of sacrificial animals, and Thi 3: Pillared courtyard;
himself sailing through the marshes in a a: false door of Demedj, Thi’s son
boat with a surrounding papyrus shrubs. 4: First corridor;
b: false door of Nefer-Hetep-es
(Neferhetepes), Thi’s wife, aligned
with her tomb shaft (no. 9)

5: Second corridor

6: Storeroom

7: The chapel for Thi;

c, d: false doors of Thi, aligned with his burial
chamber (C)

8: Second serdab, visible through three narrow

windows from the chapel

9: Tomb shaft for Nefer-Hetep-es (Neferhetepes), Thi’s


PRE-HISTORIC The red outline outlines Thi’s burial chamber below the
A: descent from the courtyard
B: sloping corridor
C: burial chamber with
BYZANTINE D: Thi’s stone sarcophagus
B. ROYAL PYRAMIDS Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
A massive funerary structure of stone or • Valley building is connected to the Nile
brick with a square base and four sloping River where funerary procession
triangular sides meeting at the apex. arrives, via a man-made canal

Used mainly in ancient Egypt, These were

built by the kings as their future tombs, the
governing idea being to secure immortality
by the preservation of the mummy.

Pyramids did not stand In solitary isolation

but were the primary part of a complex of
buildings. They were surrounded by a walled
enclosure and had the following parts:

a. An offering chapel, with a stele usually

abutting the east side of the pyramid but
occasionally on the North.

b. A mortuary temple for the worship of the

dead and deified Pharaoh.

c. A raised and enclosed causeway leading to

the nearer, western edge of the cultivation
where stood a
•Pyramid entrances normally were from
GREEK d. “Valley building” in which embalmment was
ROMAN the North side and the other faces were
carried out and interment rites performed.
exactly oriented with the cardinal points.
Egyptian Architecture
Pyramid Orientation [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

The tombs are aligned north-south with

an accuracy of up to 0.05 degrees. How
the Egyptians did this has been unclear.

Experiments conducted over the past few

decades suggest that several methods that
make use of the sun or stars could also have
been used to align the pyramids to the
cardinal points – North, East, West, South

• The Fall Equinox Theory by Glen Dash

“The fall equinox occurs halfway between

the summer and winter solstices. By Theory on Solar Reference on the
counting 91 days after the summer solstice, Pyramid’s shape and Orientation
one can land squarely on the fall equinox.
On that day, you can stick a pole in the The shape of the pyramid was perhaps
ground and watch the shadow. This type of intended as a tangible version of the rays
pole functions as a "gnomon," which is the of the sun. It is believed by the Egyptians
tall part of a sundial that casts a shadow. If that the sun’s rays are ramps the pharaoh
you mark the tip of the pole's shadow as it mounts to climb to the sky, and that
EGYPTIAN moves across the sand during the day, the pyramids were actually designed as
marks should create a line that points staircase (e.g. Zoser’s pyramid).
ROMAN perfectly east and west.”
Pyramid Construction
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Pyramids were built with immense outlay
in labor and material to secure the
preservation of the body after death until
the soul would once again return to the

• Pyramids were founded on the living rock,

levelled to receive them, and were of
limestone quarried in their locality, faced
with the finer limestone coming from Tura Straight Ramps
on the opposite, eastern side of the Nile.
Granite, in limited use for the linings and
of chambers and passages was brought
from up-river of Aswan

• Wooden sledges, with or without rollers,

were used to transport the stone blocks
from the source going to the site.

• The principal tool used for raising the

stone blocks from the ground was said to
be a lever. Zigzag & Spiral Ramps
•Tomb chambers and their approaches.
• Sloping ramps made of sand or earth with
GREEK Were either cut in the rock below the
ROMAN reinforced brick walls were used to haul
monument or were in its constructed core.
EARLY CHRISTIAN up stone blocks to the top of the pyramid.
Egyptian Architecture
Examples of Egyptian Pyramid [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Approx. Dim: 125m(w) x 109m(w) x 60m(h)
Step Pyramid of Zoser, Sakkara (2778 BC)
• Surrounded by a vast rectangular
• Built by Zoser’s Architect, Imhotep. limestone wall measuring 547m x 278m
Remarkable as the world’s first large-scale x10.70m(h)
monument made up of stone.

• Is a series of six (6) successively smaller

mastabas one atop of another & originally
clad in polished white limestone.

• Investigations have shown that the pyramid

began as a square mastaba, instead of the
usual rectangular shape, and then was
changed to rectangular.

Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• Heb-Sed court contains dummy chapels

• The surrounding walls has 14 bastions with with forecourts representing the various
false doors made up of stones. provinces of upper and lower Egypt.

• The entrance to the complex leads to a • The interior of the complex shows some
long 1-m-wide hallway lined with fluted relation to earlier developments of
columns that resembles bundle of reeds; mastaba considering the fact that its varied
MESOPOTAMIAN said columns bears architraves and a roof parts are composed of offering chapel with
GREEK made of stone stele and statue of Zoser, mortuary temple,
two courts, maze corridors, and several
Egyptian Architecture
Seneferu (2613–2589 BCE), ruler during the [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Fourth Dynasty built several pyramids in an
attempt to build a “true pyramid”.

Pyramid of Meydum

• Attributed to the last king of the third

dynasty, Huni.

• At one-stage was a seven-stepped

structure, contrived by building six thick
layers of masonry, each faced with
limestone, against a center with sides
sloping steeply at 75 degrees; later on
added another layer raising the number of
steps into eight (8).

• Latter development of adding a layer

around the step-pyramid that transformed it
into a “true pyramid”

• Approx dimension of the “True Pyramid”:

144.5m (474ft) base x 90m (295ft) height.
Sides sloping @ 51 degrees.
Egyptian Architecture
Bent Pyramid [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
(South Pyramid of Seneferu, 2723 BC)
• Approx inclination: Lower portion: 54
degrees; Upper portion: 43 degrees.

• The change in slope had the objective of

lightening the weight of the upper portion
of the masonry as walls of the chambers
and passages in the lower portion began
to show signs of crumbling.

• Made up of locally sourced stone with

limestone facing, it is square in plan with
approx. dimension of 187m (620ft) base
x 102m (335ft) height.
• Located 50 kilometers North near Dahshur
• Surrounded by a double-walled
• Construction commenced when Seneferu rectangular enclosure, an offering and
abandoned the building of Meydum Pyramid mortuary temple in the eastern portion
after fifteen (15) years of work. and a causeway leading to the Valley
• Originally planned to be 150m high and
bold, it was not realized due to the instability • The subsidiary structures around the
PRE-HISTORIC of the ground. However, in an effort to save pyramid was said to have provided the
EGYPTIAN the structure, bend was added to reduce the first example of how a pyramid complex
weight and angle of the slope, thus called should be arranged and its parts. Thus, It
ROMAN “BENT PYRAMID”. is considered a unique example of early
EARLY CHRISTIAN pyramid development.
Egyptian Architecture
Red Pyramid (North Pyramid of Seneferu) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
The Pyramids at Giza (2550 – 2490 BC)

Chephren (Khafra)

Cheops (Khufu)

• Located 2 miles (approx. 3km) North of the

Bent Pyramid, is the actual burial place of
King Seneferu, and was constructed after
the abandonment of the Bent Pyramid
between the 22nd and 29th years of
Seneferu’s reign and took approximately 70
Inscribed into the UNESCO World
years to build.
Heritage List in 1979, it was said to have
been built to endure an eternity, the
• It is called the “Red Pyramid” because of
monumental tombs are relics of Egypt's
the reddish cast of the limestones used in
Old Kingdom era.
its construction.
Three Pyramids at Giza
• It is the largest among the Pyramids in
Dahshur and the 3rd largest in the whole of
PRE-HISTORIC 1. Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)
Egypt and also the first “True Pyramid”.
2. Pyramid of Chephren (Khafra)
GREEK 3. Pyramid of Mykerinos (Menkaura)
• Approx. dimension: 104m(h) x 220m(b), 43
EARLY CHRISTIAN degrees slope.
Egyptian Architecture
The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) 2600BC [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The first and the largest among the three • It is composed of approx. 2.3M individual
Pyramids at Giza, was built by Cheops, the stones, weighing at an average of 2500
second king of the fourth dynasty, son of kgs (2.5 tons), resting on a solid rock
Seneferu. foundation; The core was mostly of
yellow limestone quarried from the
• (Approx.) 146m (480ft) high; 230.6m (756ft) immediate area, while the stones of the
PRE-HISTORIC base; 13 acres (52,609 sqm) total area. casing are of a white limestone from
The four sides are near-equilateral quarries at Tura and Masara.
GREEK triangles and makes an angle of
approximately 51 degrees 52 min with the • The oldest among the 7 wonders of the
BYZANTINE ground. ancient world
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

There are three separate internal chamber and the so-called 'Queen's chamber' are
discarded projects, abandoned in favor of the “king's chamber” where the granite
sarcophagus is located. The entrance is 7.30m (24ft) off center on the North side, and
17m (56ft) above ground level, measured vertically, leading to a corridor descending at
about 26 degrees to the original rock-cut chamber. In this descending corridor, after the
first change of plan, an ascending corridor was cut in the ceiling, about 18.30m (60ft)
PRE-HISTORIC along, rising to some 21m (70ft.) above ground at which level the Queen's chamber was
constructed. But before it was entirely completed, the approach was sealed off and the
GREEK ascending corridor extended into what is known as the Grand Gallery. At the. top, the
Grand Gallery gave on the King's chamber 5.2m (17ft. 2in.) from North to South, 10.5m
BYZANTINE (34ft. 4in.) long and 5.8 m (19ft.) high.
Egyptian Architecture
The Pyramid of Chephren (Khafra) 2532 BC [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• Located at the North-West of the Valley

building is the Great Sphinx of Chephren
– A gigantic mystical monster carved
from a spur of a rock, bearing the head
of Chephren wearing a royal head-dress,
false beard and cobra brow ornament,
and has the body of a resting lion.
Measuring 73.2m (240ft) long, 20m (66ft)
high, and the face 4.1m (13ft 6in) wide.
• The second of the three Pyramids at Giza.
Built by the son of Khufu and 4th King of • The lion was a royal symbol as well as
the 4th Dynasty, Chephren. being connected with the sun as a
symbol of the horizon; the fusion of this
• A little less large than the Pyramid of powerful animal with the head of the
GREEK Cheops with approx. dimension of: 216m pharaoh was an icon that survived and
(708ft) sides, 143m (470ft) high, and a was often used throughout Egyptian
steeper slope at 52 degrees and 20 min. history.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Khafra’s mortuary temple consisted
of an intricate though largely
symmetrical combination of
galleries and courts, at the center
of which was a monumental
courtyard with twelve colossal
statues in niches along its
perimeter. Behind the courtyard
was a row of five chapels that held
the sacred barges that had brought
the sarcophagus and other objects
down the Nile

The plain square piers

support red granite
lintels. The rectilinear
perfection of the piers
contrasts with the more
organic coursing of the
gigantic stones of the
Egyptian Architecture
The Pyramid of Mykerinos [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
(Menkaura) 2525 BC

• Menkaure’s pyramid chambers include a

• Built by Pharaoh Menkaura - son of
chamber carved with decorative panels
Chephren, and the 5 King of the 4th
and another chamber with six large
niches. The burial chamber is lined with
massive granite blocks.
• Much smaller than the other two Pyramids
at Giza with an approx. dimension of: 109m
EGYPTIAN • Within Menkaure’s mortuary and valley
MESOPOTAMIAN (356ft) square base, 66.50m (218ft) high,
temples, neither of which were
and sloping sides at 51 degrees.
ROMAN completed before his death, excavation
revealed a series of statues of the king.
Egyptian Architecture
Site Plan of The Great Pyramids of Giza [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

In addition to the
three major
structures, several
smaller pyramids
belonging to queens
are arranged as
satellites. A major
cemetery of smaller
tombs, known as
mastabas fills the
area to the east and
west of the pyramid of
Khufu and were
constructed in a grid-
like pattern for
prominent members
of the court. Being
buried near the
pharaoh was a great
honor and helped
PRE-HISTORIC ensure a prized place
in the afterlife.
Egyptian Architecture
C. ROCK-CUT or ROCK-HEWN TOMBS [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Examples of Rock-Cut Tombs
Tombs at Beni Hasan

• Began during the early middle kingdom

when provincial officials (Nomarch) of each
provinces (Nome) preferred to be buried in • An example of Hillside Tomb
their locality rather than in the capital city or
beside/near the Pyramid of the Pharaoh. • Beni Hasan - a province in Egypt, east of
Nile River, and is noted for its 39 11th-12th
• Built along hill-side, naturally occurring rock Dynasty elaborately decorated tombs
formation, or sloping rock face. carved into a limestone hill.

• Primarily for the noblemen rather than • Each has a chamber; A porticoed façade
ROMAN royals until the New Kingdom. with fluted or tapered columns.
Egyptian Architecture
Tombs of the Kings, Thebes
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• An example of Corridor Tomb, and more
commonly known as “The Valley of the
Kings”, is located in the arid mountains on
the west side of Nile River, it is the burial site
of most Kings/Pharaohs during the 18th-20th

• Created during the age of the New Kingdom,

wherein the Kings shifted to corridor type
tombs, and showed abandonment of royal
pyramid tombs

• Stairs, passage ways, and chambers extend

as much as approx. 210m (690ft) into the
mountains and approx. 96m (315ft) below
the ground.

• Chambers of these tombs are connected

with passages hewn in the rock, and were
intended only for the reception of the
sarcophagi. Said Chamber is composed of
rock-columns and elaborate wall paintings
PRE-HISTORIC depicting ceremonial funerary scenes and
EGYPTIAN religious texts
Valley of the Queens is a place near the
ROMAN • Mortuary Temples were built separately and Valley of the Kings where wives of
completely detached from the tombs. Pharaohs were buried in ancient times.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
2. TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE • Light & shadow are important features in
Temples, and light came through:
• Are sanctuaries where only the king and
priests can enter, and in which mysteries • Wall openings
and processions formed a great part of the • Gaps between columns
religious services. • Clerestory windows

• Are not places for the meeting of the Temple as cosmos

faithful or the recital of common prayers,
and no public ritual was celebrated within Conceptually, temples in Egypt were
them. connected to the idea of zep tepi, or “the
first time,” the beginnings of the creation
• Are a kind of royal chapel constructed by of the world. The temple was a reflection
the king in token of his own piety and in of this time, when the mound of creation
order to purchase the favor of the gods, emerged from the primeval waters. The
because only the priests and king were pylons, or gateways in the temple
allowed beyond the hypostyle hall. represent the horizon, and as one moves
further into the temple, the floor rises
• Typically consisted of chambers for the until it reaches the sanctuary of the god,
priests, with courts, colonnades, and halls, giving the impression of a rising mound,
all surrounded by a high wall. like that during creation. The temple roof
represented the sky and was often
• Designs emphasized order, symmetry, and decorated with stars and birds. The
EGYPTIAN monumentality, and combined geometric columns were designed with lotus,
shapes with stylized organic motifs. papyrus, and palm plants in order to
reflect the marsh-like environment of
BYZANTINE creation.
Types of Temples:
Egyptian Architecture
1. Mortuary temple [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Used for the ministrations (service) to deified 7.Obelisk is a tall 4-sided narrow tapering upright
pharaohs, and is a developed version of the stone terminating in a pyramidion, its most sacred
offering chapels of the mastabas and royal part. A symbol of the sun-god Heliopolis, it usually
pyramids. come in pairs fronting entrances of the temples. Its
height is 9-10 times the diameter of the base, and
• Detached from tombs especially during the new its four sides feature hieroglyphics.
kingdom where corridor tombs are customary,
hence, features of this type of temple tended to 8.Avenue of sphinxes rows of monsters with a
merge into that of the other type (Cult Temple) body of lion, head of man, hawk, or ram leading to
and distinction between them eventually lost. monuments

2. Cult Temple
• Began in the, and for the worship of the ancient &
mysterious gods of Egyptians.

Parts of an Egyptian Temple:

1. Pylon is the monumental gateway to the temple.

2. Great Court is surrounded by columns

3.Hypostyle Hall is a forest of columns, portraying

the illusion of infinity & vastness of space. “Hall within
many columns”.

4.Sanctuary is the holiest part & accessible only to

the kings & high priests that contains statues of their
EGYPTIAN deities or pharaoh.
GREEK 5.Enclosure wall
6.Colossal statues of the Pharaoh
Egyptian Architecture
Examples of Parts of an Egyptian Temple [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

Pylon Hypostyle Hall

EARLY CHRISTIAN Great Court Sanctuary
Egyptian Architecture
Examples of Parts of an Egyptian Temple [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

Enclosure Wall


Colossal Statues of the Pharaoh Avenue of Sphinxes
Egyptian Architecture
Examples of Egyptian Temples [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Temple of Khons, Karnak (1198 BC)

• Mostly done by Rameses III, is a usual type

of Cult Temple characterized by having
Entrance Pylons, Court, Hypostyle Hall,
Sanctuary, and Several Chapels, all enclosed
by a high stone wall.

• The Entrance to the temple was between

pylons, fronted by obelisks, and were
approached by avenue of sphinxes. The
entrance gave access to the open court
(hypaethral: Greek “under the air”),
surrounded on three sides by a double
colonnade and leading to the hypostyle hall,
to which light was admitted by a clerestory
window, formed by the increased height of the
columns of the central aisle. Beyond was the
sanctuary, with openings front and rear and a
circulating passage around, and beyond this
again was a four-columned hall. The smaller
rooms flanking the sanctuary and at its rear
were mostly chapels or served for purposes
of the ritual. The Temple was protected by a
MESOPOTAMIAN great wall of the same height as the halls
themselves, and like them the wall decreased
EARLY CHRISTIAN in height towards the sanctuary end.
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Mentuhetep, Der el-Bahari, [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Thebes (2065 BC)
• Located at the West Bank of Luxor (ancient
Thebes), in Deir el-Bahari, is a terraced-two-
main-level mortuary temple at the base of the
steep cliffs, from the 11th Dynasty, built by
the Pharaoh Mentuhotep II. It represents the
architectural change from the pyramids of the
Old Kingdom to the tombs and temples of
million years from the New Kingdom.

• The pyramid-shaped structure at the top is a

cenotaph - a tomb or a monument erected in
honor of a person or group of persons whose
remains are elsewhere - and the rock below it
is a dummy burial chamber approached by
an irregular passage from the forecourt.

• It is a mortuary temple directly related to a

corridor tomb. In the rear of the temple is
another pillared hall, recessed into the rock
face, preceded by an open court from the
center of which ramp leads down to
PRE-HISTORIC Mentuhetep’s 152.5m (approx. 500ft) long
EGYPTIAN corridor tomb.
ROMAN • This Temple had a causeway leading down to
EARLY CHRISTIAN a Valley Building approx. 1km away.
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Der el- [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Bahari, Thebes (1520 BC) It was designed to tell the story of her life
and reign and surpass any other in
elegance and grandeur.

The Temple of Hatshepsut has three

levels. Leading up to the temple is a 100-
foot processional causeway that in ancient
Egyptian times was lined with sphinxes
that connected the temple with the valley.
“The Egyptian Queen, who ruled as King”,
The eldest daughter of King Thutmose I, Known as Djeser Djeseru, or “holy of
Hatshepsut assumed the role of a queen in holies,” Hatshepsut’s temple was
the 18th dynasty after her husband, decorated with scenes from her reign and
Thutmose II, died. She ruled for more than housed shrines to Anubis, god of the
two decades. dead; Hathor, goddess of fertility; Amun,
king of gods; and Ra, god of the sun.
Took 15 years to complete, and built next to
Mentuhetep’s Temple to reinforce her place
among kings, Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple
located on the west bank of the Nile River in
Deir El Bahri is her greatest achievement.

PRE-HISTORIC Designed by Hatshepsut’s Architect,

Senmut, it was carefully modeled on that of
GREEK Mentuhotep II but took every aspect of the
earlier building and made it larger, longer,
BYZANTINE and more elaborate.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• The first, second, and third levels of the
temple all featured colonnade and
elaborate reliefs, paintings, statuary,
and exemplified the traditional Egyptian
value of symmetry.

• Walking through the first courtyard

(ground level), one could go directly
through the archways on either side or
stroll up the central ramp, whose
entrance pylon was flanked by statues
of lions and towering obelisks.

• A colonnade existed with square pillars

that were home to many intricate and
exquisite reliefs. Many of these reliefs
depicted Hatshepsut on her many trips
to Punt (Northern Somalia), but were all
destroyed after her death.

Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• On the second level, there were two reflecting
pools and sphinxes lining the pathway to
another ramp which brought a person up to
the third level.

• The second courtyard would house the tomb

of Senmut to the right of the ramp leading up
to the third level.

• On the left side of the ramp leading to the

third level was the Birth Colonnade, and on
the right the Punt Colonnade.

• The Birth Colonnade told the story of

Hatshepsut’s divine creation with Amun Ra as
her true father to validate her rule over Egypt
even after her reign.

• The Punt Colonnade related her glorious

expedition to the mysterious 'land of the gods'
which the Egyptians had not visited in
centuries. Hatshepsut described how her
people set out on the trip, their warm
reception in Punt, and makes a detailed list of
the many luxury goods brought back to Egypt.
MESOPOTAMIAN • At either end of the second level colonnade
were two temples: The Temple of Anubis to
EARLY CHRISTIAN the north and The Temple of Hathor to the
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Statues of Horus, in falcon form, flank
the ramp that leads from the second
courtyard to the third level.

• The ramp to the third level, centered

perfectly between the Birth and Punt
colonnades, brought a person up to
another colonnade, lined with statues,
and the three most significant structures:
the Royal Cult Chapel, Solar Cult
Chapel, and the Sanctuary of Amun.

• The whole temple complex was built into

the cliffs of Deir el-Bahari and the
Sanctuary of Amun – the most sacred
area of the site – was cut from the cliff

• The Royal Cult Chapel and Solar Cult

Chapel both depicted scenes of the royal
family making offerings to the gods.
Amun-Ra, the composite creator/sun
EGYPTIAN god, is featured prominently in the Solar
MESOPOTAMIAN Cult Chapel with Hatshepsut and her
immediate family kneeling before him in
Egyptian Architecture
Great Temple of Ammun, Karnak, Thebes [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
(1530 – 323 BC) A great court, 103m x 84m (338ft x 275ft)
• The grandest of all Egyptian temples & built deep, gives entrance to the vast hypostyle
by many kings, It was the most important hall, by Seti I and Rameses II, some 103m
sanctuary of the cult who worshipped the x 52m (338ft x 170ft) on the inside.
sun god, Amun-Ra. It occupies a site of
366m x 110m (1200ft x 360ft) and is placed The roof of enormous slabs of stone of the
in an immense enclosure along with other hypostyle hall (Hall within many columns)
temples and a sacred lake, surrounded by is supported by 134 columns in sixteen
a girdle wall 6.1m x 9m (20ft to 30 ft) thick. rows; The central avenues are about 24m
(78ft) in height and have columns 21m
• The temple had six pairs of pylons, added (69ft) high and 3.6m (11ft 9in) in diameter,
by successive rulers, and consists of with capitals of the papyrus-flower or bell
various courts, and halls leading to the type. In order to admit light through the
sanctuary, and a large ceremonial hall by clerestory, the side avenues are lower with
Thothmes III in the rear. columns 13m (42ft 6in) high and 2.7m (8ft
9in) in diameter with papyrus bud capitals.

Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The First Pylon, is 113 meters wide with walls

15 meters thick and still stands 43.5 meters
high. It was left unfinished, and fragments of
the scaffolding of sun-dried brick used during
its construction are still visible.

• Beyond the Pylon, you come to the Great

Court, which dates from the 22nd Dynasty. It is
103 meters wide by 84 meters deep with
colonnades on both sides. In the north corner
MESOPOTAMIAN of the court is the small Temple of Seti II, which
GREEK consists of three chapels dedicated Mut,
ROMAN Amun, and Khons, each with niches for the
image of the deity.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• On the right-hand side of the court is the

Temples of Ramses III, dedicated to Amun,
which is perhaps the best example of a simple
Egyptian temple built on a unified plan.

• Beyond the temple's Pylon is a Court, with

covered passages on either side, the roofs of
which are supported on eight Osiris pillars. On
the rear walls of the Pylon towers, Ramses is
shown receiving the sign for "jubilee" from
Amun, signifying that he would celebrate many
more jubilees. On the far side of the court is the
Vestibule of the temple proper, which stands on
a higher level. Along the front are four Osiris
pillars, while to the rear are four columns with
closed capitals.
EGYPTIAN • From the Vestibule, a doorway leads into
MESOPOTAMIAN the Hypostyle Hall, which has eight columns
with closed capitals. Beyond this are three
EARLY CHRISTIAN chapels dedicated respectively from left to right
BYZANTINE to Mut, Amun, and Khons.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The Second Pylon, built by Ramses II, is badly

dilapidated. The towers have been freed from
the ruins of later buildings erected in front of
them using stone. In the center is the huge
doorway, formerly preceded by a kind of small
vestibule flanked by two statues of Ramses II:
one of these (on the right) still stands, of the
other, only the legs are left.

GREEK Beyond the 2nd Pylon is the Great Hypostyle
Hall, justifiably regarded as one of the wonders
BYZANTINE of the world.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The rear wall of the Great Hypostyle Hall is

formed by the Third Pylon, built by Amenophis
III. Incorporated in its structure were large
blocks decorated with reliefs from 13 earlier
temples. On the south tower is a long
inscription detailing the gifts made by the
pharaoh to Amun. On the north tower are the
last remnants of a relief depicting a ceremonial
voyage on the Nile.

EGYPTIAN • Beyond the Third Pylon is the Central Court
where formerly four obelisks are erected. One
of these is still standing, together with the
EARLY CHRISTIAN bases of the other three. It is 21.75 meters high
BYZANTINE and is estimated to weigh 143 tons.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The Fourth Pylon, was built by Thothmes I. The

doorway, according to the relief inscription, was
restored by Alexander the Great. Beyond the
pylon is a colonnade, also ruined, which
originally contained huge statues of Osiris set
in niches and two obelisks of Aswan granite
erected by Queen Hatshepsut, the tips of which
were covered with electrum (an alloy of silver
and gold)
• Beyond the Fifth Pylon built by Thothmes I, are
two small antechambers, now in a state of ruin,
built by Thothmes III in front of the Sixth Pylon.
To the right and left are courts with colonnades
of 16-sided columns and statues of Osiris —
remnants of the large court built by Thothmes I
around the temple of the Middle Kingdom.
• The Sixth Pylon built by Thothmes III, the last
MESOPOTAMIAN and smallest of all, is also in a ruined state. On
GREEK the walls to the right and left of the granite
ROMAN central doorway are lists of the cities and tribes
subdued by Thothmes III.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The Sixth Pylon leads you into the First Hall of

Records, built by Thothmes III in a court. Here,
stand two granite pillars, which once supported
the roof — the one on the right (south) with the
lotus; the one on the left with the papyrus, the
emblems of Upper and Lower Egypt. Here, too,
are the magnificent colossal statues of Amun
(much restored) and the goddess Amaunet, of
reddish sandstone.

• To the left and right of the Hall of Records is the

Court constructed by Tuthmosis III, with a
colonnade of papyrus cluster columns with 16
shafts. On the rear side of the doorway leading
to the southern part of the court are reliefs of
Seti II. In the east wall, on the facade of
MESOPOTAMIAN Hatshepsut's building, is a false door, once
GREEK lavishly adorned with gold and lapis lazuli. On
ROMAN the south side are five chapels dedicated to the
cult of Amenophis I.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• The Second Hall of Records of Thothmes III,

which surrounds the chapel, are long
inscriptions celebrating the pharaoh's military
exploits. To the right of the black granite
doorway, above the inscription, is a relief of
Thothmes III presenting gifts (two obelisks,
vases, necklaces, and chests) to the temple.

• The Great Festival Temple of Thothmes III is

entered by the main doorway at the southwest
corner, in front of which are the stumps of two 16-
PRE-HISTORIC sided columns and two statues of the pharaoh as
EGYPTIAN Osiris. The roof of the three central aisles was
MESOPOTAMIAN borne on two rows of 10 columns and 32 square
pillars. The tent pole columns are unique,
EARLY CHRISTIAN indicating that the central aisles were conceived
BYZANTINE by the builder as a large festival tent.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• Incised inscriptions and reliefs in colour,

which cover the walls, column shafts, and
architraves, give the names and exploits of
the royal personages who contributed to its
grandeur, and praise the gods to whom it
was dedicated.

• The inscriptions in the walls, columns, and

ceilings serve as “super-dimensional
PRE-HISTORIC history books”: the scenes painted on them
refer to the religious practices and great
GREEK achievements of the king. At the bottom
they are decorated with images of papyrus
BYZANTINE and at the top with offering scenes.
Egyptian Architecture
Temple at Luxor, Thebes (1408-1300BC) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Ramses II added an outer court,
• Dedicated to Amon, king of the gods, his
decorated with colossal statues of
consort Mut, and their son Khons, it was
himself between the pillars of a double
commissioned by King Amenophis
colonnade, and a lofty pylon on which he
III (reigned 1390–53 BCE) of the late
depicted festival scenes and episodes
18th dynasty, the temple was built close to
from his wars in Syria. In front of the
the Nile River and parallel with the bank
pylon were colossal statues of
and is known today as the Temple of Luxor.
the pharaoh and a pair of obelisks, one
of which still stands; the other was
• The original part of the Temple of
removed in 1831 and re-erected in
Luxor consisted of a large peristyle court
the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
and a complex of halls and chambers.

• The great peristyle forecourt is surrounded

on three sides by a double row of graceful
papyrus-cluster columns,
their capitals imitating the cluster of
the papyrus plant in bud.

• The most striking feature of the temple, a

majestic colonnade of 14 pillars, 52 feet (16
metres) high. Said colonnade, which also
has papyrus-cluster capitals, may have
EGYPTIAN been intended for the central nave of a
hypostyle hall similar to that at Karnak, but
ROMAN the side aisles were not built; instead,
enclosing walls were built down either side
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Seti I, Abydos (1312BC) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• On the first courtyard's southeast wall

are scenes from Ramses II's wars and
victories in Asia, including the famed
Battle of Qadesh.

• Built by Seti I, and was completed by Rameses

II, it has three (3) levels, two pylons, two
forecourts, and two hypostyle halls; and is
unique in having seven sanctuaries side by
side honoring Osiris, Isis, Horus, Ptah, Re-
Harakhte, Amun, and diefied Pharaoh Seti I.

• The front part of the temple is divided into Second Courtyard

seven individual temples, each with its own To the right and left, you can see
doorway, and the chambers behind the dedicatory inscriptions in the name of
chapels are not arranged behind one another, Ramses II. On the far side of the court, a
like the other temples, but side by side. low ramp leads up to the temple proper
and a Vestibule with 12 sturdy pillars.
• Another unusual feature of the temple is a wing
of chambers projecting at right angles to the
main structure, following the shape of the
MESOPOTAMIAN eminence on which the temple stands.
• The reliefs on the walls of close-grained
BYZANTINE limestone are among the finest in Egypt.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

First Hypostyle Hall

• Its partly destroyed roof of which is supported on
24 papyrus cluster columns with bud capitals. Sanctuaries
Columns are so arranged that the five central • Adjoining the Second Hypostyle Hall are seven
processional aisles leading to the chapels are sanctuaries. The one in the middle is dedicated
flanked by two pairs of columns, while the two to Amun, the principal god of the New Kingdom;
outermost aisles are bounded on one side by the the three on the right to Osiris, Isis, and Horus;
walls of the hall. and the three on the left to Re-Harakhty, Ptah,
and to Pharaoh Seti I.

The Second Hypostyle Hall

• Has 36 columns set in three rows supporting the The South Wing
architraves and the roofing slabs, which rest on • Contains a slaughter yard, a well, and store
EGYPTIAN them. The 24 columns in the first two rows have rooms, as well as a Sanctuary of Ptah-Sokar,
MESOPOTAMIAN closed papyrus capitals. The columns in the third the death god of Memphis, which is entered
row, set on a raised platform, are tree trunk from the Second Hypostyle Hall. The fine reliefs
columns with cylindrical shafts and no capitals that here show Seti I revering Ptah-Sokar, his son
BYZANTINE support the architrave. Nefertum, and other deities.
Egyptian Architecture
Great Temple, Abu-Simbel (1301BC) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

• Eight smaller chambers open off

assymetrically to right and left probably
used to store the temple utensils and
furniture, adjoin this vestibule.

• In the rear is a small hypostyle hall, 36

feet by 25 feet, having four pillars,
leading to a long narrow chamber out of
which are three apartments, the center
and largest one being the sanctuary, with
an altar and four seated figures of the
• Built by Rameses II, is considered as one of deities worshipped.
the most tremendous creations of Egyptian
architecture, and was entirely excavated out • The entire temple was transplanted from
of the solid rock. its original location and lifted piece by
piece to its current site by an
• It has a fore-court, at the back of which is the international UNESCO team working
imposing facade, 36m (119ft) wide and 32m against the clock to preserve it from
(105ft) high, formed as a pylon, and having being flooded by the Aswan High Dam in
four seated colossi of Rameses II, each over the 1960s.
20m (65ft) in height is believed to be
PRE-HISTORIC Rameses II’s attempt to achieve immortality. • Abu Simbel is both the perfect example
EGYPTIAN of the ambition of this pharaoh's reign
GREEK • The entrance leads to a hall, the ceiling of and also a model illustration for modern
ROMAN which is supported by eight Osiris pillars, the engineering
walls having vividly colored reliefs.
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

The entire Forecourt in front of the temple is

open, originally it would have been enclosed To the right and left of each statue and
on the north and south by brick walls, while between their legs are figures on a
the east side of the court would have been smaller scale but still larger-than-life size,
open, looking on to the Nile. representing members of the royal family.

The 17.7-meter-long Hypostyle Hall is

PRE-HISTORIC The 4 colossal figures represent a deified divided into three aisles by two rows of
EGYPTIAN Ramses II. The two on the left depict the four square pillars, and on the inner sides
GREEK pharaoh as Heka-tawi and Re-en-hekaw. are ten-meter-high Osiris figures of the
ROMAN The two to the right of the doorway show pharaoh holding the scourge and the
Ramses II as Meri-Amun and Meri-Atum. crook
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
Beyond the Hypostyle Hall, you come to the
Vestibule, which is divided into three aisles
by four square pillars. On the sides of the
pillars are representations of Ramses II being
received into the company of the gods.

From the Transverse Chamber, three

doors lead into three small rooms at the
farthest end of the temple. In the center is
the rectangular Sanctuary, which could be
entered only by the king

From the Vestibule, three doorways lead into

a long and narrow Transverse Chamber On
the walls of this chamber, Ramses II is
shown making offerings to Min, Horus, and
EGYPTIAN Khnum (left-hand end) and to Atum, Thoth,
and Ptah (right-hand end) who were also Small Temple, Abu-Simbel, was
ROMAN worshiped here, almost with the status of dedicated to Rameses II’s deified queen,
guest divinities Nefertari & the goddess Hathor.
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Isis, Island of Philae (1301BC) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

First Pylon: The Temple Entranceway

The First Pylon leads into the main temple
area. Its two towers and central doorway
provide a grand 18-meter-high entry that is
• The temple is an interesting example of the decorated with reliefs.
Ptolemaic period, and was the work of
several generations. It was dedicated to
goddess Isis, wife of Osiris & mother of

• The temples were transferred block by block

from their original place on Philae Island to
Agilika Island by the UNESCO due to the
construction of Aswan High Dam. Forecourt: The Temple's Main Courtyard
A doorway with reliefs in the western tower
MESOPOTAMIAN • Batter walls were employed in the temple’s leads directly to the Birth House (mammisi) -
GREEK walls. a small colonnaded temple dedicated to
Hathor-Isis and to the memory of the birth of
BYZANTINE her son Horus
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

The Sanctuary: House of Isis

Second Pylon: Entry to the Inner Temple Lit by two small windows. This can be reached
The Second Pylon provides a fittingly regal entry to after passing through several antechambers
the inner sanctum of the temple with a magnificent flanked by dark side chambers.
doorway 32 meters wide and 12 meters high

Gateway of Hadrian
It was built in the reign of the Emperor Hadrian
and decorated with reliefs by Hadrian, Marcus
PRE-HISTORIC Aurelius, and Lucius Verus. The gateway
Vestibule: Entering the Inner Temple
EGYPTIAN presumably led to the Sanctuary of Abaton on
The eight-columned Vestibule is the first room of the
the neighboring island of Bigga, where there was
GREEK inner temple area and was originally separated from
a Tomb of Osiris, and accordingly, the reliefs
ROMAN the court by screens between the columns on the
EARLY CHRISTIAN relate to the cult of Osiris.
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Horus, Edfu (237-57BC) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

Pylon: The Grand Temple Entrance

• The grand pylons are approx. 62.6m (205ft)
wide and 30.5m (100ft) high. Stone sentinels of
the falcon-headed god Horus watch over this
Great Pylon, while stone reliefs on either side
of the gate sing the praises of Ptolemy King
Neos Dionysos.
Plainly a processional cult temple, it is a
fine, best preserved example of Ptolemic
Period. It was built in three stages with
intervals between: First Temple Proper by
Ptolemy III, Outer Hypostyle Hall (140-
124BC), and lastly the perimeter wall and
the pylons.
Forecourt: The Colossal Courtyard
There is a passage surrounding the
• Surrounded on three sides by 32 towering
sanctuary that also serves as access to 13 columns, it would originally have had a great
small chapels. All its inner rooms were altar in the center, where the temple priests
MESOPOTAMIAN completely dark and windowless. made offerings to Edfu's gods . Said columns
are richly decorated with floral and palm
capitals, and the golden-hued stone walls are
BYZANTINE covered in reliefs of the gods Horus and Hathor
Egyptian Architecture
[4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]

Vestibule: Entering the Inner Temple

From the forecourt, one will arrive to the much more
First and Second Antechambers: Inner Altars of
human-scale Vestibule decorated with 12 columns
the Priests
topped with elaborate floral capitals. Inside are two
The First Antechamber was an altar area where
small rooms: The western room is the Hall of
offerings were left for the gods by the temple
Consecration, with a beautiful relief on its rear wall
priests; the Second Antechamber with a small
depicting gods Horus and Thoth pouring sacred
court of offerings is the priests' last port of call to
water over the pharaoh; and the eastern room was
make offerings to the gods before entering the
the temple's Library.
holy of holies itself in the Sanctuary.
Main Hypostyle Hall
Notable are the
foliated palm capitals
varying in design in


Sanctuary: The Room of the Gods

GREEK Lit by three small square apertures in the roof,
ROMAN the sanctuary was where the golden statue of
Horus once stood upon a granite shrine
Egyptian Architecture
Temple of Hathor, Dendera (110BC-68AD) [4000+ B.C. – 1st Century A.D.]
• Hathor’s cult center was at Dendera, one of the
best-preserved temple complexes in all of Egypt.
The Temple of Hathor is the largest and most
impressive building in this religious complex,
and is visually stunning with its grand entrance,
detailed carvings, hieroglyphs, and decorated

• It has no pylons, fore-court, or enclosing outer

walls, but has a great vestibule with twenty-four
columns, six of which form the fa9ade, having
low screen walls between them on either side of
• Hathor is the goddess of love, who the central entrance. Behind this is the hypostyle
hall, having six columns with elaborate Hathor-
personified the principles of joy, feminine headed capitals. On each side of this hall and
love, and motherhood. She was also beyond are chambers, used as lavatory,
regarded as a goddess of healing, and this treasury, store-rooms; and behind are two ante-
is evident in the presence of a sanatorium in chambers with a sanctuary beyond.
the temple complex. Here, pilgrims would
come to be cured by the goddess. Sacred • The Temple of Hathor was largely constructed
during the Late Ptolemaic period, specifically
water (which was made holy by having it during the reign of Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra
poured onto statues inscribed with sacred VII. Later additions were made during the
texts) was used for bathing, unguents were Roman period. Although built by a dynasty of
dispensed by the priests of Hathor, and rulers who were not native Egyptians
PRE-HISTORIC sleeping quarters were provided for those themselves, the design of this temple has been
hoping that the goddess would appear in found to be in accordance to that of other
MESOPOTAMIAN classical Egyptian temples, with the exception of
GREEK their dreams, and to aid them. the front of the hypostyle hall, which, according
to an inscription above the entrance, was
BYZANTINE constructed by the Emperor Tiberius.