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Ancient Egyptian Art Chapter 3
4The Nile and Egyptian Unification•Examine the early evolution of the Egyptian culture, its dependence on the Nile River, and the importance of the unification of upper and lower Egypt.Egyptology????A special branch of the science of archeology—reconstructs the Egyptian civilization
People, boats, and animals, watercolor copy of a wall painting from tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis, Egypt, Predynastic, ca. 3500–3200 BCE. Paint on plaster, approx. 16’ 3” long. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Ancient Egyptian Religion•The Nile River made civilization in Ancient Egypt possible. •The Nile’s annual flood symbolized rebirth and this concept was important to Egyptian religious beliefs. •Ancient Egyptians were polytheists – who believed the gods were apparent in every aspect of nature.•A god could appear in human or animal form or both.•The gods influenced human lives and gave order to the world.
Ancient Egyptian Religion•They did not view death as the end of life. •The Nile’s annual flood and daily rising suggested “rebirth” a cycle of continual rebirth. •Believed the dead person’s ka, or soul, could enjoy the afterlife. •To ensure a comfortable afterlife, the deceased had to be physically preserved a long with his/her earthly possessions. •As a result of this much of Ancient Egypt’s surviving artistic heritage is funerary.
Position of the Pharaohs, or king•Played an important role in Egyptian life. •As a son of the sun god, Ra, a pharaoh was god-king who had absolute power. •The pharaoh’s power did not end when he died.•Egyptians believed that the pharaoh rejoined his solar father and continued to influence life along the Nile.
Palette of Narmer
Palette of Narmer•Palette of Narmer created approx 3100 BCE•The palette is one of the world’s first historical works of art.•The 2 sides commemorate Narmer’s victorious unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.•Every image on the palette is designed to convey Narmer’s invincible power
Palette of Narmer•Each side is divided into registers. •Hierarchical Scale, Narmer towers over his defeated enemies. •Read description. •Figure representation – Head, legs and arms are in profile view while frontal views of the torso.•Composite view of the human figure as also seen in Chap 1 & 2.
Periods of in Ancient Egyptian History•Ancient Egyptian history began with Narmer unifying Egypt in approx 3100 BCE and ended with the Roman conquest in 30 BCE. •Divided into periods: OLD Kingdom, MIDDLE Kingdom, and the NEW Kingdom. •*** You’re expected to know distinctive artistic achievements of each period!
Old Kingdom Architecture•Old Kingdom rulers focused on building tombs that would protect the royal ka for all eternity.