Ancient Egypt Essay Research Paper One of

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Ancient Egypt Essay, Research Paper One of the greatest and most enduring human civilizations established itself in the Nile Valley. Over thousands of years the Egyptians shaped their civilization and have portrayed their canonical nature within their art, literature, and architecture. The Egyptians adhered to their rules and their standards of belief and behavior in their daily lives. The artistic canon is well represented in Egyptian tomb paintings. For the Egyptians, art was made to serve a particular purpose, usually a religious one. Religious beliefs largely dictated what artists created, especially the paintings that filled Egyptian temples and tombs. Temples were decorated with paintings and filled with statues of gods and kings in the belief that doing this served the

gods, showed devotion to the king, and maintained the order of the universe. The Egyptian belief in life after death was perhaps the most important part of their culture and probably helped to stabilize their society for so many centuries. The laws and rules of code the ancient Egyptian’s lived by daily also helped them to understand the seemingly ambiguous nature in The Tale of Sinuhe (1875 BC). The Egyptian pyramids were royal tombs for pharaohs. The Great Pyramid is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The pyramids are said to have built Egypt by being the force that knit together the kingdom’s economy. These building projects took a high degree of architectural and engineering skill, and the organization of a large workforce consisting of highly

trained craftsmen and laborers. Ancient Egypt has captured the imagination of scholars and laymen alike because of the canonical nature which surrounds its art, its literature, and its monumental architecture. In ancient Egypt, there was a strong belief in the afterlife. Death was considered a necessary transition to the next world where the dead would lead a life similar to life as they knew it. This belief was the reason for the embalming of bodies, the abundance of funerary offerings, the statues, the relief carvings, the inscriptions and, of course, the paintings. The relief painting “Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt” was painted in the year 2400 BCE. This was during the time of the Old Kingdom ( Dynasty V), when Egyptians were constructing their mastabas (or tombs) out of

limestone (Lesko). The Egyptians built their mastabas as comfortable homes for the dead to live in during the afterlife. These tombs were filled with many treasures, paintings and messages. The painting “Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt” is from one such tomb at Saqqara; The Mastaba of Ti. Ti was the royal hairdresser during the early V Dynasty, as well as the controller of the farms and stock that belonged to the royal family. In the tomb paintings, the important people portrayed were given a large, out of scale size. The overlapping of outlines was avoided and all parts of the body were represented as flatly as possible. By portraying the Egyptians in this way [Profile of the face, frontal view of the eye, frontal view of the upper body, arms - one in front, one at the side,

and a profile of the legs] all the body parts needed in the afterlife would be properly expressed and thus, available to the deceased (Lesko). The consistency of ancient Egyptian funerary traditions as well as the consistency within the tomb paintings clearly define the artistic canon found in ancient Egyptian culture. Egyptian writers created many stories that featured imaginary characters, settings, or events. The Tale of Sinuhe (1875 BC), has been acclaimed as the masterpiece of Ancient Egyptian poetry and a passionate probing of its culture’s ideals. Written by an anonymous author in the form of an autobiography the tale tells how the courtier Sinuhe flees Egypt at the death of his king. Sinuhe was an official of the harem maintained for Amenemhet I by his queen. While on