Catalogue


Architecture and mathematics in ancient Egypt [electronic resource] /
Corinna Rossi.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
description
xxii, 280 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
0521829542
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
isbn
0521829542
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8357347
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 255-270) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Corinna Rossi is a Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology at Churchill College, Cambridge.
Reviews
Review Quotes
'... Rossi has written a valuable contribution to this interdisciplinary field.' Journal of Archaeological Science
"Rossi's book is a fascinating and worthwhile study of ancient Egyptian mathematics and architectural planning." Vanessa Smith, Expedition
'... the book is beautifully written, thoughtful, and extremely reader-friendly in its organisation. Its mathematical content is nothing to be afraid of either, as it is reasonably accessible ... with many helpful drawings, diagrams and charts. ... the book is certainly a valuable contribution to the study of Egyptian architecture, as well as a product of much serious thought and careful documentation.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
'Rossi grants us remarkable insight ... into the way in which two-dimensional architectural plans relate to three-dimensional constructions ... [she] provide[s] significant new insights into the mathematics of ancient civilisations, while challenging us to consider how language, material culture, and socio-technical practices are integrated, not only in mathematics, but in many domains.' Antiquity
'the mathematics in this well written book are accessible for most readers. Its warning against the multiple of proportion theories concerning the Egyptian architecture is a very welcome addition, as is the overview of ancient architectural drawings, models and texts ... important is Rossi's conclusion that too much attention has been given to possible symbolic intentions ...' www.PalArch.nl
"Rossi has provided a fine introduction and overview of ancient Egyptian architecture. Throughout, the book is well written, clearly structured and richly illustrated. Its success is built likewise on her double expertise in architecture and Egyptology, and on her attempt to cast her net for evidence wide enough to include textual as well as archaelogical evidence. She succeeds in reconciling the two types of sources to a detailed picture of the ancient architects, and it can only be hoped that this book will be followed by further research of the same kind." - Annette Imhausen, Cambridge University
"This beautifully written book explores ancient Egyptian building design in the light of surviving evidence of how the Egyptians planned and laid out their monuments and how they manipulated the numbers. Rossi's goal is to peel away anachronistic interpretations of the ancient structures and to find explanations matching a full range of primary sources. She succeeds admirably and her clear-eyed approach, informed by common sense and a grain of skepticism, results in a provocative and convincing study." - Diana Wolfe Larkin
'This book, based on Rossi's Cambridge Ph.D. thesis in Egyptology, is not only a calm, clear, and utterly compelling riposte to the world's 'pyramidiots' but also a case study in the integration of archaeological, artefactual, and textual evidence to analyse the praxis of ancient science against its modern reception. ... accessible and relevant to students of recent intellectual history as to researchers in ancient technology and science.' ISIS
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Summaries
Description for Library
In this fascinating study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for abstract 'universal rules' to explain the entire history of Eyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the different approaches of archaeologists, architects and historians of mathematics into a single coherent picture. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Long Description
Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. Whereas previous architectural studies have searched for "universal rules" to explain the entire history of Egyptian architecture, Rossi reconciles the approaches of architectural historians and archaeologists by testing architectural theories. This book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Main Description
In this fascinating study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi analyses the relationship between mathematics and architecture in ancient Egypt by exploring the use of numbers and geometrical figures in ancient architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for abstract '~universal rules' to explain the history of Egyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the different approaches of archaeologists, architects and historians of mathematics into a single coherent picture. Using a study of a specific group of monuments, the pyramids, and placing them in the context of their cultural and historical background, Rossi argues that theory and practice of construction must be considered as a continuum, not as two separated fields, in order to allow the original planning process of a building to re-emerge. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Short Annotation
An analysis of the relationship between mathematics and architecture in ancient Egypt.
Description for Bookstore
In this fascinating new study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for 'universal rules' to explain the entire history of Eyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the approaches of architectural historians and archaeologists by testing architectural theories against the archaeological and historical evidence. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Main Description
In this fascinating new study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi analyses the relationship between mathematics and architecture in ancient Egypt by exploring the use of numbers and geometrical figures in ancient architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for abstract 'universal rules' to explain the history of Egyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the different approaches of archaeologists, architects and historians of mathematics into a single coherent picture. Using a study of a specific group of monuments, the pyramids, and placing them in the context of their cultural and historical background, Rossi argues that theory and practice of construction must be considered as a continuum, not as two separated fields, in order to allow the original planning process of a building to re-emerge. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Description for Bookstore
In this book, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Description for Bookstore
In this fascinating study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Description for Library
In this fascinating new study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi explores the use of numbers and geometrical figures by the Ancient Egyptians in their architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for abstract 'universal rules' to explain the entire history of Eyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the different approaches of archaeologists, architects and historians of mathematics into a single coherent picture. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Main Description
In this fascinating study, architect and Egyptologist Corinna Rossi analyses the relationship between mathematics and architecture in ancient Egypt by exploring the use of numbers and geometrical figures in ancient architectural projects and buildings. While previous architectural studies have searched for abstract 'universal rules' to explain the history of Egyptian architecture, Rossi attempts to reconcile the different approaches of archaeologists, architects and historians of mathematics into a single coherent picture. Using a study of a specific group of monuments, the pyramids, and placing them in the context of their cultural and historical background, Rossi argues that theory and practice of construction must be considered as a continuum, not as two separated fields, in order to allow the original planning process of a building to re-emerge. Highly illustrated with plans, diagrams and figures, this book is essential reading for all scholars of Ancient Egypt and the architecture of ancient cultures.
Table of Contents
List of illustrationsp. viii
List of tablesp. xiii
Prefacep. xiv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
List of abbreviationsp. xix
Proportions in ancient Egyptian architecture
Introduction to Part I: Harmony and proportions in architecturep. 2
In search of 'the rule' for ancient Egyptian architecturep. 7
Triangles and other figuresp. 7
Three triangles for ancient Egyptp. 7
Viollet-le-Duc, Babin and the primeval pyramidp. 11
Choisy and the introduction of the Golden Sectionp. 16
The Golden Sectionp. 23
The origin and definitions of the Golden Sectionp. 23
The Golden Section and ancient Egyptian art and architecturep. 28
The theory of Alexander Badawyp. 32
Mathematics and architecture in ancient Egyptp. 57
Ancient Egyptian mathematicsp. 57
The mathematical sources and their languagep. 57
On [phis], [pi] and other anachronismsp. 60
Intention, coincidence or tendency?p. 68
Triangles and architecturep. 68
Psychological experiments and involuntary trendsp. 78
Cases from ancient Egyptp. 80
Conclusion to Part I: Ancient mathematics and practical operationsp. 87
Ancient Egyptian sources: construction and representation of space
Introduction to Part II: Tradition and variations in ancient Egyptian art and architecturep. 92
Documents on the planning and building processp. 96
Architectural drawingsp. 96
Representations of buildings and working drawingsp. 96
Drawings with written dimensions: the problem of the scalep. 101
Full-size geometrical sketches of architectural detailsp. 113
The use of square grids and the idea of a modulep. 122
Architectural modelsp. 128
Votive objectsp. 128
Working modelsp. 135
Projects and works in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty royal tombsp. 139
Documents on the worksp. 139
Recording the progress: from the project to the surveyp. 142
Foundation ritualsp. 148
Foundation ceremoniesp. 148
The ritual sequencep. 148
Cords and geometryp. 154
Building Textsp. 161
The dimensions of the primeval templesp. 161
The dimensions of the temples at Edfu and Denderap. 166
Conclusion to Part II: From the plan to the buildingp. 174
The geometry of pyramids
Introduction to Part III: Combining the knowledgep. 178
Symbolic shape and constructional problemsp. 180
The formp. 180
Pyramidal form and solar cultp. 180
Benben and benbenetp. 182
As high as possiblep. 184
The techniquep. 185
Seked, side-length, diagonals and cornersp. 185
Methods for obtaining the slopep. 188
Dimensions and proportionsp. 196
The proportions of pyramidsp. 200
Analysing true pyramidsp. 200
Numerological theoriesp. 200
Lauer's simple ratiosp. 202
A list of true pyramidsp. 204
Available datap. 204
Pyramidia as alternative sourcesp. 205
Pyramids and trianglesp. 212
Geometrical modelsp. 212
Approximation and sekedp. 212
Equilateral and b = h trianglesp. 214
Seked 5 1/2 palms, generally called 14/11 trianglep. 215
Pythagorean tripletsp. 216
The evolution of the formp. 221
Old Kingdom pyramidsp. 221
Middle Kingdom pyramidsp. 228
New Kingdom and Late Period pyramidsp. 231
Conclusion to Part III: Interpreting the slope of pyramidsp. 236
An overviewp. 239
List of Old and Middle Kingdom true pyramidsp. 242
Bibliographyp. 255
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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