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Architecture in Pre-Historic Time and Ancient Egypt

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Architecture in Pre-Historic Time and Ancient Egypt

Architecture, over time has grown both in complexity and purpose, however it all started with the basic need for protection from environmental disturbances, wild animals and other human population. It does not just stop there. Superficial beliefs and other unnatural reasons were also the reasons for the creation of stone circles, monoliths and other monuments that demonstrated/represented a form of symbol. In order to understand the complex changes in architecture during that time frame, it is essential to divide prehistoric age into 3 major ages that had profound developments: Paleolithic Age, Mesolithic Age and Neolithic Age. Ancient Egypt will be discussed in the latter stages of this report (Prehistoric Architecture, n.d).

Prehistoric Architecture

At these period of times several different forms of architectures were created where they were considered to have little architectural value.

Monoliths - The monoliths were very common. They were simply an upright stones that was carved with basic tools to make shapes.

Cromlechs - these are also known as circles of stones or stone circles similar to that of Stonehenge. These circular displacement of vertically placed stones was to allow placement of horizontal structures, therefore acting as a supporting structure.

Dolmens - are the horizontal stones that are placed over cromlechs or monoliths. These are simply architecture where horizontal stones are supported by vertical stones.

Tumuli- were similar to pyramids but were the most basic of its kinds.

Lake Dwellings - were the most common form of architecture discovered around Switzerland and near lakes where horizontal structures were supported over piles in order to provide elevation and protection from attacks both from humans and animals.

Paleolithic Age

It was the largest portion of our human history, which started as early as 2.5 million years ago. The architecture at that time, all began when hominids or an earlier species of Homo sapiens introduced the usage of tools that was made out of stones. It was at this age that they realized that stone can be smashed with another stone to carve out a shape that would provide a functionality to the tool. Throughout this era, humankind was a food gatherer therefore their basic tools or architecture involved was related with food gathering and shelter. For shelter, they had three major forms of structures, firstly and the most basic were the huts. The construction of this structure often included walls that were made up of timber stakes that was organized in a circular manner and for strength support, stones were laid around it. Then was the "Lean-to", which was structure that was built against one side of a cave, therefore the cave providing space, while the wall providing protection. Finally, tents, which was made out of woods that was covered with animal skin. Stones was also used to provide strength and support for the structure. Throughout this era, the primary material for any form of structure was the stone, since stone not just provided strength and support but also provided tools that allowed them to make such structures or even use it during hunting. Architecture was immensely primitive at this time (Charles Moffat, 2007).

Mesolithic Age

Mesolithic Age of the Middle Stone Age, which started right after the Ice Age that lasted over 10,000 years. During this era the shelters and means of architecture remained same but what changed was the delicacy of individual structures. For example, Microliths were created that was smaller, lighter and more delicate than what you might expect from Paleolithic period. At this time, human societal improvement was on the rise and little architectural changes were noticed (Hila Berliner (2010).

Neolithic Age

Figure A Figure B

This was characterized as the New Stone Age. It was the age where architecture advanced, and the settlements got bigger, with famous examples being the Catal Huyok and Jericho (Figure A and B above).

There was also an agriculture advancement at this era, and primarily for that the involvement polished stone artifacts and ground stones were more common. At this era the first big architectural creation that was built involved settlement towers and walls, with the inclusion of the famous example the Stonehenge. This huge monumental architectures proved a point that at that period of time there was abundant amount of resources and human labor at that time. Temples were also created to supply hope and purpose to the people at that era. A good example would be the Ggantija temples of Gozo that are still standing to present time. Skara Brae will also be another good example from these era that demonstrated

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