Pyramids, Obelisks, Tombs Of Ancient Egypt Essay example

Pyramids, Obelisks, Tombs Of Ancient Egypt Essay example

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Pyramids, obelisks, tombs. These three ancient structures bring one country immediately to mind, Egypt. These religious monuments were erected with two thoughts in mind: grandeur to convey the pharaoh’s power, as well as durability so as to last for eternity. However, one important aspect of religion often forgotten in discussions regarding monuments are temples. Temples were abundant in ancient Egypt and could be seen dotting the Nile flood plain, stretching from Upper Egypt in the south to all the way north to the Nile Delta. Most of these temples though were constructed of mud brick, which led to the majority of them falling apart while few of those made of stone survive today due to later generations of leaders cannibalizing the stone block for their own projects. According to David O’Conner’s article, “Architecture of Infinity”, temples followed similar layouts and existed to serve god deities and the cosmic cycle. One temple that stands apart from surviving traditional temples such as Karnak and Luxor is Abu Simbel, constructed in the nineteenth dynasty under Ramesses II (1290-1224 BC) , taking twenty years to complete. Abu Simbel is complex of temples that include the Sun Temple of Ramesses II and the Temple of Nefertari-Hathor (Small Temple). The temple of Abu Simbel, as described in Richard Wilkerson’s book The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, is similar in most facets of traditional temple parameters as outlined in O’Conner’s article in areas such as the plan of the temple, function, and decoration; however, within these broad constructs lies several key differences.
During the New Kingdom, Ramesses II became known as the most prolific builder in Egyptian history with the complex of Abu Simbel his crowning ach...

... middle of paper ...

...he temple could have changed from the worship of a singular deity to Ramesses because the engravings are much deeper and recarved. Differences can also be seen at the Small Temple where there are four standing figures of Ramesses and two of Nefertari and not of Hathor herself. Furthermore, with the temple there are depictions of both Ramesses and his wife paying homage to Hathor who is depicted as a cow. This differs from all other temples, because as O’Conner writes, “only the pharaoh could be depicted as interacting with the deities.” I believe Ramesses did this because he wanted to venerate Nefertari and her importance to him and to do so he made her equal to himself and so godlike. Although, Abu Simbel shares many same forms of decoration as O’Conner depicts in his article, it is unique in that Ramesses and his wife Nefertari are depicted as being godlike.

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