Many thousands of years ago there were no houses such as people live in today. In hot countries people sometimes made their homes in the trees and used leaves to protect themselves from rain or sun. In colder countries they dwelt in caves. Later people left their caves and trees and began to build houses out of different materials such as mud, wood or stones.
Later people found out that bricks made of mud and dried in the hot sunshine became almost as hard as stones. In ancient Egypt especially, people learned to use these sun-dried mud bricks. Some of their buildings are still standing after several thousands of years.
The ancient Egyptians discovered how to cut stone for building purposes. They erected temples, palaces and huge tombs. The greatest tomb is the stone *pyramid of Khufu1, king of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians often erected their huge constructions to conmemorate their kings or pharaons.
The ancient Greeks also understood the art of building with cut stone, and their buildings were beautiful as well as useful. They often used pillars, partly for supporting the roofs and partly for decoration. Parts of these ancient buildings can still be seen today in Greece.
Whereas the ancient Greeks tried to embody the idea of harmony and pure beauty in their buildings, the Roman architecture produces the impression of greatness, might, and practicalness.
The Romans were great bridge, harbour and road builders. In road works the Romans widely used timber piles. They also erected aqueducts, reservoirs, water tanks, etc. Some of their constructions are used till now. It is known that the manufacture of lime is one of the oldest industries used by man. Lime is a basic building material used all over the world as today so in the ancient world. One of the Romans, Marcus Porcius Cato, gave an idea of a kiln for lime, pro duction: it's shape and dimensions. They are rough cylindrical or rectangular structures, built of stone in a hillside with an arched opening at the front to enable the fire to be made and the lime to be withdrawn. Such kilns were fired with wood or coal and were extremely inefficient. There are still many remains of kilns in some places of Great Britain as well as roads and the famous Hadrian Wall, which was erected to protect the Romans from the Celtic tribes in the first century A.D. Britain was a province of the Roman Empire for about four centuries. There are many things today in Britain to remind the people of the Romans: towns, roads, wells and the words.
By the way, Hadrian, the Roman emperor, was also the one who suggested the absolutely new for that time idea of building the Pantheon with a dome. He constructed it, and alongside with a number of other outstanding buildings such as the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla, it is still there in Rome. Many ancient buildings in Rome were designed by Hadrian as well as by other Roman emperors. In a period of 800 to 900 years the Romans developed concrete to the position of the main structural material in the empire.
It is surprising, therefore, that after the fall of the Empire, much of the great knowledge should have disappeared so completely. The knowledge of how to make durable concrete has been lost for centuries, *but mention was made of it in the writings of architects from time to time2.
Fusion of Roman and North European traditions in construction was reflected in many ways. Buildings combined the Roman arch and the steep peaked roof of Nothern Europe. Roman traditions were continued in the architectural form known as Romanesque. London Bridge, finished in 1209, took thirty-three years to build. It consisted of nineteen irregular pointed arches with its piers resting on broad foundation, which was designed *to withstand the Thames current3.
The Romanian period was followed by other periods each of which produced its own type of architecture and building materials. During the last hundred years many new methods of building have been discovered. One of the most recent discoveries is the usefulness of steel as a building material.
Nowadays when it is necessary to have a very tall building, the frame of it is first built in steel and then the building is completed in concrete. Concrete is an artificial kind of stone, much cheaper than brick or natural stone and much stronger than they are. The earliest findings of concrete building fragments belonging to prehistoric times were discovered in Mexico and Peru. The Egyptians in the construction of bridges, roads and town walls employed it. There are evidences that ancient Greeks also used concrete in the building purposes. The use of concrete by the ancient Romans can be traced back as far as 500 B.C. They were the first to use4 it throughout the ancient Roman Empire *on a pretty large scale5 and many constructions made of concrete remain till nowadays thus proving the long life of buildings made of concrete. Of course, it was not the concrete people use today. It consisted of mud, clay and pure lime, which were used to hold together the roughly broken stone in foundations and walls. It was the so-called "pseudo concrete": The idea of such building material might have been borrowed from the ancient Greeks as some samples of it were found in the ruins of Pompeii.
IV. Explain in English the meaning of the following words:
sun-dried mud bricks, timber piles, pseudo concrete, the ruins of Pompeii, harmony and pure beauty.
V. Make a report about the history of building ant tell it in class.
TEXTS FOR SUPPLEMENTARY READING
Who doesn't dream about travelling to Egypt? We think all the architects do. Lets have a wonderful journey.
1. What wonders of the world do you know?
2. What is the only remained wonder of the world?
3. What are the greatest monuments of Egyptian architecture?
4. Who is supposed to be the first named architect?
5. What are the periods in the history of ancient Egyptian architecture?
During the Old Kingdom, the period when Egypt was ruled by the Kings of the 3rd to 6th Dynasties, artists and craftsmen were drawn to the court to work under the patronage of the king and his great nobles. Techniques of working in stone, wood, and metal made tremendous progress, demonstrat» ed by surviving large scale monuments, such as the pyramids of the 4th Dynasty and the sun temples built by the 5th-Dynasty kings. The pyramids of the 4th Dynasty are the most spectacular of all funerary works and the only remained wonder of the world. These monuments celebrated the divinity of the kings of Egypt, linking the people with the great gods of earth and sky.
This was a time when trade and the economy flourished. Craftsmen worked in the finest materials which were often brought great distances, and were able to experiment with recalcitrant stones as well as new techniques of metalworking. This enabled them by the 6th Dynasty to produce large metal figures. The earliest that survive are the copper statues of Pepi I and his son, found at Hierakonpolis. Made c. 2330 BC they are badly corroded but still impressive in their stiffly formal poses. The eyes are inlaid, and the crown and the kilt of the king, now missing, were probably originally made of gilded plaster.
During the prosperous period known as the Middle Kingdom fortresses were built to defend the southern and eastern borders, and new areas of land were brought under cultivation. Craftsmen achieved new levels of excellence. Very little architecture remains — many royal monuments were robbed for their stone in later periods — but what has survived shows great simplicity and refinement. The example is the pyramid of Sesostris I at Lisht.
The establishment of the 18th Dynasty marked the beginning of the New Kingdom and a new blossoming of the arts and crafts of ancient Egypt. Craftsmen benefited from wider contact with other civilizations, such as those of Crete and Mesopotamia, and were also able to work with imported raw materials.
The kings gave encouragement to artists and craftsmen by ordering great temples and palaces to be built throughout Egypt. The temple walls were covered with reliefs celebrating the achievements of the kings and the powers of the gods. The courtyards and inner sanctuaries were enriched with statuary. The most notable monuments are the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatsheput at Deir-el-Bahari (c. 1480 BC), which had a series of pillared colonnades on three sides of three superimposed terraces linked by gigantic ramps and magnificent Great Temple at Karnak to Amon as the universal god of Egypt.
Ancient Egyptian architecture was revived under the Ptolemies, the successors of Alexander the Great, who built numerous temples of traditional style of which the finest examples that survive are the Temple of Horns at Etfu and the temples on the islands of Philae (c. 323—30 BC).
kingdom — (зд.) царство
craftsman — ремесленник
surviving — уцелевший
large-scale — крупномасштабный
recalcitrant — непокорный
to enable — давать возможность
copper — медь
inlaid — инкрустирован
с circa лат. — приблизительно
B.C. (before Christ) — до нашей эры
to miss — пропустить, утратить
gilded plaster — позолота
prosperous — процветающий
to rob — грабить
refinement — усовершенствование
blossoming — расцвет
raw materials — сырье
encouragement — поощрение
mortuary — погребальный
ramp — скат, уклон
to revive — возрождать
successor — последователь, наследник