Ancient Egyptian Religion As Seen In Art

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Ancient Egyptian Religion As Seen In Art And Architecture Essay, Research Paper Ancient Egyptian Religion as Seen in Art and Architecture As the hot Egyptian sun beats down upon his head, the archeologist realizes his time is drawing to a close. The local government had allotted a period of two weeks for the expedition to take place, and the thirteenth day is now in its peak. The search for the tomb of the great king Menes has, thus far, been a complete failure. The archeologist begins to feel a bit queasy, realizing his sudden failure; however, a cavalcade of shouts suddenly penetrates the intensely hot air. He strains his burning eyes to find the source of the commotion. Then he sees it: the corner of some ancient edifice is peeking sleepily from the sand and grit that

buried it so long ago. |Could this be it,X the archeologist asks himself, still in awe over the pale stone that his eyes now gaze upon. It seems almost impossible that the tracks of a culture so great could be covered by such an inadequate foe as time. But even now as he gazes upon the tomb in success, the archeologist sees no culture behind these artifacts; he merely sees the makings of a fortune. It will be nearly fifty years before the people represented by these pieces of time are honored for their diverse culture. Once vast and thriving, the Ancient Egyptian culture was a center of commerce, philosophy, and religion alike. The people had a culture like that of no other group in history; however, its complexity has led to many misconceptions about the Ancient Egyptian

populace. The ever-popular archaic art style of a figure in profile surrounded by hieroglyphs has become the world+s favorite view of the Egyptian. As a result of this ignorance, the cultural aspects of this society are not fully appreciated. One of the greatest little-known truths about the people of this society is that they based almost everything they did around their spiritual beliefs. In the life of Egyptian people, religion [played] a far more important part than modern man can imagine. With the peoples of antiquity, as in Europe in the Middle Ages, belief in gods or in one god [formed] the focal point of man+s world-outlook. Religion [provided] the stimulus to art and philosophy and a matrix for the development of moral principles. (Woldering 28) This similarity between

everyday tasks and belief in the gods lead to advances in numerous aspects of this society. Ancient Egyptian religion has been fully demonstrated through Egyptian art, architecture, and funerary practices. One of the most unique aspects of the Ancient Egyptian culture was the profusion of exceptional artwork. These compositions demonstrated not only a style of art never before seen, but they also showed innovative techniques that have been duplicated for centuries. Although these works, which consisted mostly of pottery and wall murals, seem to be quite simple to the untrained eye, they were what most consider to be a stylized portrait of the times. J. R. Harris comments on this in his book, The Legacy of Egypt: |Purported lack of grace and charm, unnatural stylization–these

were not shortcomings, but essential manifestations of [Ancient Egyptian art+s] specific natureX (194). In addition to the natural talents of the Ancient Egyptians, another explanation for their success in the arts is that there were few technological advances during their times. This allowed them to concentrate on aesthetic skills rather than on scientific ones. One of the most important contributions that the Ancient Egyptians made to the future of all art was a canon system that assigned particular proportions to parts of the human anatomy. This development created a more realistic view of the figures of people used in wall murals and pottery. These are merely a few of the aspects for which modern society gives the Ancient Egyptians credit. Another unique aspect of the Ancient