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3,050 BC-900 BC: Ancient Egypt

Early Masters of Engineering

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The pyramid form was a marvel of engineering that allowed ancient Egyptians to build enormous structures. Read below for facts about architecture and engineering in Ancient Egypt.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The most famous pyramids in Egypt are the Pyramids of Giza, built more than 2,000 years B.C. to shelter and safeguard the souls of Egyptian pharaohs.

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Construction in Ancient Egypt
Wood was not widely available in the arid Egyptian landscape. Houses in ancient Egypt were made with blocks of sun-baked mud. Flooding of the Nile River and the ravages of time destroyed most of these ancient homes.

Much of what we know about ancient Egypt is based on great temples and tombs, which were made with granite and limestone and decorated with hieroglyphics, carvings, and brightly colored frescoes. The ancient Egyptians didn't use mortar, so the stones were carefully cut to fit together.

Pyramids in Egypt
The development of the pyramid form allowed Egyptians to build enormous tombs for their kings. The sloping walls could reach great heights because their weight was supported by the wide pyramid base. An innovative Egyptian named Imhotep is said to have designed one of the earliest of the massive stone monuments, the Step Pyramid of Djoser (2,667 BC - 2,648 BC).

Columns in Egypt
Builders in ancient Egypt didn't use load-bearing arches. Instead, columns were placed close together to support the heavy stone entablature above. Brightly painted and elaborately carved, the columns often mimicked palms, papyrus plants, and other plant forms. Over the centuries, at least thirty distinct column styles evolved. Learn more: Egyptian Column Styles

Influences of Egyptian Architecture
Archaeological discoveries in Egypt reawakened an interest in the ancient temples and monuments. Egyptian Revival architecture became fashionable during the 1800s. In the early 1900s, the discovery of King Tut's tomb stirred a fascination for Egyptian artifacts and the rise of Art Deco architecture.

Wonders of Ancient Egypt

2,575 BC - 2,134 BC: Old Kingdom 2,040 BC - 1,640 BC: Middle Kingdom 1,550 BC -1,070 BC: New Kingdom

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