Egypt has hosted different civilizations; however, they have all been affected by ancient Egyptian culture. Also, Egyptian architecture has always been a great inspiration for not only architects but also researchers, scientists, and artists. It has always been a mystery that reveals itself day by day. Furthermore, it is not one style, but a set of them changing over time with the change in the ongoing political and religious events, while being all connected with some commonalities. Through this article, you will know ten of the most surprising facts about Egyptian Architecture.
1. Pyramids are tombs with no mummies
Pyramids had great value to ancient Egyptian culture. Not only to them, but the Great Pyramid was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world due to its enormous scale and structure that makes the whole world wonder how they handled such a structure with limited tools. However, they are not only a widely-known symbolism of Egyptian Architecture, but they own religious and political values. Pyramids are tombs for the Pharaoh and his consort. Therefore, they were complicated from the inside with subtle entrances to confuse and drive away tomb raiders. However, a lot of mummies are still missing until this day.
2. Pyramids used to sparkle
They were initially polished and covered with highly reflective white limestone. That is not surprising as Egyptians were widely-known for their sanctification of the sun. Thus, the shape of the Pyramid was a symbol of the descending sun rays on Earth and being highly recognizable from a distance.
3. The Great Pyramid can collect electromagnetic energy
An unbelievable number of myths and stories are associated with the structure of the Great Pyramid that attracts many researchers and scientists. Recently, a study revealed that the Great Pyramid of Egyptian architecture focuses on Electromagnetic energy -under resonance conditions- in its inner rooms and beneath its base. Hence, some may now confidently say that ancient Egyptians have electricity.
4. Either aliens or giants had built the Pyramids
This is a mystery that remains unsolved until this day with all the technology and information we have in hand. Firstly, the Great Pyramid weighs 5,750,000 tons. Also, the stones indicate high precision that is only possible to be cut by laser cutting machines. However, it took twenty-three years for them to complete it. Therefore, it is more logical for some researchers to believe that they were built either by aliens or giants that could handle such a gigantic structure.
5. They had air shafts similar to the wind catchers nowadays
Two of the chambers of Khufu’s Pyramid at Giza have small shafts on the northern and the southern sides. Theories think that they are air shafts that circulate air inside the Pyramid as Egyptians were able to keep the temperature at 68 Fahrenheit inside. This technique is similar to what we know nowadays as Wind Catchers. It is a passive cooling system that allows natural ventilation inside the building, pouring in cold air and expelling out hot air.
6. The Clerestory is a chief feature in Ancient Egyptian Architecture
The term indicates the windows placed above eye level. This feature was first implemented in Egyptian temples to pour sunlight into the interior space as a symbol of purity and sacredness. Later, the Romans used it in their design of the Basilicas like the Cathedral of Monreale in Italy.
7. Egyptian Architecture was sustainable
Egyptians had great respect for nature, which was reflected in their architecture and their personal beliefs. For example, the columns’ capitals were symbols and shapes found in nature. They were made out of stones, having the form of bundled reeds as papyrus, lotus, palm, etc., carved in them. Also, they used sun-dried mud bricks and stones as building materials that are also sustainable. Moreover, Egyptians were the first civilization to practice agriculture on a large scale along the Nile and around the Nile Valley. They grew their crops and invented gadgets to protect themselves and their properties from floods.
8. Religion shaped Egyptian Architectural identity
Egyptians were one of the most religious civilizations throughout history. Temples were the official place for worship. They were houses of Gods; therefore, people dedicated prodigious resources to construction and maintenance. Consequently, all of that affected the final design. The design is characterized by order, monumentality, symmetry, and geometric shapes of organic motifs. Temples were a symbol of stability with a direct central axis from the entrance to the Sanctuary. The ceiling starts comparably high, and it gets closer overhead as you go deeper to the Sanctuary, creating a feeling of safety and containment.
9. Egyptians decorated the interior of their homes and temples with colored works of art
Ancient Egyptians used colors skillfully, which was evident in their drawings. They used to document all important events and achievements on the walls of temples and their home. The architecture was their diary, where they commemorate all scientific, religious, and political beliefs. Nevertheless, they inspired many great artists and movies in the twentieth century. Surprisingly, a lot of these drawings remain intact until today, after more than five thousand years ago.
10. Egyptian Architecture is strongly associated with Astronomy
Egyptians intended to build meaningful structures. Thus, they believed that the best way to do that was to align their buildings with the important stars they discovered at that time. For instance, the air shafts in the king’s chamber were positioned to align with the Thuban. It is now known as the Pole star. Furthermore, temples were astronomically connected to significant events such as Solstices and Equinoxes. It requires precise measurements at the moment; however, they managed to do it effortlessly back then.