Pylon (architecture)

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Temple of Isis first pylon, Philae, north-eastern (back) view Isis temple Philae2.JPG
Temple of Isis first pylon, Philae, north-eastern (back) view

Pylon is the Greek term (Greek: πυλών) for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple (Egyptian: bxn.t in the Manuel de Codage transliteration [1] ). It consists of two tapering towers, each surmounted by a cornice, joined by a less elevated section which enclosed the entrance between them. [2] The entrance was generally about half the height of the towers. Contemporary paintings of pylons show them with long poles flying banners.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Monument type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event, or used for that purpose

A monument is a type of—usually three-dimensional—structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gate point of entry to a space enclosed by walls

A gate or gateway is a point of entry to a space which is enclosed by walls. Gates may prevent or control the entry or exit of individuals, or they may be merely decorative. Other terms for gate include yett and port. The word is derived from old Norse "gat", meaning road or path, and originally referred to the gap in the wall or fence, rather than the barrier which closed it. The moving part or parts of a gateway may be considered "doors", as they are fixed at one side whilst opening and closing like one.

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Egyptian architecture

Pylon %28architecture%29
Akhet (horizon)
in hieroglyphs
Temple of Karnak, western facade Der Tempel zu Karnak - Payne nach Pape.jpg
Temple of Karnak, western façade

In ancient Egyptian theology, the pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for 'horizon' or akhet , which was a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set." [2] Consequently, it played a critical role in the symbolic architecture of a cult building which was associated with the place of recreation and rebirth. Pylons were often decorated with scenes emphasizing a king's authority since it was the public face of a cult building. [2] On the first pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies while Isis, Horus and Hathor look on. Other examples of pylons can be seen in Luxor and Edfu.

Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities believed to be present in, and in control of, the world. Rituals such as prayer and offerings were provided to the gods to gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the rulers of Egypt, believed to possess a divine power by virtue of their position. They acted as intermediaries between their people and the gods, and were obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain maat, the order of the cosmos. The state dedicated enormous resources to Egyptian rituals and to the construction of the temples.

Egyptian hieroglyphs Formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians

Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters. Cursive hieroglyphs were used for religious literature on papyrus and wood. The later hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Siniatic script that later evolved into the Phoenician alphabet. Through the Phoenician alphabet's major child systems, the Greek and Aramaic scripts, the Egyptian hieroglyphic script is ancestral to the majority of scripts in modern use, most prominently the Latin and Cyrillic scripts and the Arabic script and Brahmic family of scripts.

Isis goddess in ancient Egyptian religion

Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, and produces and protects his heir, Horus. She was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, and she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, who was likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people. Originally, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was usually portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that originally belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow.

Rituals to the god Amun who became identified with the sun god Ra were often carried out on the top of temple pylons. In addition to standard vertical grooves on the exterior face of a pylon wall which were designed to hold flag poles, some pylons also contained internal stairways and rooms. [2] The oldest intact pylons belong to mortuary temples from the 13th and 12th century BCE Ramessside period. [2] A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon.

Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu.

Ra ancient Egyptian solar deity

Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld.

Athenian Acropolis

A single stone pillar standing at the Propylaea of the Acropolis in Athens is known as the pylon.[ citation needed ]

Revival architecture

Sydney Harbour bridge afternoon - the north pylon is on the right side of the image Sydney Harbour Bridge Afternoon.jpg
Sydney Harbour bridge afternoon - the north pylon is on the right side of the image

Both Classical Revival and Egyptian Revival architecture employ the pylon form, with Boodle's gentleman's club in London being an example of the Classical style. The 19th and 20th centuries saw pylon architecture employed for bridge building with the Sydney Harbour Bridge being one of the largest examples.

Boodles gentlemens club in London, England

Boodle's is a London gentlemen's club, founded in January 1762, at No. 50 Pall Mall, London, by Lord Shelburne, the future Marquess of Lansdowne and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Sydney Harbour Bridge bridge across Sydney Harbour in Australia

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia itself. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.

In 1928 a Pylon was erected by public subscription to commemorate the extension of the County Borough of Brighton on 1 April of that same year. The two stone towers known locally as "the Pylons" (sic) still stand and are clearly visible to travellers on either carriageway of the A23. The Patcham Pylon towers flank the southbound carriageway of the A23 just outside the city of Brighton and Hove and are listed Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. [3] Many cathedrals have a similar western end, such as Elgin Cathedral.

Brighton and Hove City and unitary authority in England

Brighton and Hove is a seaside city in East Sussex, in South East England. The towns of Brighton and Hove formed a unitary authority in 1997 and in 2001 were granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II. "Brighton" is often referred to synonymously with the official "Brighton and Hove" although many locals still consider the two to be separate towns. At the 2011 census, the city was England's most populous seaside resort, with a population of 273,400.

See also

Related Research Articles

Nephthys Egyptian deity

Nephthys or Nebthet or Nebet-Het is a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion. A member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis in Egyptian mythology, she was a daughter of Nut and Geb. Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Set.

An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. These were originally called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them used the Greek term 'obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and ultimately English. Ancient obelisks are monolithic; that is, they consist of a single stone. Most modern obelisks are made of several stones; some, like the Washington Monument, are buildings.

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Psamtik II Egyptian pharaoh

Psamtik II was a king of the Saite-based Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt. His prenomen, Nefer-Ib-Re, means "Beautiful [is the] Heart [of] Re." He was the son of Necho II.

Ramesseum memorial temple of Ramesses II

The Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II. It is located in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. The name – or at least its French form, Rhamesséion – was coined by Jean-François Champollion, who visited the ruins of the site in 1829 and first identified the hieroglyphs making up Ramesses's names and titles on the walls. It was originally called the House of millions of years of Usermaatra-setepenra that unites with Thebes-the-city in the domain of Amon.Usermaatra-setepenra was the prenomen of Ramesses II.

Egyptian Revival architecture architectural style

Egyptian revival is an architectural style that uses the motifs and imagery of ancient Egypt. It is attributed generally to the public awareness of ancient Egyptian monuments generated by Napoleon's conquest of Egypt and Admiral Nelson's defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. The size and monumentality of the façades 'discovered' during his adventure cement the hold of Egyptian aesthetics on the Parisian elite. Napoleon took a scientific expedition with him to Egypt. Publication of the expedition's work, the Description de l'Égypte, began in 1809 and was published as a series through 1826. However, works of art and architecture in the Egyptian style had been made or built occasionally on the European continent and the British Isles since the time of the Renaissance.

Luxor Temple Ancient Egyptian temple

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city today known as Luxor and was constructed approximately 1400 BCE. In the Egyptian language it is known as ipet resyt, "the southern sanctuary". In Luxor there are several great temples on the east and west banks. Four of the major mortuary temples visited by early travelers and tourists include the Temple of Seti I at Gurnah, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, the Temple of Ramesses II, and the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu; and the two primary cults temples on the east bank are known as the Karnak and Luxor. Unlike the other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the king in death. Instead Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the kings of Egypt were crowned in reality or conceptually

Philae Island in Nile, Egypt

Philae is an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt. Philae was originally located near the expansive First Cataract of the Nile in Upper Egypt and was the site of an Egyptian temple complex. These rapids and the surrounding area have been variously flooded since the initial construction of the Aswan Low Dam in 1902. The temple complex was dismantled and moved to nearby Agilkia Island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, protecting this and other complexes before the 1970 completion of the Aswan High Dam. The hieroglyphic reliefs of the temple complex are being studied and published by the Philae Temple Text Project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

The Temple of Amenhotep IV was an ancient monument at Karnak in Luxor, Egypt. The structures were used during the New Kingdom, in the first four years of the 18th dynasty reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, when he still used the name Amenhotep IV. The edifices may have been constructed at the end of the reign of his father, Amenhotep III, and completed by Akhenaten.

Talatat

Talatat are stone blocks of standardized size used during the 18th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten in the building of the Aton temples at Karnak and Akhetaten. The standardized size and their small weight made construction more efficient. Their use may have begun in the second year of Akhenaten's reign. After the Amarna Period talatat construction was abandoned, apparently not having withstood the test of time.

Precinct of Amun-Re building in Egypt

The Precinct of Amun-Re, located near Luxor, Egypt, is one of the four main temple enclosures that make up the immense Karnak Temple Complex. The precinct is by far the largest of these and the only one that is open to the general public. The temple complex is dedicated to the principal god of the Theban Triad, Amun, in the form of Amun-Re.

Ancient Egyptian architecture

Spanning over two thousand years in total, what is called ancient Egypt was not one stable civilization, but instead a civilization in constant change and upheaval commonly split into periods by historians. Likewise, ancient Egyptian architecture is not one style, but a set of styles with commonalities used during each period of ancient Egyptian history.

The Beautiful Feast of Opet was an Ancient Egyptian festival celebrated annually in Thebes (Luxor), during the New Kingdom and in later periods. The statues of the deities of the Theban Triad — Amun, Mut and their child Khonsu — were escorted in a joyous procession, though hidden from sight in a sacred barque, from the temple of Amun in Karnak, to the temple of Luxor, a journey of more than 1 mile, in a marital celebration. The highlight of the ritual is the meeting of Amun-Re of Karnak with the Amun of Luxor. Rebirth is a strong theme of Opet and there is usually a re-coronation ceremony of the pharaoh.

The history of the Karnak Temple complex is largely the history of Thebes. The city does not appear to have been of any significance before the Eleventh Dynasty, and any temple building here would have been relatively small and unimportant, with any shrines being dedicated to the early god of Thebes, Montu. The earliest artifact found in the area of the temple is a small, eight-sided column from the Eleventh Dynasty, which mentions Amun-Re. The tomb of Intef II mentions a 'house of Amun', which implies some structure, whether a shrine or a small temple is unknown. The ancient name for Karnak, Ipet-Isut only really refers to the central core structures of the Precinct of Amun-Re, and was in use as early as the 11th Dynasty, again implying the presence of some form of temple before the Middle Kingdom expansion.

Scottish Rite Temple (Mobile, Alabama)

Scottish Rite Temple, also known as The Temple Downtown, is a historic former masonic building in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was built to serve as the meeting place for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The building was designed by George Bigelow Rogers, a local Mobile architect who was responsible for designing many of the city's buildings during this period. The cornerstone was laid on November 30, 1921, with the building completed in 1922. It is the only intact example of the Egyptian Revival style in Mobile. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 5, 1984. It was sold in 1996 to a private citizen and reopened as a banqueting venue.

Temple of Dakka building in Egypt

Ad-Dakka was a place in Lower Nubia. It is the site of the Greco-Roman Temple of Dakka, dedicated to Thoth, the god of wisdom in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. The temple was initially a small one-room shrine or chapel, first begun in the 3rd century BC by a Meroitic king named Arqamani in collaboration with Ptolemy IV who added an antechamber and a gate structure. Ptolemy IX "subsequently enlarged the temple by adding a pronaos with two rows of probably three columns." During the Roman period, the Emperors Augustus and Tiberius further enlarged the structure with "the addition, at the rear, of a second sanctuary as well as inner and outer enclosure walls with a large pylon. The sanctuary contained a granite naos." The Temple of Dakka was transformed into a temple fortress by the Romans and surrounded by a stone wall, 270 by 444 metres long, with an entrance along the Nile.

Kiosk of Qertassi

The Kiosk of Qertassi is "a tiny Roman kiosk with four slender papyrus columns inside, [and] two Hathor columns at the entrance." It is a small but elegant structure that "is unfinished and not inscribed with the name of the architect, but is probably contemporary with Trajan's Kiosk at Philae." According to Günther Roeder--the first scholar to publish research on this building--the kiosk of Qertassi dates to the Augustan or early Roman period. The structure "is only twenty-five feet square, and consists of a single Hathor court oriented north or south, and originally surrounded by fourteen columns connected by screen walls." Of the 14 pillars, only 6 have survived in place. The pillars or columns were made of brown sandstone; the structure itself was "perhaps connected to a small temple on the East Bank [of the Nile] which was still in existence in 1813."

Deir el-Shelwit Archaeological site in Egypt

Deir el-Shelwit is an ancient Egyptian temple to Isis from the Greco-Roman period. It stands on the West bank of the Nile at Luxor, 1 km from Malkata and about 4 km south of Medinet Habu.

Behbeit El Hagar Village in Gharbia Governorate, Egypt

Behbeit El Hagar is an archaeological site in Lower Egypt. It contains an ancient Egyptian temple for the goddess Isis. The site lies along the Damietta branch of the Nile, north of Sebennytos and 8 kilometers west of Mansoura. The temple is known as the Iseion and was the first large temple to have been dedicated to Isis. In earlier shrines at the site, she may have been worshipped alongside her mythological husband, Osiris, and son, Horus. It was begun by the kings of the Thirtieth Dynasty and completed under Ptolemy III.

Egyptian Revival architecture in the British Isles

Egyptian Revival architecture in the British Isles is a survey of motifs derived from Ancient Egyptian sources occurring as an architectural style. Egyptian Revival architecture is comparatively rare in the British Isles. Obelisks start appearing in the 17th century, mainly as decorative features on buildings and by the 18th century they started to be used in some numbers as funerary or commemorative monuments. In the later 18th century, mausoleums started to be built based on pyramids, and sphinxes were used as decorative features associated with monuments or mounted on gate piers. The pylon, a doorway feature with spreading jambs which support a lintel, also started to be used and became popular with architects.

References

  1. Ermann & Grapow, Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, vol.1, 471.9-11
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Toby Wilkinson, The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2005. p.195
  3. Public Sculptures of Sussex