Matt Salgot Week 6 Post

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.

1 thought on “Matt Salgot Week 6 Post

  1. One thing that I gathered from the lecture video on the mortuary practices of the New Kingdom, was that although the Egyptians did start to shy away from building these massive individual burials was partially, like you said to condense families together, but I do not think that it was because of insufficient funds. The New Kingdom was a time of great prosperity throughout the Egyptian kingdom, however, the lavish burials [pyramids] that were characteristic of the Old Kingdom were basically showing robbers where all of the treasures of the pharaoh were. I think that one reason for the shift is to better safeguard the treasures of the deceased. Because many of these things were placed in the tomb for the deceased to have or use once they reached the afterlife, the family or builders of the tomb would likely have been trying to ensure that the belongings stayed with the deceased, so they began building underground mausoleums in the Valley of the Kings. This way, they greatly decreased the chance of robbery, while keeping the ornate and beautiful tombs that were characteristic of the Old Kingdom, and it used significantly less money and materials to create. I think it is almost a sign of becoming more civilized in a way, you see a shift in thinking that lead to a change in acting which better protected their treasures. What do you think?

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