Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.
From the case study (below) describe how it relates to the lesson theme (below) of ancestors. Your response should be 200 words, clear and concise, grammatical-error free. Lesson: We are now transitioning into lesson three. During this lesson, you will review four different case studies that explore art, music, and architecture influences in Africa. The first case study explores the Pyramids of Giza and how burial architecture evolved in ancient Egypt. We’ll start with some of the earliest forms of burial architecture in the form of mastabas and discuss how King Djoser’s architect altered this form to give us the pyramid structures we know of today. Next, we will look at the West African metalwork specifically sculptural traditions of the Benin peoples, as well as Ife, an earlier West African civilization. Here, you will see how metal sculptures are created and then included in important everyday activities or used for traditional ritual purposes. We will also take a look at the contemporary artist El Anatsui and how he uses metal in a different way, to create metallic cloth-like installation pieces. Third, we will look at African Dance, Muchongoyo in Zimbabwe. The role of music in African communities is one of expression and everyday usefulness that makes it impossible to view African culture apart from African music. African dance and drums specifically have served communities of African people as seen in the more modern African music such as the example from Fela Kuti. Lastly, we will look at African Percussion including drum telegraphy and the marimba, one of the first melodic man-made instruments. The instrument has traveled multiple continents over several hundred years and has undergone many transformations. We will a look at this instrument that continues to inspire music in African countries such as Zimbabwe, the alleged birthplace of the marimba. Case study: Map of Egypt Map of Egypt indicating the location of Djoser’s Step Pyramid and the Pyramids of Giza In this case study we’ll discuss the Pyramids of Giza and the ways in which ancient Egyptian burial practices can tell us more about their view of the afterlife. First, we’ll take a look at mastabas, one of the earliest forms of burial architecture for kings in Egypt. Then we’ll see how the Pyramid of Djoser expanded these structures in order to create taller step-pyramids and expansive tomb complexes. Finally, we’ll turn to the Pyramids of Giza to examine how pharaohs continued to build on Djoser’s model to create the pyramids most of us know today. Throughout this case study, we’ll examine how pharaohs prepared for their deaths by creating structures that stood as lasting reminders of their rule. The Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Example of ka statuary Example of ka statuary Ancient Egyptians had a very firm notion of what the afterlife looked like. They believed that each human contains a life force, or ka, which continued to exist even after their death. In death, a person’s ka would continue to engage in the activities and pursuits that it enjoyed in life. Rulers would be rulers, slaves would be slaves, mothers would be mothers, etc. In order to accomplish these tasks, each ka needed a body to inhabit in death, such as the mummified body of the deceased or a likeness in the form of a sculpture or image. The result of these beliefs was the development of complex funerary practices and burial structures. To the right is one of the best-known examples of ka statuary. It is a diorite sculpture of the pharaoh Khafre who ruled during the Fourth dynasty (c. 2520-2494 BCE). The sculpture is 5’6” tall and currently resides in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Mastabas The first major burial sites of Egypt were mud-brick tombs, known as mastabas, erected for nobles and royalty. The term “mastaba” was first used archaeologically in the 19th century by workmen on Auguste Mariette’s excavation at Saqqara to describe the rectangular, flat-topped stone superstructures of tombs. Subsequently, the term mastaba has continued to be used to describe mud-brick superstructures in this region of the world. Below is a drawing of the typical structure of a mastaba including a structure above ground that allows visitors to enter and make offerings to the ka statue of the ruler buried there. You can see that a vertical shaft runs several yards into the earth below the mastaba. This passageway would have been inaccessible to visitors in an effort to protect the burial below. Additionally, builders would wall up the entrance to the burial chamber after it was completed to make sure that even if someone made it through the passageway, their path would be blocked. Below is a drawing of a typical mastaba structure. mastabas Each burial typically included a sarcophagus, or coffin, surrounded by grave goods that related directly to the individual buried there. Often times, grave goods were dictated by one’s station in life and included personal items of value to them during life. Though individuals often times had their own mastaba structures, these tended to be grouped together to form a necropolis, or “city of the dead”. Most of the examples we have today are clustered along the edge of the desert on the west bank of the Nile. This location was chosen because ancient Egyptians believed that the land of the dead was located in the direction of the setting sun. Early Step Pyramids Egyptian civilization began under the Early Dynastic period (3000-2680 BCE), when the first kings gained power. Most of the most notable art and architecture from this period, however, can be seen starting at the beginning of the Old Kingdom period, 2680-2259 BCE. It was at this time that Djoser (Zoser) expanded Egypt into the major civilization we know of today. The Pyramid of King Djoser was Egypt’s first monumental construction in stone, as opposed to the less permanent mud-brick construction of previous mastabas. Originally meant to follow the building plans of previous mastabas, Djoser’s architect, Imhotep, later decided to enlarge the structure by stacking six rectangular forms on top of one another to create the illusion of steps. In doing this, Imhotep created a metaphorical stairway to the sun god Ra and created a structure tall enough to be seen from miles away. The exterior of the pyramid was originally faced with limestone, so that it was bright and visible. Pyramid Surrounding the structure was a large, rectangular funerary complex that covered thirty-five acres and was protected by a thirty-three foot tall wall that was a mile long. Only one entrance allowed visitors to enter the complex through a small door on the southeast corner of the site. Overall, the site was meant to represent Djoser’s palace in Memphis so that he could continue to rule from his palace in death. While the function of different areas of the complex it is still not fully understood, scholars agree that Djoser’s complex includes area for practice of rituals that symbolically linked the once-feuding people of Upper and Lower Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza While large tombs for the pharaohs began to be built in the shape of pyramids towards the end of the Old Kingdom period, the Middle Kingdom (2258-1786 BCE) was the time that architects refined the designs of the temples and pyramids. Built in durable stone to last forever, the pyramids are symbolic of the importance of the afterlife in Egyptian ancient culture: the timeless significance of the soul compared to the temporary nature of the body. The Pyramids of Giza The Pyramids of Giza The trio of large pyramids at Giza (2550-2460 BCE) belonged to Fourth-Dynasty pharaohs known as Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure (or Cheops, Chefhren, and Mycerinus in Greek transliteration). The largest pyramid, that of Khufu (reigned 2551-2528 BCE), was built first and from the beginning it was meant to be a true pyramid of unprecedented proportions. The base is 755-by-755 feet and covers over thirteen acres; the sides rise to 481 feet at an angle of 51^ 50’ 40”. While the pharaoh’s chamber in the center is made out of granite, most of the pyramid is made out of limestone. Burial Complexes Burial complexes found at the site of the Pyramids of Giza. Khufu’s pyramid has three burial chambers within it and therefore is not completely solid. These three burial chambers are interpreted as deliberate accommodations: the roughly finished lowest chamber, which is excavated out of foundation bedrock, is thought to represent the underworld; the middle chamber, the so called Queen’s chamber with its oversize statue of Khufu, served as his spirit chamber, or serdab. The term “serdab” is used for the aboveground chamber, which hosted a statue of the deceased receiving offerings. This space mimics similar spaces found in earlier mastaba structures. The top chamber, or King’s Chamber, beautifully constructed from red granite, was in fact the place that Khufu was buried. To transfer the tremendous weight of the pyramid around the ceiling of the King’s Chamber, eleven pairs of granite beams were set as a saddle roof extending into the mass of the pyramid above the chamber. This among other construction marvels made the Great Pyramid of Giza one of the seven classic wonders of the world. Khufu’s Pyramid Khufu’s Pyramid, also referred to as the Great Pyramid Khafre’s Pyramid is the next in the sequence of construction and only slightly smaller in size. Khafre, who reigned 2520-2494 BCE, was the son of Khufu. Khafre’s pyramid is 705 feet square at the base and rises at an angle of 53^ 20’ to an ultimate elevation of 471 feet. It is important to note that since this pyramid sits on higher ground than the pyramid of Khufu, it seems to sit higher up than the taller pyramid of Khufu. The smallest of the three pyramids of Giza belonged to a son of Khafre, known as Menkaure, who reigned 2490-2472 BCE. This pyramid is not only smaller than the two other, but also constructed with less care than those of his predecessors. The pyramid of Menkaure, unfinished before Menkaure died, is 355 by 343 feet at the base, and rises to 213 feet high with a slope of 51^ 20’ 25”. Its dimensions follow the proration of the neighboring pyramids. Khufu’s Pyramid Section of Khufu’s Pyramid (view from the side) Throughout history pyramids (especially the impressive Giza pyramids) have provoked one main question: How did ancient people working with primitive technologies build such enormous, sophisticated structures? Although scholars are still trying to answer this question, it is important to note that while the Egyptians lacked metals harder than copper and made no use of the wheel for transport, they were not primitive. Their knowledge of surveying, which was necessary to re-establish field boundaries after the annual flood, enabled them to build the pyramids according to precise cardinal directions. Artist rendering of the construction process Artist rendering of the construction process Construction of the pyramids was made possible by large teams of laborers available during the flood season when agriculture work was impossible. Based on studies of ruined or incomplete pyramids, we can see that in some cases ramps were erected alongside the rising masonry mountain to provide an inclined plane for dragging stone on sledges. It is also possible that workers used the stepped core of the pyramid as a construction staircase for pulling and leveraging the blocks onto the upper levels. Theories ranging from embodiments of standard measures to apocalyptic predictions of the end of the world have been offered to explain the dimensional configuration of Khufu’s pyramid; however, the most important thing about these pyramids is that they are first and foremost tombs for royalty. Life and one’s survival after death played a significant role in the context of Egyptian worldview and perhaps no other society before or since has invested so much time, labor, and material to insure comfortable lives for its kings after death. Virtually all of Egyptian art and architecture that remains for us today was created for this purpose. While the Pyramids of Giza were impressive in their day, pharaohs stopped building massive pyramids during the New Kingdom period (1550-1070 BCE). Though painting, carving, and in general artistic styles remained consistent during this time, kings started building massive tombs hidden underground, possibly because the high cost of constructing pyramids became too much of a burden.