Twenty Building Projects Discussed Below Represent Essay

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¶ … twenty building projects discussed below represent the project activities of the periods discussed and provide supporting examples for the historical evidence. They represent the application of the areas of expertise to project activities from the dawn of civilisation to the classical antiquity. Undoubtedly building construction is a dynamic field for historical research. Much can be learned about social organisation, management skills, technology, and aesthetics through investigating the various forms and histories of important buildings. Starting with the great ziggurat monuments in Mesopotamia, the human desire to build large-scale structures is an historical constant. It is also deeply linked to the cultural and religious consciousness in humanity that desired expression through there construction go these buildings. This is an aspect that is clearly evident in many ancient civilizations

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In terms of labour, massive amounts of muscle and toil went into creating great brick and stone buildings that still stand today. The pyramids were built without the aid of cranes or train transportation, while later domes were erected without scaffolding using new hoisting mechanisms. In Ancient Greece, Cranes replaced the use of ramps, in Roman times various forms of construction machinery had been developed. Therefore, it becomes evident that the history of project activities says something about society and its methods of management. Organization and management in the building and construction process is an aspect that is also clearly evident in the advance of knowledge and expertise. This is clear, for example, in the construction go there Roman Colosseum, where a rotational method of circulating labour was used in the building the enormous structure.

Essay on Twenty Building Projects Discussed Below Represent the Assignment

Technology and materials have also advanced over the centuries. From mud- brick to stone, from simple post and beams to sophisticated arches and dome construction. The 'What and how' of building in terms of materials and engineering expertise has changed, often in dramatic ways. Engineering feats such as the dome of the Roman Pantheon inspired later cultures and civilizations. Other changes include stronger materials have been employed from earlier to later times, signifying scientific progress if not always elegance. The Romans perfected the cement arch, while the Greeks refined the marble column. All these changes were made possible by developments in materials. However, perhaps most importantly, technical changes in construction techniques and tools have shaped the field of building construction. One could refer to example to the construction of aqueducts and waterways. In this regard one should continually bear in mind the significance of cultural forces and perceptions that often act in concert with the more materialistic aspects of building and architecture. This is a factor that we find to be prominent in earlier as well as later building and construction development; albeit with differences in intensity and emphasis, depending on the culture and its needs. One could mention the importance of the gods in the Greek Parthenon, for instance.

This section will explore many of these factors and variables, as well as the changes that occurred, by means of a summary investigation into the construction history of these twenty important buildings.

Essay a

The building projects that we encounter from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are a reflection not only of the cultural development and complexity of each particular civilization but also provide us with unique insight into the advances and developments in the process and skill of building, as well as architecture and design. This in turn is linked to other factors and aspects, such as cultural milieu, which can be seen as a reflection of the particular scientific and economic aspects of that civilization.

With the above in mind, the history of construction from the Ur Ziggurat to the Temple of Edfu demonstrates a number of important aspects. The Ur Ziggurat is seventy foot high and is considered as the best extant example of the Mesopotamian tower-shrines. The general consensus is that this infrastructure was built during the reign of Ur-Nammu, which was during 2114 -- 2096 BC. This formal and methodically built construction is evidence of the order and hierarchy of the society. It is evident from the infrastructure that workers were controlled and monitored by the King. The Great Ziggurat was built in a series of stages as shown by platforms which provides the working framework for the next stage of construction (Foster & Foster, 62). This also suggests the stratification and division of the culture. This can be discerned from the fact that, in terms of working methods, most building during this period shows that the initiation of and payment for construction were arranged by kings or political leaders, while the labor force for the building came from slaves and agrarian peasants. It is also a clear indication of the master builder tradition that was to strengthen and diversify in the Egyptian culture; as well as being a sign of the economic development of the civilization from its hunter-gatherer roots to a more stable and city-centered agrarian society.

The Tower of Babel, referred to in Genesis 11, has been linked to the Etemenanki or the ziggurat of the temple of Marduk in Babylon (Foster & Foster, 64). This construction is particularly interesting in that it demonstrates what can occur when there is a breakdown in communication and management in the construction process -- which also leads to conjecture about the diversity of the society. This possibly occurred when foreign slaves were imported for work. The project managers had difficulty talking to workers who could understand Babylonian, resulting in confusion. It is certain that vast workshops were set up on the construction sites, perhaps best exemplified on the Great Pyramid at Giza. Here the craftsmen worked in a way not hitherto seen at earlier Mesopotamian building constructions.

Built during Nebuchadnezzar's reign the Ishtar Gate is one of the most spectacular archaeological finds from Ancient Babylonia. It was the 8th gate leading to the inner city of Babylon, and it was devoted to the Babylonia Goddess Ishtar. Its outstanding decorative design and blue glazed tiles with alternating rows of bas-relief dragons and wild-cattle, suggest the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the civilization. Culturally it also had a symbolic purpose in that the lion motif was a representation of the goddess Ishtar,

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (600 BC) situated in Nineveh reveal many of the fundamental aspects of Mesopotamian building structure - including evidence of their building expertise in the characteristic thick lower walls, foundations, and vaulted chambers, which acted as support. The Hanging gardens reveal the relatively advanced state of the culture and science, as well as reminding us of the class differences. The Hanging Gardens were built by the labor of peasants and slaves.

One of the epitomes of the building expertise of the early civilizations can be seen in the Great Pyramid at Giza (2580 -- 2560 BC). Much has been written about the macrostructure of the Giza pyramid, which has thirty-four major blocks. While we do not have definitive knowledge about the building process involved, we do know that intensive labor was used to quarry the stones and dolerite hammers allowed splitting of the rocks. Copper saws were also used to cut the stones. These aspects and many others point to the growing technical and scientific knowledge of the builders and their relatively high level of civilization. This is also supported by the use of ramps, levers and pulleys that were used to construct these pyramids.

One should not forget that this structure, like so many buildings in ancient cultures, had a definite and complex cultural significance, which also reveals much about the society -- especially the importance of the religious context of the pyramids. The Giza Pyramid in particular was a structure that was meant to symbolize the Pharaoh's tomb and his departure from this world. This is allied to the scientific and astronomical knowledge of the Egyptians, which can be deduced from the design of the pyramid; for example the shafts on the tomb were aligned with the three stars of Orion.

The Temple Complex of Karnack (1370 BC) is particularly interesting as it was comprised of a number of temples. It is situated near Luxor, some 500 km south of Cairo, Egypt. The area in the region of Karnack was the main site of worship as well as being a division of the colossal city of Thebes. It is the largest temple complex ever constructed by man and, as such, is evidence of the knowledge and expertise of many generations of builders.

The Luxor Temple (1400 BC) was also a vast Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River. This temple complex was devoted to the triad of Theban Gods, Amun, Mut, and Chons. It construction also took many generations to complete and shows not only the building and scientific skills of the culture but also bears witness to its cultural and religious life. The striking statue of Ramses 11 that is prominent shows the power of the Egyptian ruler, as well as his divine status in the culture.


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