Egypt Vs Greek Temple Essay

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Temples have always been a staple in civilizations through the ages. Though differing in religion, design, even whether or not they are called temples, all notable cultures have built buildings for their religion. This common occurrence offers a prime opportunity to compare cultures. The Ancient Near East, Egyptian, Biblical Israel, and Greek cultures specifically, serve as great examples of the developing times and civilizations. By looking at function, choice of location, construction, architectural designs, decoration, and role in society, many similarities become apparent. The many differences also serve to highlight the unique qualities of each period.
Temple functions share some of the most similarities. Greek and Egyptians temples housed a statue of a god or goddess. They were intended as literal houses for the gods. The Egyptian Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak (c. 1500-1300 B.C.) houses a statue of Amun in a sanctuary at the heart of the temple, while the Greek Temple of Hera I at Paestum, Italy (c. 550 B.C.) houses a statue of Hera. The Greek and Biblical Israel temples were also similar. Sacrifices were commonly in the outdoor area of the temple. The Ancient Near Eastern
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Greek, Egyptian, and Biblical Israel contained some sort of relief sculpting. What they depicted though, differed. Egyptian reliefs showed the gods and their kings, while Greek temples would show their gods and often soldiers. Israel had naturalistic sculpture, flowers and leafing. The Greek and Egyptian temples would both have their reliefs on some of the columns, though Greeks more commonly carved on the frieze. The Greek, Egyptians, and Israel temples also had statues which were usually the main purpose of the building. Unlike any of the others, Near East temples usually held no decoration. These temples were more functionally oriented, evidenced in the simplistic design of the White Temple (Uruk, Iraq c. 3200-3000

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