Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1st Unit Summary (Week 1-4)

Week 1: object, space, building, place (Mesopotamia: Eridu and Uruk)

        This bowl was found in a grave in Mesopotamia, Eridu, which shows a direct correlation between Mesopotamia and Egypt and their beliefs of afterlife. Both thought that their burials should contain all of their possessions.
        This bowl also tells more about their culture than just their commonalities with Egypt, it tells about the importance of circles and decoration. The bowl is lined with circles on the inside, with a big and noticeable pattern in the middle. Now, although this isn't the most decadent bowl, it was still a sign of wealth in the ancient times.

        Eridu in located in the desserts, part of present day Iran. Eridu was one of the first villages in Mesopotamia, and being that as it is, they got the first pick of location. And, they chose the best location; right next to a sea.
        The chose to be located next to the sea, not only for the view, but also for the fish, the traveling, and for their chief God of the Water, Ea. The sea also provided jobs for merchants and such. They were able to catch the fish and makes boats, along with other salable items to provide for their family and friends in need.

        This picture is of the reconstruction site of the Ziggurat temple in Uruk, Mesopotamia. This was built for the sky g, Anu. One of the reasons that the building was so high, was, like the Egyptians, it was thought that Anu was living there, making the temple closer to the sky, and closer to him.
         There are about 25 known Ziggurats in Mesopotamia. There were made to resemble mountains, similar to the Egyptian pyramids.

        Uruk, like Eridu, is located in a desert, but still right next to a major waterway. Not only are the right on the Euphrates River and beside the Tigris Rover, the two major rivers in all of west Asia, but they are also only a few miles from the Persian Gulf. 
        Uruk had between 50,000 to 80,000 people in population, making it the largest city in the world at that time. The city is also most famous for the mythological story called the Epic of Gilgamesh (The capital city of Uruk was Gilgamesh). 


Week 2: circles, groves, and stacks


        The stonehenge is the perfect example to show the importance of circles in society. This was a sacred place, that is believed to mark the sun and the moon at certain times of the year. In order to show this importance, the creators decided to put what they believe, everything that made up their society, in a circle, making it sacred.
         There is said to be an altar stone, which when the sun is in the right position, a ray of light shines through he heel stone, directly in the center, as shown in the drawing. 

        This is a picture of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. The massive numbers of ionic columns shown inside represent people, just like most groves do in the world. The ionic curves at the top could be representative of curly hair on a person, or a person holding an object, like a scroll. The column has a slender body, and larger "feet" that stand firm on the ground. The large numbers of columns show that she is a well worshiped goddess by many people. 

        The pyramids at Egypt are build from stacks, which are a series of horizontal lines, going from the longest line (at the bottom) to the shortest line (at the top), making a triangle shape. Stacks represent mountains, since people go off of the saying "monkey see, monkey do". These mountains serve as a place for the god of the sun, Ra.
        Although the pyramids were used for a tomb and a burial site, they did much more than that. Each of the four corners point to a cardinal direction, North, East, South, and West.        


Week 3:
 Space, power, experience, principles, precedent, size, order, scale, technology, and surface.

(Xianyang Palace)
- Space: The space around the palace is empty to put emphasis on the palace itself. The only other thing in the drawing is the border for protection.
-Power: The palace was used by the first emperor of China, but burned down by the Xiang Yu. This shows the both the positive and the negative power of the building.
-Experience: When first seen, the palace is a mass construction of decoration with curved roofs and multiple levels. 
-Principles: The principles of all of the Qin Dynasty and of China lay within this palace, which is that tradition is gold and shouldn't be messed with.
-Precedent: The palace is meant to resemble the Milky Way and a the Magpie Bridge, which was 
a story about how Magpies extended their wings to reunite lovers.
-Size: Compared to everything else beside the palace (which there isn't much near it), the size seems to be quite large, which makes a statement and shows authority. 
-Order: The order of the palace seems to be absent, there are different sizes of parts of the building and roofs, and they all seem to be randomly placed about on each corner.
-Scale: The scale is much greater and lesser than
its precedents. The Milky Way is our entire galaxy, and the Magpie Bridge, is still just a little bridge. The palace found a happy median, obvious closer to the bridge though.
-Technology: The palace was chief in the Qin Dynasty, which was in 221-206 B.C.E., which was a long time before technology was used to manufacture. The building was built entirely from hand, making technology an absent factor.
-Surface: The surface of the building is very decorative, making the eyes move to every little detail. This is a key factor of the culture and the way they show wealth and  power.


Week 4: commodity, firmness, and delight with circles and axes
 -Commodity:(How it functions) This picture of the Pont Du Gard auqeduct in Rome is exemplary for commodity because it transfers water, just like its supposed to, and doesn't take up a lot of space or materials, since materials were limited because of how high and tall the aqueducts were. The biggest was measured to be 50 meters high and 275 meters high. 
-Firmness: (How it stands in structure)This aqueduct was created in 19 C.E., making it almost 2,000 years old! Obviously, for a structure to last that long, especially one that it outside and exposed constantly to the natural elements, then it has to be well built. 
-Delight: (How the structure looks) Not only is the landscape beautiful, but also the curving 
arches of the Pont Du Gard aqueduct are very  pleasing. The arches are the same all the way down the line, which makes it easy for the eye to catch on to the pattern and enjoy. Also, the smallest layer, the third layer, in relationship to the larger ones below is magical. If looked at, it it obvious that the smaller ones are one third the size of the lower ones. The ratio is not only pleasing to the eyes, but also the mind.

1 comment:

  1. nicely done descriptions week by week. what holds all of these ideas and sites together?