Influences of Egyptian Architecture
Archaeological discoveries in Egypt reawakened an interest in the ancient temples and monuments. Egyptian Revival architecture became fashionable during the 1800s. In the early 1900s, the discovery of King Tut's tomb stirred a fascination for Egyptian artifacts and the rise of Art Deco architecture. Where did the Ancient Egyptians live?The Ancient Egyptians lived along the banks of the river Nile in Egypt. Farmers first settled in Egypt along the River Nile around 5000 B.C. The ancient Egyptian people were grouped in a hierarchical system with the Pharaoh at the top and farmers and slaves at the bottom. The groups of people nearest the top of society were the richest and most powerful. The diagram below shows the structure of ancient Egyptian society.
The Pharaoh was believed to be a God on earth and had the most power. He was responsible for making laws and keeping order, ensuring that Egypt was not attacked or invaded by enemies and for keeping the Gods happy so that the Nile flooded and there was a good harvest.
The Vizier was the Pharaoh's chief advisor and was sometimes also the High Priest. He was responsible for overseeing administration and all official documents had to have his seal of approval. He was also responsible for the supply of food, settling disputes between nobles and the running and protection of the Pharaoh's household.
Nobles ruled the regions of Egypt (Nomes). They were responsible for making local laws and keeping order in their region.
Priests were responsible for keeping the Gods happy. They did not preach to people but spent their time performing rituals and ceremonies to the God of their temple.
Scribes were the only people who could read and write and were responsible for keeping records. The ancient Egyptians recorded things such as how much food was produced at harvest time, how many soldiers were in the army, numbers of workers and the number of gifts given to the Gods.
Soldiers were responsible for the defence of the country. Many second sons, including those of the Pharaoh often chose to join the army. Soldiers were allowed to share riches captured from enemies and were also rewarded with land for their service to the country.
Craftsmen were skilled workers such as - pottery makers, leatherworkers, sculptors, painters, weavers, jewellery makers, shoe makers, tailors. Groups of craftsmen often worked together in workshops.
Farmers worked the land of the Pharaoh and nobles and were given housing, food and clothes in return. Some farmers rented land from nobles and had to pay a percentage of their crop as their rent.
There were no slave markets or auctions in Ancient Egypt. Slaves were usually prisoners captured in war. Slaves could be found in the households of the Pharaoh and nobles, working in mines and quarries and also in temples.
Religion guided every aspect of Egyptian life. Egyptian religion was based on polytheism, or the worship of many deities, except for during the reign of Akenaton. The Egyptians had as many as 2000 gods and goddesses. Some, such as Amun, were worshipped throughout the whole country, while others had only a local following. Often gods and goddesses were represented as part human and part animal.
The Egyptians saw death as a transitional stage in the progress to a better life in the next world. They believed they could only reach their full potential after death. Each person was thought to have three souls, the "ka," the "ba," and the "akh." For these to function properly, it was considered essential for the body to survive intact. The entire civilization of Ancient Egypt was based on religion, and their beliefs were important to them. Their belief in the rebirth after death became their driving force behind their funeral practices.
When a person died, the priests recited prayers and a final attempt was made to revive the deceased. The body was...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document