Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/394

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EGYPTIAN]
373
ARCHITECTURE
with two rows of columns down to the centre, and a second hall with three rows of columns. These halls are placed longitudinally to give access to the seven sanctuaries. The second temple is of the ordinary type, with pylon, court with portico on all four sides, two halls of columns, and three sanctuaries in the rear. The next temple is that of Dendera, commenced under the second Ptolemy but not completed until the reign of Nero. It has been completely excavated, and retains the whole of its external walls. Above Thebes is the temple of Esna, of which the hall of columns only has been cleared out. The capitals of the front belong to the lotus-bud type, and those of the interior are carved with many varieties of river plant. The temple of Edfu is the best preserved in Egypt. Its plan (fig. 5) would seem to have been determined from the first, and it is singular to note that it presents the traditional type of plan, which in the Theban examples was evolved from additions made by successive monarchs. In dimensions it is but little inferior to these. Its pylon (fig. 6) is 250 ft. wide and 150 ft. high; the first court has porticoes on three sides. The great hall of columns, all of which here are of the same height, is lighted from above (fig. 7), the screen facing the court. Then follow the second hall of columns, two vestibules, and the sanctuary, surrounded by a passage giving access to the priest’s rooms round. The temple of Kōm Ombo, which comes next, was dedicated to two deities, and had therefore two sanctuaries.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Karnak.png

Fig. 3.—Section through Hall of Columns, Karnak. a, Clerestory window.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Deir-el-Bahri.png

Fig. 4.—Temple of Deir-el-Bahri, conjectural restoration by Prof. E. Brune.


The temples of Philae owe much of their beauty and picturesqueness to the island on which they are situated; their plans, and that of the long porticoes in front of the pylons of the great temple, being fitted to the irregularity of the site. In the first court is a well-preserved example of the Mammeisi temple (see Temple), the sanctuary and other rooms in which are entirely enclosed in a peristyle. It was built by Ptolemy Euergetes (247–222 B.C.). A second monarch of the same name (about 125 B.C.) built the pavilion on the north side of the island, known as “Pharaoh’s bed,” the roof of which was covered with stone slabs, resting on timber beams. In consequence of the building of the Assuan dam all these temples are submerged for the greater part of the year. The principal temples between Philae and the second cataract are:—Dabōd, of which little remains; Kartassi; Kalābsha, still preserving its pylon and great hall of columns; the Bēt el-Wāli, in which are two ancient polygonal columns; Gerf Husen, partially cut in the rock; Dakka; Wadi es-Sebū’a; and lastly Abū Simbel. Owing to the proximity of the ranges of hills to the Nile, there was no room for the ordinary type of temple at Abū Simbel, so that those founded here by Rameses the Great (c. 1300–1234 B.C.) were excavated in the rock. In the place of the pylon the side of the cliff was worked off, leaving in relief four immense seated figures, 66 ft. high. The first hall had three aisles, divided by four piers on each side, in front of which Osirid figures (18 ft. high) were carved; beyond was a second hall, vestibule and sanctuary. The long rectangular chambers on each side are provided with benches cut in the rock. The depth of the temple is 90 ft. There is a second temple of smaller size which faces the Nile.
1911 Britannica-Architecture-Temple of Edfu.png

Fig. 5.—Plan of the Temple of Edfu.

AA, Pylon.
B, Entrance door.
C, Great Court.
D, Hall of Columns.
E, Second Hall.
F, Hall of the Altar.
G, Hall of the Centre.
H, Sanctuary.
KK, Storerooms.
We have already referred to the lotus columns at Beni Hasan; these, when employed constructionally to carry stone roofs, assumed a far more solid appearance, and the stems of the lotus plant carved in the earlier examples were omitted in the later, in order to give more surface for intaglio carving. The capital and its neck still retain the lotus buds and the bands which tied them round the column. In the central avenues of the great halls the columns had bell capitals, the decoration of which was based on the flower of the papyrus. There are a few examples of the palm capital, often carved in granite, which date from an early period. Commencing with the Ptolemaic revival the capitals assume a much greater variety of form, their decoration being based on river plants; but here again the lotus plant, which seems still to be the favourite type, predominates, the buds in various degrees of their growth alternating one with the other. All these varieties of form are described in the article Capital, but two or three may be mentioned here, as they depart from the usual type. The Hathor-headed capital, with faces on all four sides, and surmounted with a miniature shrine, is found at Dendera, Philae and other temples of the Ptolemaic or Roman periods; one of the earliest examples, but without the shrine, dates back to Tethmosis III. (1503–1449 B.C.). As a distinct type of pier decoration, the Osirid figures at Medinet Abū, at Karnak, Gerf Husen, Abū Simbel and other temples, constitute important features: the figure is carved in front of the pier and does not serve any constructive function.
With the exception of the great building in the rear of the temple at Karnak, built by Tethmosis III., and the pavilion of Medinet Abū on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, no palatial residences of any importance have yet been found, from which it might be inferred that the king, being the head of the Egyptian religion, occupied with his family the sacred precincts of the temple; but large as these temple enclosures are, there would have been no room for the immense army of attendants and servants required in an Oriental court. Moreover, the darkness of the halls and the rigid enclosures would have made a residence in them anything but cheerful. There are two instances where, in consequence of the subsequent desertion of the site, remains have been found of ancient towns. At Tell el-Amarna, built by the heretic king, Akhenaton, portions of the houses remain, and at Kahun, in the Fayum, Petrie discovered the walls of a town which, erected for the overseers and workmen employed in the construction of the pyramid of Illahun,