World Architecture (1500-750)

     In between 1500-750 BCE, societies kept developing, and so did architecture, consequently.  In the bronze age, generally, there are military based states. Despite the fact, Minoans who lived in Crete were peace-loving people, and the way people live changes how they built. Since Minoan society was peaceful state, there were lack of fortifications. Architects designed cities and temples indirect circulation because of their attention to nature. Nonaxial arragements of space led to indirect routes which is basis of Knossos, Labyrinth. Minoans adjusted architecture to the topographic qualities of the uneven terrain, and assembled their architecture piecemeal. Minoan architecture developed with religious behaviours, since they are not military based society. Crete had no defensive walls, it was naturally protected so that their priority was monumental architecture. They built the grand structure of the major religious complex at Knossos, known as Labyrinth. They invented clay turntables, depicted ceramic tiles to top stories of the houses, had plumbing achievement due to stone drains and flushable toilets. On the other hand, small and densely packed houses showed remarkable economic equality. In Knossos, there was Bull Court for ceremonial dances, table-leg columns that symbolize the manifestation of a god and painting of sacrifical theme lined corridor which shows complex’s religious function. The most surprising thing about Minoans is how indirect routes of topography led them to build Labyrinth in terms of nonaxial arragements, I guess.

     Minoans disappeared due to environmental issues, destruction of sea people etc. and Myceneans ruled over Crete. Unlikely Minoans, Myceneans were war-like people. They created predominantly lithic, solid, hierarchial structures based on military. However, they used Minoans’ clay tablets found in Knossos. Mycenean architecture made of rough cyclopean masonry and rubble walls, seemed in highly militarized society. On the other hand, there are some funerary structures similar to Egypt funerary architecture in concepts of building false door and mummifying. They also built corbelled domes, covered them with earth to stabilize. Generally, Myceneans had more fortifications than living space and they chose defensive structures over monumental structures.

     On the other hand, Myceneans had relations with Hittites through trading, and they influenced Hittites’ about corber architecture. They also built Lion Gate as Myceneans did. They were also military based and they had awesome fortifications in Hattusha. Hittites built paved streets and excellent drainage channels also. Ruler had more authority than temple. As Minoans, natural configurations are used for purposes of defence, they adjusted buildings, from fortifications to temples, to fit irregular terrain of craggy land. Streets follow irregular patterns but houses had drains which connect to streets.

     Meanwhile, New Kingdom of Egypt left the concept of pyramid and acquired new method of composition. Egyptian architecture started to use formal axis to explore open to closed experiences. The new spatial awareness started in Thebes and Karnak. Gigantic columns and colossal statues became structuring agents of space. Pharaoh’s religious behaviours also changed Egyptian architecture. For instance, new light theme for Egyptian architecture results from Pharaoh’s decision. Light desire, as Hittites, became their concern. Intercolumnation concept occured. However, architectural interpretation is adjusted to structures, especially temples as Karnak temple, in time rather than at once so that there are many temples for pharaohs in Karnak temple who lived in different timelines. Moreover, Pharaoh Hatshepsut had on impact on the design of future monuments in their axiality, grand scale, propagandistic iconography by made the terraced mortuary complex build which is her greatest architectural scheme. In these temples, we can see Pylons which are basically graphic representation of Egypt architecture, and as Myceneans’ corbel technique, Egyptians used post and lintel system.

     Even important cultures disappeared due to lack of surviving built evidence. Jerusalem plays special role even it lost its artificial relic because Jerusalem represents an idea. It has common religious significance for different religions. Generally, Jew tribes lived in Jerusalem but never developed as a good site because it has no connection to river which means less trade with other societies. Consolidate military developed due to attack of sea people, tunnels were dug for water sources as Myceneans and Hittites. Because of Jerusalem people’s seminomadic life, there is not much masonry architecture. In time, David and Solomon made Jews dominant power in region. Palace and temple were built but religious character of Jews was against of architectural development. However, authority of ruler can not be denied, First-Temple was built. Even, First-Temple damaged state’s economy, established urban fact. Palace and temple set elites at a distance from people who live in villages. To sum up, throughout the history, Jerusalem kept its significance as it is, even today.


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