Q1. Ancient Egypt and Ancient Maya civilization both designed
monumental buildings to cooperate with light, for example the Temple of
Abu-Simbel and the El Castillo.
The Temple of Abu-Simbel located at Abu-Simbel, in Southern Egypt.
It was built under Pharaoh Ramesses II reigned, around 1303-1213B.C.E. It has
two separated rock temples, the Great Temple and the Small Temple.
The Great Temple was built to dedicate to the god Amur, Ra
Horakhty and Ptah It was also to glorify and deify Ramesses II ‘s greatness.
The Small Temple was built to dedicate to the goddess Hatho and his wife, queen
Both Great Temple and Small Temple both aligned to the east,
they were constructed according to the position of the sun of specific day, 22nd
February and 22nd of October. These day were to celebrate Ramesses
II’s birthday and the coronation of the Pharaoh. On these days, sunlight will penetrate
the temple to illuminates the statures of the goddess, Pharaoh and his queen on
the black wall. However, only Ptah god of creation remain darkness due to his
association with the underworld.
Likewise, El Castillo also built to cooperate with light. It
was built between 800-900AD and located in the center of Chich’en Itza in
Mexico. It acts as a holy place for Mayan, it is used for holding sacred
rituals such as blood sacrifice and ceremony by the Aztec priest.
El Castillo has four sides, each side represents one phase of
the annual solar cycle. Each side also contain 91 steps, one final step on the
top. This added up to make 365 steps signify the total number of day in a year.
It was built as Mayan’s calendar.
During Spring and fall equinox, the sun illustrates on the
terraces and casts diamond pattern shadow. This shadow represents as the
snake’s body, joining with snake head carved at the bottom of the stairway.
This creates illusion of a living snake which symbolizes the god of Mayan’s religion,
Kukulkan the feathered serpent snake, crawling down the pyramid. The illusion
also represents Mayan’s believe of Kukulkan will descend from sky to energize
Pyramid of the Sun also cooperates with light. It was located
at Mexico state. It was constructed around 200CE. It acts as a calendar by
setting sunlight into two significant day, 29th April and 12nd August
which is the same date as the beginning of Maya’s calendar.
There are two types of architecture for both Ancient Mesopotamia civilization
and Indian Buddhism to communicate with gods, they are called the Ziggurat and
the Stupa. They are difference in term of form and material, however they do
First, Ziggurat and Stupa had different form. Ziggurat high
pyramidal stepping tower where layers of rectangular platforms piled up and the
temple was placed at the top of these platforms. People believe that by raising
the height would prevent the lowland to be inundated. Whereas Stupa has a
hemispherical structure. The shape of a Stupa represents the body of Buddha.
Each layers of Stupa have symbolized the five elements of Buddhism, they are
earth, water, fire, wind and space.
Stupa has a dome shape layer called the anda, the anda is
used to cover the Buddha’s remains. Whereas Ziggurat is a rectangular platform.
Every layer of the Ziggurat has a square platform base with inward sloping
walls, also flat wide top for supporting the shrine. People believes this
allows goddest to come to earth and bring prosperity to the community. Instead,
Stupa has a sharp end which is known as the Jewels.
Buddhis Stupa also
has a circular medhi, which is used to support the central dome and raising it
up. It is used a platform to perform ritual circumambulation. Whereas ritual
event will be hold on the top of temple of Ziggurat.
Ziggurat and Stupa use different brick to construct their
building. Ziggurat used mud bricks as main material. However, they don’t hold
together well in bad weather. Therefore, outer layer of kiln fired mud bricks
that is used to provide a waterproof effect. Whereas Stupa used of sun burnt
stone bricks. These bricks were laid with butter clay mortar and the exterior
of Stupa is coated with plaster as protection.
Ziggurat and Stupa architecture also share similarities. Both
Ziggurat and Stupa are ‘pile up’ construction where one layer is built on top
of another layers. Staring from the wide base of Ziggurat and Stupa, the area
of each heaped up layers is decreasing. Therefore, both Ziggurat and Stupa have
a narrower top.
Stupa and Ziggurat
both has exterior stair toward upper levels. Ziggurat has staircase to the top
as they believe the god would come down to earth through the stair. Stupa and
Ziggurat both are solid structures, there is no internal space, therefore
practitioner doesn’t allow to enter the stupa.
Q3. Parthenon in Athens And Temple of Apollo in Didyma are Greek
architecture. Both temple are built under different style of Greek architecture
First, Temple of Apollo in Didyma was the fourth largest
Greek temple, it was built twice time bigger than Parthenon in Athens.
Parthenon in Athens are built under Doric style, it has both
interior and exterior columns to support the roof. It is surrounded byone row
of columns, this is known as peripheral temple. Whereas Temple of Apollo in
Didyma are built under Ionic style, it contains exterior columns only. This
exterior has double rows of columns, this is known as a dipteral temple.
Parthenon has a base consist of three steps, the top step is
called the ‘stylobate’ and the lower two steps is called the ‘stereobate’.
Whereas the Temple of Apollo has a base with six steps.
Doric columns are used to support the roof in Parthenon. It
usually has 18-20 flutings. It was used for lower level of multistory building.
Doric columns have thicker, smoother and rounder shapes. It doesn’t necessary
to have a base. These Doric order capitals are much plainer, less decorative
and more austere. Whereas Temple of Apollo in Didyma used ionic columns. It has
more flutings than Doric columns, around 25-40 flutings. Ionic columns have a
base of stacked disks. This ionic order are used in upper level. These columns
are more slender, lighter and more ornate than Doric columns. Ionic columns also
have a spiral shell volute at the top which make it more decorative than Doric
However, Ionic style temple and Doric style temple share
similarities. They used materials like mud brick and marble. The columns of
these temples usually carved from limestone and is decorated with marble.
Ionic style temple and Doric has similar roof. They both has
a slightly sloping roof supported by columns. However Ionic roof is more
decorative than Doric Roof.
To conclusion, most classical temples in Greek are built in Doric
style. They contain only one exterior and interior columns, this called
dipteral temples. They has Doric columns with fewer flutings. These columns as
wider columns and more austere. Most Temple in Asia Minor are built in Ionic
style. There is two rows of columns in the exterior to support the roof, this
is called dipteral temple. Their ionic columns has more flutings, it is more slender,
ornate and decorative than Doric columns.