September 22, 2010

Summary of Egypt, Greece & Rome

Egypt: burial sizes varied due to status' of the deceased, focus on Nile River, referring to life and death, also helps play a role in the architecture of the land. Worship and sacrifices accompanied the design and use of many temples. Hieroglyphics found in wooden and stone columns.

Greece: columns provide more than stability, the diameter relates to every part of the structure. Axial progression plays a role in the grouping of buildings. Religious sites and temples are very common.

Rome: places for gathering were defined by columns, gardens developed more when markets came into play. Column structure was similar still to Greece & Egyptian columns but more toward structure and experience.

September 15, 2010

Reading Comp #2

1. I understand how and why the first sites of worship and sacrifice were simply marked by trees. Before knowing much about architecture, natural matters were the most simple and accessible to the builders, as well as, having a large connection to the gods and goddess that the Greeks worshiped. Worship was an important aspect of their culture and gave reasoning to any and everything that happened in the Greek world. Even so, when columns came about starting as wood then moving to stone and marble, the columns themselves were shaped in such a way that had purpose referring back to gods and goddesses, from the base, molding, decoration and even the shadows that the columns would cast. Hersey gives evidence in such statements as, “Another aspect of the column bas is the rich endowment of horizontal shadows....shadow was perceived by the ancients not as the mere absence of light but... mote-like souls of the dead... see them as thick with souls.”

2. The internet is full of gossip, historical readings, and theories that individuals come up with on their own and through some research. Gossip is the writers opinion on a celebrity, couples, etc. Historical readings are based off a persons findings at a site or through reading others research. And theories are just that, they are a view that someone wants to express and explain to the extent that they prefer. All these categories of internet sources are what one person wrote up and believed in their own state of mind. The internet is just a world wide tool, accessible to anyone and everyone. To believe everything you read would be naive, depending on the sources provided and evidence behind the individuals opinion help to make the information on the internet more believable. You can’t believe everything you read!

3. Queen Hatshepsut was one of the few female rulers in Ancient Egypt and died during the construction of a tomb but the funerary temple included the element of stacking yet was layered with many openings and a walkway up to the entrance. Even though Hatshepsut was a pharaoh, she was a Queen, not a King and may be the reasoning behind the significant difference in this burial to the large pyramids as in the Valley of the Kings and Giza.

4.The Temple of Horus is an ancient Egyptian temple for the chief god Horus-Apollo. Inscriptions on the walls tell important information on language myth, and religion during the Greco-Roman period. Also within the writings, details of the construction and preservation of temples. The temple was a center of several sacred events. An axial progression, rows of columns and sculpture connect this Egyptian temple to Grecian temples like the Temple of Poseidon. The Temple of Poseidon was rectangular with a colonnade on all four sides, only a percentage of those columns stand today. At the center of the temple would have been the hall of worship, a windowless rectangular room. The temple would have also had many decorative details that created a beautiful experience.The Temple of Poseidon is architecturally delightful but overall, the Temple of Horus holds a significant amount of historical importance through the inscriptions that sets it apart from being simply a site for worship.

5. Harwood’s examples of tables, stools, chairs and chests in Egyptian furniture are mainly constructed from local woods, some imported, painted to imitate better woods. Wood alone is a major factor in the difference of weight to the furniture and architecture within tombs. Tombs themselves are traditional made of stone and hard objects so to enter furniture made of wood would make the setting unbalanced. Wood was also an easily movable material, due to the lightweight, making traveling easier for pharaohs.

6. The Greek religion respects order. Males possess independence and ownership, while women are their fathers’ or husbands’ property. Their main duties were to have children and take care of the household. In the images on the urns, women are depicted just as history describes their responsibilities in their time. Women tended to their male figures, served them above anything else and with the images of the male figures sitting on the "thrones", being fed or admired by the women, further show the status males had over women in the ancient time of Greece.

September 8, 2010

Point: theories

“Design... deserves attention not only as a professional practice but as a subject of social, cultural, and philosophic investigation.” is what Richard Buchanan and Victor Morgan believed backed the creation of a structure and I believe this quote has numerous points that supported the first unit. Actual structures built and ideas lifted from the purpose of objects, all form from the environment, the people, the culture, and the function in which it will be located. Without the history and tradition of the area, a structure will hold no significance. Numerous builders, architects and theorists have created manifestations that explain why and how a structure should be created but reoccurring within all of them is “commodity, firmness, and delight” in some form or another.

Structures like Stonehenge and Avebury are ancient locations that contain stones placed in lines or circles that have relevance to one another. The civilizations are gone now but people still have the ability to understand why the stones may have been placed where they are and can understand that, for example, Stonehenge was possibly a place for ceremonies or worship with levels of importance between the different stone circles or a place of studying the stars (a place of the Gods). In the earliest years, BC, theories were centered around understanding the idea of the different layers of circles with the stones and how the people were able to place the monstrous boulders in a pattern, as well as, have some mounted atop others. All the many ideas behind the purpose for the site and the actual creation of Stonehenge are supported by the cultural influence and the environment, which is still a place of beauty due to the mystery of not understanding the exact purpose.

Besides the mystery, beauty, and possible reasoning for Stonehenge, the monument itself was constructed well. Several construction phases have been recorded and evidence has shown assembly expands as far back as 6500 years ago. Even with many stones missing, the main appearance and final idea of the structure is still visible today. Not knowing the original builder or creator, present day people are still able to experience Stonehenge as a complete monument. The stone placement and stability of the natural materials used have increased the lasting preservation of the site.