Earlier Egyptian Civilization and Emerging Modern Egyptian Architecture

Egyptian civilization

Being one of the first ancient civilizations in the world dating about 3000 years ago, Egyptian Civilization Architecture has been influenced the world in many categories such as sports, music, makeup, wigs, hierarchy, language, communication, glyphs, preservation of a human body, worshipping a certain individual, outer world belief or even politics. The Egyptian civilization is surely known for its strong faith, which is visible in its architecture.

Architecture of Egyptian Civilization - Sheet12
Giza

Rise of the Egypt Civilization and its Design

Starting from the banks of the River Nile, this land was a vast stretch of desert which plays a huge part in its architecture. The climate is warm and sunny is how the architecture was developed by this civilization.

The Nile Valley was held the major source of abundant clay suitable for making bricks, which were sun-dried and used. The structures had long flat walls with slits in them to get the sunlight inside, hence in the initial stages, there were no windows showcased in their facades. That’s how Hieroglyphy came into place.

The flat roofs were built since there was no major rainfall in that zone, which led to their social terrace gatherings and functions. Their main addition to the architectural world is their tombs called Pharaoh and their mysterious pyramids, which are still solid and intact, solely built out of unbaked mud brick and stone. Initially built to protect the tombs from robbery, they have most certainly been ahead of their times when it comes to architecture. 

The use of mathematics was broadly utilized during its build. They took their coordinates out by lining up two points using the sand and the pole star dating back to 2500BC, these buildings took a high level of craftsmanship which the current day modern-day architects also take a while to figure out. 

The training of these laborers and the building of these structures is yet a mystery. They did not pay much attention to its exterior detailing and decoration, but the structures sure were built in a solid format from the outside. The structures are bulky, quite structured, huge and eye-catching from the outside, and detailed from the inside, including its planning. Overall, it screams mystery yet intriguing to the visitors.

Architecture of Egyptian Civilization - Sheet14
Great Pyramid

An Upgrade of the Egyptian Civilization Architecture and Elements

Looking back at their 3000BC old architectural design style, it is pretty evident that they did not disclose their structures or changed their design much in the initial years, which roughly went on for about 5,000 years. 

Later on, the tombs further had a transition as soon as the power of Egypt moved from Memphis (The modern Cairo) to The Thebes (Currently known as Luxor) towards upper Egypt, The civilization started building up in a hide-out zone more towards the hillside, the size and shapes changed and thus the Egyptian evolution in its architecture took place.

As a result of the scarcity of wood available in the locality, these domestic houses dated back to the third dynastic period, these houses were built in a standard way consisting of four rooms, now known as the master bedroom, kitchen/storage room/ a reception room and a roof to reach the sky. Elements such as columns, lintels, jambs, doors, and windows were noticed.

With the growth of Egyptian building technology, softwood came into place. The upper Egypt era used softwoods by facing them to the walls and floor of the tomb. An ancient pit also had timbers on its roof. Granite was also used as a roof of these tombs. These tombs were usually built at a prominent location near the riverside.

While the fifth dynasty began, the worship of the sun became prominent. A courtyard was created so that the sun could transfer through the indoors of their homes. Statues with niches or carvings of the sun’s rays were found in heliographs.

A Shift in the Modern day Era of Egyptian Architecture

Coming back to the modern-day Egyptian Architecture evolution, most certainly it has resembled a couple of French, Arabic, Greek, and Roman architecture such as Mohamed Ali’s Mosque in Saladin’s castle, Cairo; The baron palace at Cairo, and Mohammed Ali’s palace square, Alexandria. Rock-cut tombs consisting of longer facades and square columns have pre-doric columns which were absorbed by the Roman Empire and Hellenistic Greek architecture.

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Mohammed Ali palace square
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The baron palace at Cairo
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Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Cairo: The Complete Guide

Various ceremonial/public gathering buildings, such as Al-Montazh Palace, and Alexandria, showcase the architectural elements of wider courtyards, clean planning, and straight lines.

Montazah Palace | Montaza Palace gardens history | Alexandria attractions
Al-Montazh Palace 2

Modern Day Architecture

Today’s modern architecture and age most certainly have evolved and become simpler, although they have tried their best to pertain to the culture’s functionality and looks. 

A fine example could be The Basuna Mosque, Basuna, Sohang, Egypt. This place of worship has been made to promote peace amongst the users. The main Pendentive dome has been constructed using a light block made of sand, lime, and air which is completely Egyptian made. Each block has been perfectly placed to maintain its lightness. The main entrance seems a resemblance to Cordoba Grand Mosque. Architectural features of ancient Egypt such as Main halls, larger corridor, and prayer areas have also been planned carefully in this modern structure.

Although the ancient Egyptian civilization is no longer a part of the modern world, It could be said that it does not have much of an influence on modern-day architecture, But the iconic ‘Imhotep’ era of Egyptian architecture is something we all shall embrace upon.


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Earlier Egyptian Civilization and Emerging Modern Egyptian Architecture Being one of the first ancient civilizations in the world dating about 3000 years ago, Egyptian Civilization Architecture has been influenced the world in many categories such as sports, music, makeup, wigs, hierarchy, language, communication, glyphs, preservation of a human body, worshipping a certain individual, outer world belief or even politics. The Egyptian civilization is surely known for its strong faith, which is visible in its architecture. Egyptian Civilization,architecture,design
Ar. Sayli Mohite

An Architect, Interior designer, and Artist. After completing her bachelor’s degree from Sir J.J College of Architecture in the year 2021 & one-year certification in Interior design and detail from Aditya College of design studies in the year 2016, she briefly started investing her time in Architectural writing. She is currently working as a sub-editor and digital content writer at ITP media group and handles ‘Hotelier India Magazine’. Simultaneously, she is also a part-time content writer at FOAID. She is a firm believer in the phrase ‘reading calms you down and writing clears your mind.’

She soon wishes to pursue her master’s in Architectural criticism and theoretical writing and hopefully will be working as a head editor for Architectural digest. She is usually traveling and indulged in digital art in her free time.

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