One of the most unfathomable things in the world to me is to see how architecture is constructed. I am completely serious when I say, “Sometimes what human beings are capable of …confounds me.” The architecture of the modern world is futuristic and surprising. We are able to make buildings twist to unimaginable forms and reach the sky without hesitation. However, have you ever wondered how the ancient world was able to build such masterpieces as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Sphynx, and Stonehenge? Think about the differentiation in mechanics, technology, and man power.
In my first Art History class, we watched a reinactment video of the life of a worker on the largest Pyramid of Giza for the pharoah, Khufu. Built as a burial tomb for Khufu, workers were picked up along the Nile River by boat and shipped to a base camp. Every day the men would go out to different tasks on the pyramid. The newer recruits were put on the quarry task of chipping out limestone blocks anywhere from two to fifteen tons in weight each. A second group of men would harness themselves to pull the blocks up a ramp to the building site where they were placed with incredible precision. Each row of the pyramid was made from the outside inward, slowly decreasing in size each time. After all the blocks were placed, the outermost blocks were chipped at an angle to give the pyramid its’ slick and solid appearance.
The total project took nearly twenty years to complete. Soon after, Khufu passed away and the pyramid was put to its designed purpose. Some amazing facts of Khufu’s Pyramid are: 1. you can see the structure from outer space. 2. until the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, it was the tallest man-made structure on Earth.
Altogether the construction and engineering behind any structure before modern machines still baffles me. Truly most, if not all, of the architectural pieces of Ancient Egypt are masterful, but I have placed below some photos of the artistry they have to offer. Yet, right alongside the Pyramids is Stonehenge. It is said that hundreds of men carved out each stone from mountains miles away. Then, painstakingly rolled the stones on top of logs which would be overchanged constantly for forward progression across the countryside. Plus, once to the building site, were rolled into pits and then hoisted upward through a pully system. It is truly a miracle and a wonder of the world.
Notice the difference from this time in architecture compared to prehistoric. Wow. Below are photos of Egyptian architecture: The Pyramids of Giza, the Sphynx, and other interesting pieces. Photos and information on Stonehenge can also be seen on my previous blog: Prehistoric Architecture.
Thanks for reading, designergirlee