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The Pyramids of Giza

Sun-bathed Giza Pyramids

One of the most popular regions of Egypt is Giza, where fans of history and architecture can visit a number of impressive pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Khufu stands as the largest of all pyramids in the area, consisting of more than one million limestone blocks weighing between two and 15 tons. Until 1889 and the construction of the Eiffel Tower in France, the Great Pyramid of Khufu held the title of the tallest manmade structure on earth.

While Khufu may be Giza’s tallest pyramid, a common illusion leads many tourists to believe that this record belongs to Khafre. The pyramid is actually nine feet shorter than Khufu is, though it stands on a slightly elevated stretch of land. Finally, visitors to Giza must see the pyramid of Menkaure. This pyramid stands considerably smaller than the others at just 215 feet. In addition to its relatively diminutive size, Menkaure differs visually from Khufu and Khafre because it is only partly encased in white limestone, while the other two are fully encased.

About the author: Amita Vadlamudi has worked in various capacities as an experienced and diverse computer systems engineer. Away from work, Amita Vadlamudi has enjoyed reading historical books about architectural feats accomplished by ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian pyramids.

 

Aztec City of Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan

For over three decades, Amita Vadlamudi worked with operating systems and components as a computer system analyst and engineer. Amita Vadlamudi has also remained interested in the Aztec civilization, which built the city of Tenochtitlan at what is now Mexico City.

Beginning in the 1470s, Tenochtitlan was largely constructed over the lifetimes of four Aztec kings, on an island in Lake Texcoco. The city was developed using a grid layout that included a system of streets and canals, two aqueducts that provided drinking water, and three elevated causeways that connected the city to towns on the lakeshore.

In the middle of Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs constructed the Sacred Precinct, which housed religious temples and schools, as well as priests’ dwellings. The enclave could support more than 8,000 people and played a vital role in the society’s ceremonial activities. Next to the Sacred Precinct, the Aztecs built luxurious palaces for the nobles that featured large gardens, zoos, and aviaries. At its height in 1519, experts believe the population of Tenochtitlan reached at least 200,000.

 

The-Greek-Origins-of-Roman-Architecture

Roman Temple

Amita Vadlamudi is an information technology specialist with more than 35 years of experience. In her free time, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys volunteering and reading. She has a special interest in history, especially ancient cultures.

The Romans have been credited with inventing many things, such as, for example, the calendar and concrete. They were especially influential in construction and architecture, and we still use variants of their techniques today. 

Stylistically, Roman architecture was built on the foundations of the civilizations before it, including the Greek styles of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Romans particularly favored the Corinthian style, though they preferred more decorations. Their Tuscan column was also based on the Doric column but it was made with a smaller capital and a molded base. Also unlike the Greeks, the Romans used monolithic columns, which are made from a single piece of stone, rather than the Greek version, which stacked pieces of stone on top of each other. 

However, Roman architecture began taking on its own characteristics. For example, columns came to be used for decoration (rather than bearing weight), to give a stately and traditional appearance. Eventually, columns were built right into the wall.