Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Egyptians, continuity and permanence

It seems to me that if you have continuity in the way things are done, you can create kind of identity for yourself. Which worked because if we look at a piece of artwork from Egypt today we know it is from Egypt. We might not know what period but because it never changed we can associate the look of the hieroglyphs with Egypt. As for being preoccupied with permanence or the idea of being permanent, you have to look at who it was in Egypt that thought like that. It was the Pharos. Not to sound conceded but if I was a king of some kind and you told me that there was a way for me to have a permanent afterlife where I would have the same status I do now, then yes most people would do whatever they could to try to reach that. At the same time to undertake the building of a pyramid or any structure that would try to immortalize you means that you have accepted the idea that you will someday die and you want something that will carry your memory. Let’s think about that, things have changed cense the pharos built the pyramids, but for a long time architects designed structures that would cause people to remember who it was that had built them. The same hold true for the state capital buildings. They wanted to say look at us. Look at what we did. Now I am no expert on the afterlife, and I do not know what the pharos or anyone else sees when they die. But the face that the pyramids were built so long ago with the idea of immortalization and they still stand and are talked about today means that in some way they did immortalize the pharos that built them. That is a feat that modern architecture will probably never see, because the materials we use to build now are not a solid a just layer, upon layer of stone.

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