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Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt

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  1. Ancient Egypt • Manetho’s History of Egyptian Greek • 31 dynasties / 4 groups: • Old Kingdom (2700 B.C.E.) • Middle Kingdom (1990 B.C.E.) • New Kingdom (1570 B.C.E.) • Late Period (1185-500 B.C.E.)

  2. Ancient Egyptian Culture • Unified and consistent • Resistant to change • Worldview affected by external events

  3. Political Structure • Pharaoh • Head of the central government • Regarded as a living god • Exercised absolute power • Ordered and controlled visible world • Priests • Preservation of religious beliefs • Divine kingship of Pharaohs

  4. Egyptian Religion • Obsession with immortality / life after death • Book of the Dead • Osiris, Isis, Horus • Deities, subdeities, nature spirits • Responsible for all aspects of existence

  5. Egyptian Art • Principal function of artists: to produce images of deities • Form of worship • Standards set forth by Pharaoh • Artists also provided temples and shrines for honoring deities

  6. The Old Kingdom • Imhotep • First architect known to history • Pyramids • Funerary monuments for pharaohs, upper class • Mummification • Preservation of the body was necessary for the survival of the soul

  7. Great Age of the Pyramid • Pyramids at Giza (Dynasty IV) • Cheops • Chefren • Mycerinus • Who built the pyramids? • Farmers • Slaves

  8. Pyramids • Constructed of limestone blocks • Quarried, ferried, cut, dragged into place • Center chamber contained mummified body of pharaoh surrounded by treasures • Plundered by robbers

  9. Chefren’s Sphinx • Created as the guardian for Chefren’s tomb at Giza • Adopted as a divine symbol of the mysterious and enigmatic (Greeks)

  10. Art of the Old Kingdom • Reflects confidence and certainty • Idealized realism • Conceptual, symbolic

  11. Art of the Middle Kingdom • Loss of trust in divine providence • Artists attempted to recapture lofty serenity of Old Kingdom • Troubled spirit captured in weight and somber expressions

  12. The New Kingdom • Artistic traditions continued • Conceptual • Pharaoh Amenhotep IV/ “Akhenaton” • Massive religious/political reform • Tel el-Amarna Art • Tutankhamen • Howard Carter (1922-1923)

  13. The Late Period • Artists revisited earlier period styles • Recapture realism, volume • Return to pyramid-shaped tombs • Egypt invaded by Nubians (the Cush) 750-720 B.C.E. • Nubians and Nobatae preserved ancient culture

  14. Tomb Reliefs

  15. Rules of Art in Ancient Egypt • Size of figures commensurate with their social standing • Gods were always depicted with their symbols • Male statues were darker than female statues

  16. Symbolism of Colors • Egyptians used six basic colors • Red = power (life and victory) • Green = new life and fertility • Blue = creation and rebirth • Yellow= the eternal (Ra & Pharoahs) • White = purity • Black = death

  17. Book of the Dead papyrus

  18. Aegean Culture • Crete • King Minos / Knossos • Cyclades Islands • Bronze tools • Imaginative/humorous pottery • Marble statues/idols

  19. The Bronze Age in Crete • Arthur Evans, 1894-1900 • Early Minoan • Increasing growth • Contacts with Egypt and Mesopotamia • Scattered Towns

  20. Middle Minoan • Evolution of large urban centers • Art = lively and colorful • Little interest in monumental art • Writing system of hieroglyphic signs

  21. [Image 1.22] Palace of Minos at Knossos

  22. [Image 1.25] Wasp Pendant

  23. [Image 1.27] Snake Goddess

  24. Late Minoan • Period of rebuilding after earthquakes • High point of Minoan culture • Wall paintings • Religion centered upon mother goddess connected with fertility

  25. [Image 1.28] Funerary Mask

  26. Mycenaean Culture • Heinrich Schliemann, 1870-1873 • The Trojan War (1250 B.C.E.) • Strongly influenced by Minoan Culture • Art = preoccupied with death and war • Fall of the Mycenaean empire (1200 B.C.E.)

  27. Chapter 1: Discussion Questions • What can be determined about the roles of women in early civilizations based on their artistic depictions? Explain, citing examples from each culture. • Based on the universal questions evoked in the Epic of Gilgamesh, what can we assume about the Sumerian people and their lifestyles? In what ways are their concerns shared by people of our culture and generation? Explain. • What role did geography play in the development and preservation of Ancient Egyptian culture? In what fundamental ways was Egyptian culture different from the Mesopotamian and Aegean cultures? • Discuss the role of the archeologist. What impact do the discoveries of ancient cultures have on us today? Explain.