1500-750 BCE: The Aegean in The Bronze Age & New Kingdom Egypt

THE AEGEAN IN THE BRONZE AGE: Labyrinths and Cyclopean Walls

On the settlements on Crete, in Greece and in Turkey architects used large, unrendered Stones and cyclopean masonry to create structures because they wanted them to looks as if they had been caused by natural processes. There was a deep belief in the spiritual power of natural phenomena in those days.  The citizens of Crete designed spiral shaped galleries for entering their principal shrines. Among Crete’s cities, Knossos (where minoan civilization live) had grand structure of the major religious complex and sources after the fall of the Minoans referred to the structure as the Labyrinth: the path of mystery. They did not have defensive walls. There was no strafication inside the folk, they were interdepended under the religion concept. However, the Mycenaens in Greece covered their cities with giant walls built of cyclopean masonry as defence strategies rather than for religious mysteries as happened in the Hitties in Anatolia. The Hittites had defensive walls because they were controlling the Turkish coast of the Aegean that traded with Crete and Mycenae. The Mycenaens demolished all of the minoan temples except the Labyrinth of Knossos. Mycenaean designers created lithic solid and hierarchical structures based on military necessity. Unlike the nonhierarchical Minoan society, mycenaens had megaron places and beehive tombs as royal privilege of warrior king. Also, Mycenae, known with its the Lion Gate with the Minoan column and two lions. In Crete, the small town of Gournia, has the best –preserved example of Minoan urban layouts. It is urban form includes a temple and a shaped public space. Hattusha was the new landscape of militarism. There was a strong relationship between the Mycenaens and Hittite Empire in Turkey. The Hittite Empire strongly affected the east. The martial apperance of Hattusha was important as much as their defensive structures. Hattusha’s principal urban temple was the focus of the lower city which is in the West of the citadel. Although Hattusha has military power, they had the same end ike Mycenae and Knossos. Their culture collapsed around 1200 BCE.

NEW KINGDOM EGYPT: Axial Temples and Colossal Statues

During the period of New Kingdom Egypt (roughly 1560 – 1070 BCE) Thebes city which is one of the ancient Egypt cities appeared  Thebes has the great temples of the new kingdom and those great temples of Karnak and Luxor came to prominence. While the houses and palaces of Thebes were built of mud and expendable materials, solid limestone was used for the temples. The Karnak temple occupied a huge area. Like most egyptian temples, Karnak presented an arrangement of central axis. There was axis and axiality which means organization around a strong central axis. The axiality was used on gate buildings in Egyptian architecture. Plus, in Karnak, there was Hypostyle Hall which means a space with multiple columns. New Kingdom Egypt, ruled by Queen Hatshepsut roughly in 1479-1458 BCE. The architectural style of the new kingdom, originated by her patronage and she benefited from architecture to support her rule. Her architect was Senenmut. Beside the funerary complex and the works at Karnak, she built five major temples.

Reference: World Architecture: A Cross-Cultural History by Richard Ingersoll


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