Below are the three questions. Each answer should
be around 400 words. Write your name and student number on each page. You
should submit one copy to the Moodle, “1st exam submission” link,
and two hard copies to the Student Office by 25 January, Tuesday 3 pm.
Question 1: Ancient
Egypt civilization and ancient Maya civilization all respect light. They
designed two monumental buildings in cooperation with light. What are the names
of these buildings and when were they built? Where are they located? What are
their functions? How do they incorporate with light and why? There is another
building designed to work with light has been mentioned in the lectures, where
In Ancient Egyptian Architecture they had
buildings for the living, the dead and the Gods. Abu-Simbel was two massive temples. It was
dedicated to the Gods and built approximately in 1264BC on the Western bank of
Lake Nasser in Nubia, Southern Egypt. When the Aswan Dam was built the temples
were relocated higher up on a hill, so it would not be submerged and destroyed
(R. G. Morkot, 2003). The Egyptians worshipped and performed rituals in temples
derived from nature and the rising and setting of the sun, moon and stars such
as giving offerings to the Gods (A. Payne, 1900). In the Great Temple there are
four statues of Ra, Amun, Ptah and Ramesses. Due to the axis of the temple sun
rays pierce the inner sanctum illuminating three of the statues twice a year on
the 22nd February and 22nd October. The fourth statue
Ptah stays within the darkness as he is the God of the underworld. Ra was the
God of the sun representing light, warmth and growth making the Egyptians
believe he was the creator of the world (Ra The Sun God of Egypt, 2018). Amun
was the King of the Gods and Ramesses II was considered as the most powerful
Pharaoh in the Egyptian Empire. The sun rays highlight the power of the three
Gods on the specific days which are believed to be linked to major events in
The Mayans were the only known civilization in Mesoamerica to have fully
developed written language, art and architecture. El Castillo was a temple
built in the pre-Columbian city Chichen Itza between the 8th and 12th
centuries and was used for sacrificial rituals to offer nourishment to the
Gods. It also functioned as a Mayan calendar,91 steps on each side plus the one
on top adds up to 365 steps representing the days in a year. On the sun set of
the spring and fall equinoxes the alignment of the temple creates shadows
forming a descending serpent crawling down the steps, on the sides of the
northern balustrade, to unite with a large snake head sculpture at the bottom.
This shows the temples dedication to the God Kukulkan the feathered serpent,
which is symbolic of the power of life and death in Mayan culture (E. Doerr,
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple
in Rome, Italy. Its dome has an oculus allowing direct sunlight to move around
the space and act like a sundial (Hannah and Magli, 2009).
DOER, E, 2014. The World’s Biggest Man-Made Calendar: El
Castillo At Chichén Itzá. online Available at: http://quillandpad.com/2014/05/06/the-worlds-biggest-man-made-calendar-el-castillo-at-chichen-itza/
accessed 20 Jan 2018
HANNAH, R. and G, MAGLI, 2009. The role
of the sun in the Pantheon’s design and meaning, pp.4-6.
MORKOT, R. G, 2003. Abu Simbel, pp.1.
PAYNE, A, 1900. Egyptian Temples, pp.
RA THE SUN GOD OF EYGPT, 2018 online Available
at: http://www.ancient-egypt-online.com/egyptian-god-ra.html accessed 20 Jan 2018
Question 2: Ancient
Mesopotamia civilization and India Buddhism have built two types of monumental
buildings as device to communicate with gods above. What are the general names
of these buildings? What are the difference of these two types of building in
terms of forms and materials? What is the common characteristic of these two
types of buildings in terms of space use?
In Ancient Mesopotamia
they built Ziggurats to serve as a platform for the temple of the city’s god
(Ziggurats, 2000a). The Indian subcontinent had an important form of Buddhist
architecture called the Stupa that housed remains and religious possessions.
A Ziggurat is a massive square or
rectangular step tower that forms part of a temple. The solid structure was constructed
with sun dried mud bricks and on the external walls baked bricks would provide
protection from the weather. Layers of reeds or thick woven ropes were used on
the inside as reinforcement, whilst ‘weeper holes’ kept the core ventilated which
reduced the humidity and therefore made it more stable (R. G. Killick, 2003). In
general Ziggurats would have three staircases on one side of the building, two
along the wall leading from the ground to the lower level and one perpendicular
that led to the top of the building. This is where the high temple dedicated to
the local God would be and a lower temple would sit at the base for the other
gods (Ziggurats, 2000b).
The Stupa, which is Sanskrit for ‘heap’
(K. Shelby, 2015a), was traditionally a mound of mud or wood however these
materials are non-durable and eventually were fronted with stone (C. Violatti, 2014).
Early on the Stupa even contained some of the Buddha’s ashes. The dome shape of
the Stupa represents the Buddha sat in the meditation position when he reached
Enlightenment and knowledge of the four noble truths, the base portraying his
crossed legs and the pole surrounded by a small fence symbolised his head. Four
sets of steps lead to the top of the base and at the apex of the dome a square
enclosure sits with the axial pole and discs rising above it. A path enclosed
the dome surrounded by a perimeter railing with openings at each set of steps (K.
Shelby, 2015b). The form of the Stupa developed gradually from the mound shape
towards a tower like structure with stepped terraces and a cylindrical dome (E.
Both the Ziggurat and the Stupa have no
interior space. Due to the lack of interior passageways or chambers in the
Ziggurat the spaces used were the high temple on the top, that received God
from the sky, and the lower temple, that received deities from the earth (Ziggurats,
2000c). The Stupa is solid with an internal structure similar to the spokes on
a wheel. When Buddhists visit the monument the practitioner walks around the monument
along the path that surrounds it as a meditational practise (K. Shelby, 2015c).
2003. Stupa. online Available at: http://www.oxfordartonline.com.ezproxy.nottingham.ac.uk/view/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000082073
accessed Jan 21 2018
KILLICK, R.G, 2003. Ziggurat online
Available at: http://www.oxfordartonline.com.ezproxy.nottingham.ac.uk/groveart/view/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000093515
accessed Jan 21 2018
SHELBY. K, 2015.
The stupa, in Smarthistory, online Available
at: http://smarthistory.org/the-stupa/. accessed Jan 21
VIOLATTI, C, 2014.
Stupa. online Available at: https://www.ancient.eu/stupa/
accessed Jan 21 2018
ZIGGURATS, 2000. The Ancient
Near East: An
Encyclopedia for Students, edited by Ronald Wallenfels and
Jack M. Sasson, pp. 174-176. online Available
Accessed 20 Jan 2018
Compare and contrast Parthenon in
Athens with Temple
of Apollo in Didyma. The answer should include the main differences in style,
form, and organization between a Classical temple in Greek mainland and a
temple in Asia Minor.
The Parthenon 447- 438 BC in Athens and the Temple
of Apollo c.525 BC in Didyma were both built using the column and beam
principle however, the similarities do not continue much further than this. Whilst
the Parthenon displayed the Doric order found in mainland Greece, the Temple of
Apollo exhibited the ionic order used in Asia minor. These differences can be
easily identified by looking at the columns. Doric capitals are simple with a
convex echinus and a square abacus, extended by the shaft which has twenty flutes
forming short heavy columns with no base. The Ionic order can be identified by two
scrolls in the echinus. The slender columns have longer shafts containing more flutes
and lead to a large base.
A meticulous amount of effort went into the
exterior form of the Parthenon because in mainland Greece people could only
view temples from the outside. Greek temples had columns that were swelled at
the top of the shaft to make them appear straight to the human eye. The Parthenon
extended this theory by making sure every line, including the architrave and
the stylobate, was corrected in the same manor to look perfectly straight. This
made the temple uniquely breath-taking (P. Nuttgens, 1997). In Asia Minor temples
had large flights of steps compared to the three steps in Doric temples, but unlike
in mainland Greece, this is where people
could enter for religious rituals. The Temple of Apollo has two dark, vaulted
passageways that lead down to the sunlit chamber, where a small tetrastyle
temple housed a statue of Apollo. Whilst it was common in Asia Minor for temples
to rest on the ground, rather than be raised on platforms like in the Greek
mainland, the Temple of Apollo was also had no roof to preserve the sacred
spring it was built around. (J. Grout, 2017).
It was common for temples in Asia minor to have a
forest of columns. The Temple of Apollo was an example of this due to its
dipteral organisation and the high frequency of columns helped create the
impression of a fully roofed, traditional temple (The Temple Of Apollo, 2014). The
Parthenon was held up with around seventy however its inner masonry structure
provided no reason to hide its interior. The placement of columns behind an
oversized statue of Athena, the goddess the temple was dedicated to, created a
dramatic background for the people who could only view the statue through the
doorway. (The Parthenon, 2018)
GROUT, J, 2017. The Temple of Apollo at Didyma.
online Available at: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/greece/paganism/didyma.html
Accessed 23 Jan 2018
NUTTGINS, P, 1997. The Story of Architecture, pp 96-
THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO, 2014 online Available at: https://www.ancient.eu/article/640/the-temple-of-apollo-at-didyma/
Accessed 23 Jan 2018
THE PARTHENON, 2018 online Available at: http://ancient-greece.org/architecture/parthenon.html
Accessed 23 Jan 2018