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Lecture: "Between Ephemeral and Permanent: Architectural Forms and Their Environments"

Thursday, September 13, 2012
12:00 AM
Kelsey Museum Lecture Hall, 434 South State Street Ann Arbor

Lecture by John Baines, University of Oxford <br> Reception following

Monumental architecture based on post construction and organic materials is well attested in Egypt from Naqada II times (ca. 3500 BCE) onward, as is the use of mudbrick. Buildings of the Dynastic period (from ca. 3000 BCE) constructed from brick or stone—notably temples—use a vocabulary that represents or evokes organic forms, as well as some in mudbrick, in many different ways. This representational pattern, which has parallels in many cultures, often implies possible functions for buildings and relates them to contexts in the wider environment that can hardly be uncovered by archaeology in the Nile Valley and Delta. Such possibilities can, however, be investigated through analysis of the structures themselves, through depictions of buildings, and through texts. Buildings constructed from organic materials, many of them intended only for ephemeral use, were probably vital for ancient social forms, especially those that brought different social groups together. Those buildings were also part of a wider managed environment.