Egyptian art and architecture

, the ancient architectural monuments, sculptures, paintings, and decorative crafts produced mainly during the dynastic periods of the first three millenniain the Nile valley regions ofEgyptandNubia. The course of art in Egypt paralleled to a large extent the countrys political history, but it depended as well on the entrenched belief in the permanence of the natural, divinely ordainedorder. Artistic achievement in botharchitectureand representational art aimed at the preservation of forms and conventions that were held to reflect the perfection of the world at theprimordialmoment of creation and to embody the correct relationship between humankind, the king, and the pantheon of the gods. For this reason, Egyptian art appears outwardly resistant to development and the exercise of individual artistic judgment, but Egyptian artisans of every historical period found different solutions for theconceptualchallenges posed to them.

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Two ancient Egyptian chair forms, both the result of careful design, are known from discoveries made in tombs. One of these is a four-legged chair with a back, the other a folding stool. The classical Egyptian chair has four legs shaped like those of

Innovation, decline, and revival from the New Kingdom to the Late period

Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection

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Infloor covering: Carpet and rug weaving

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Geographical factors were predominant in forming the particular character of Egyptian art. By providing Egypt with the most predictable agricultural system in the ancient world, theNileafforded a stability of life in which arts and crafts readily flourished. Equally, the deserts and the sea, which protected Egypt on all sides, contributed to this stability by discouraging serious invasion for almost 2,000 years. The desert hills were rich in minerals and fine stones, ready to be exploited by artists and craftsmen. Only good wood was lacking, and the need for it led the Egyptians to undertake foreign expeditions to Lebanon, to Somalia, and, through intermediaries, to tropical Africa. In general, the search for useful andpreciousmaterials determined the direction offoreign policyand the establishment of trade routes and led ultimately to the enrichment of Egyptianmaterial culture. For further treatment,seeEgyptMiddle Eastern religions, ancient.

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Anubis weighing the soul of the scribe Ani, from the Egyptian Book of the Dead,

, country located in the northeastern corner of Africa. Egypts heartland, the Nile River valley and delta, was the home of one of the principal civilizations of the ancient Middle East and, like Mesopotamia farther east, was the site of one of the worlds earliest urban and literate societies. Pharaonic

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InSyro-Palestinian art and architecture

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Beds, stools, throne chairs, and boxes were the chief forms of furniture in ancient Egypt. Although only a few important examples of actual furniture survive, stone carvings, fresco paintings, and models made as funerary offerings present rich documentary evidence. The bed may have been

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Amon, king of the Egyptian deities, in the form of a ram protecting Taharqa.

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Emergence of types in the Old Kingdom

In contrast with the monumental tombs and temples of stone, many of which remained intact to the 20th century, Egyptian houses were built of perishable materials, and, therefore, few remains have survived. Sun-dried or kiln-burnt mud bricks were used for the walls; floors consisted

In contrast with the monumental tombs and temples of stone, many of which remained intact to the 20th century, Egyptian houses were built of perishable materials, and, therefore, few remains have survived. Sun-dried or kiln-burnt mud bricks were used for the walls; floors consisted

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In ancient Egypt, religious ritual moved toward a more explicitly theatrical enactment. The pantheon of animal-headed gods and the stories of the souls journey after death into the other world provided rich material for ceremonies and rituals. Priests were thought to have impersonated

For the purposes of definition, ancient Egyptian is essentiallycoterminouswith pharaonic Egypt, the dynastic structure of Egyptian history, artificial though it may partly be, providing a convenient chronological framework. The distinctive periods are: Predynastic (c.6th millenniumbcec.2925bce); Early Dynastic (1st3rddynasties,c.2925c.2575bce); Old Kingdom (4th8th dynasties,c.2575c.2130bce); First Intermediate (9th11th dynasties,c.21301939bce); Middle Kingdom (12th14th dynasties, 1938c.1630bce); Second Intermediate (15th17th dynasties,c.16301540bce); New Kingdom (18th20th dynasties, 15391075bce); Third Intermediate (21st25th dynasties,c.1075656bce); and Late (26th31st dynasties, 664332bce).

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