For this week’s blog I wanted to discuss the different styles of architecture that existed during the New Kingdom. These styles of construction are the Royal construction projects and the urban construction of towns and cities. Both of these areas can help to elaborate on the overall well being of Egyptian society.
During the New Kingdom these is a shift away from constructing massive individual burials towards more communal burial sites, such as the Valley of the Kings. What was the purpose of this shift? One possible reason is simply Egypt could no longer afford or no longer wanted to put as much resources into the construction of pyramids. One solution for reducing expenditures on royal burials is to condense the royal family tomb at one location. By doing this the Egyptians could either reuse burial sites or expand on the existing chambers whenever a new member needed to be buried. By condensing the royal family to one site, the Valley of the Kings, this could also save resources involved with rituals. There would be one temple site for the burial complex instead of one temple per pyramid or burial site.
Thanks to the site of Deir el-Medina archaeologist are able to learn about the planning and construction of urban centers. Unlike our cities that are composed of separate buildings, these Egyptian centers were very condensed and many of the building were sharing walls. The closeness of these buildings shows that the Egyptians were able to maximize the living space in these dwellings. This site also shows that great care was taken when planing the layout of a city. Due to the harshness of this region of the world a poorly designed city could be devastating to the inhabitants. If cities were not planned right they could have problems with supply their population with food and water, along with other necessitates for a city to function. However, Deir el-Medina shows that the Egyptians took these and other conditions into consideration when designing their cities.