Tag Archives: buildings

Archeology {3} ~ How Do Archeologists Discover Clues About The Past?

One way that archaeologists discover and gather clues about the past is by digging very slowly and carefully in the ground. Over time, objects and buildings once used by people can become buried by natural processes, such as by blowing sand or flooding. Past people also buried objects themselves as a way to store them or throw them away. As such, archaeologists often have to dig in order to collect objects made or used by past people (called artifacts) or to find the remains of houses or other buildings (called features). This is called excavation. It is a dirty job, but it can be a lot of fun and is a great way to uncover clues about the past. Most excavations take place at archaeological sites, or locations where people in the past lived, worked, and threw stuff away.

Once they are done digging, archaeologists bring everything they find back to a laboratory. There, artifacts are cleaned, identified, counted, and weighed. These artifacts can then be studied to learn about how people lived in the past. Using artifacts, archaeologists can learn about what people ate, how they built their houses, what games they played, or even what kind of government they had.

While archaeologists have made many discoveries, there is still a lot about the past that is not known. Future archaeologists are needed in order to create a more detailed story of the past.

Architecture {11} ~ Architecture & The Environment

When designing a building, today’s architect will look into how to reduce carbon emissions during the building process as well as across the building’s entire lifespan. They will research ways in which to make use of renewable energy sources. They will seek out locally sourced materials to lower their carbon footprint caused by the logistics of moving materials.

All of this is not simply a case of ensuring for a more desirable ‘product’ for the architectural client, but is often also a matter of meeting regulations. The more environmentally aware the world becomes, the more stringent adherence to sustainable building processes becomes.

Architecture {8} ~ Modernist

The revivalism of the early modern period led quickly to a reactionary architectural outpouring, the shockwaves of which persist to this day. Modernism focused on the production of better quality machine-made industrial designs and its most fearsomely avant-garde proponents were of the Bauhaus school, who exposed the inner workings of structures as aesthetic demonstrations of their functional quality: function became beauty.

Bauhaus led to Brutalist architecture in Great Britain, which was characterised by minimalist buildings that bared the building materials employed in their construction, and spread throughout the world.

Around the same time – the middle of the 20th Century – architectural modernism morphed into its American equivalent, International Style, two of the best-known examples of which were the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center until they were destroyed by terrorists on September 11th 2001.

Architecture {7} ~ The Industrial Revolution & Early Modern Architecture

The industrial revolution brought about a vast and rapid development of automation and machination, the likes of which had never before been seen in any civilisation. This revolution in engineering separated it from architecture, which became – more than ever – concerned with aesthetics – in particular, the new quality known as “picturesque”.

Ornamentation was afforded massively increased importance as a result of the simplicity (and low cost) afforded by increased automation. So, for the first time, history was knowingly architecturally referenced (or copied) in the likes of the Neo Gothic and Scottish baronial styles and as much emphasis was placed on the aesthetics of architectural drawings as on the viability of their design.

Architecture {6} ~ Medieval & Renaissance Architecture

Medieval architecture
Middle Ages architecture includes the styles known as pre-Romanesque, Romanesque and Gothic and is expressed across civil, military and religious buildings alike. One of the best-loved examples of medieval architecture is, of course, the French Gothic Notre Dame de Paris, built between 1160 AD and 1260 AD and devastated by a fire in 2019.

Some of the most powerful expressions of medieval architecture can be found in the many military fortifications that were erected all over Europe, from Beaumaris Castle in Wales to the Walls of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Renaissance architecture
The Renaissance occurs across the 15th and 16th Centuries AD and describes a period in which the concept of Humanism (that “Man is the measure of all things” according to Greek philosopher Protagoras) gained much traction throughout Europe. Early architectural examples include the recycling of the knowledge of how to make concrete and the style emphasised symmetry, geometry, proportion and regulation of parts with references to the classical antiquity of Roman architecture.

Architecture {5} ~ Asian & Islamic Architecture

Asian architectural developments occurred along very different lines to its European and North African counterparts. The religious precepts of Hinduism and, in turn, Buddhism gave way to buildings that, beginning around 300 BCE, attempted to express both the macrocosm (the universal, the infinite) and the microcosm (the immediacy of experience): the result being something akin to a sense of oneness with the natural surroundings.

Islamic architecture
By the 7th Century CE (or AD in Dionysian terms), the development of Islamic architecture demonstrated influence from both ancient Middle Eastern and Byzantine architecture and stretched, in line with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, from Turkey to North Africa, India, Spain and the Balkans.

Its characteristics include minarets, muqarnas, arabesque and what are tellingly known as onion domes (which, though they originate in Islamic architecture, are actually more commonly associated with Russian architecture).

Architecture {4} ~ Prehistoric & Ancient Architecture

Prehistoric architecture refers to those buildings and settlements that occurred prior to recorded evidence of their existence. Only via the process of archaeological excavation and analysis of artefacts have we been able to identify their presence.

The earliest examples include Neolithic settlements like Gōbekli Tepe in Southeastern Turkey and Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.

Ancient architecture
Some of the richest examples of early civilisation are defined by their architecture, such as the one found in the Giza Plateau in Egypt – site of the Fourth Dynasty Giza Necropolis, where you will find the Great Pyramids of Khafre, Khufu and Menkaure, as well as The Great Sphinx of Giza – surely the most spectacular example of ancient architecture known today.

In Europe, Greek and Roman architecture (the latter of which was inspired by the former) of the 8th Century BC to the 6th Century AD was developed according to the Classical orders, which assembled parts subject to uniform proportions determined by what role each part played in the construction.

Architecture {1} ~ What Is Architecture?

Architecture is the study, art and practice of designing buildings and other structures (such as web architecture). The term is also used to describe the structural design of an object, i.e. a building’s architecture. The word itself comes from the Greek arkhitekton, which means ‘chief’ (arkhi) ‘creator’ (tekton) and, thus, refers to the person carrying out the structural design: the architect.

The practice of architecture helps to root civilisations according to certain design conventions. We can identify civilisations according to their remaining architectural feats, in other words. This is very likely the reason why architecture has become so lauded as a profession and that buildings have come to be recognised as important symbols of particular cultures.

Civilizations {9} ~ Mali Empire

~The Mali Empire, also historically referred to as the Manden Kurufaba, was an empire in West Africa that lasted from c. 1230 to 1600. It was the largest empire in West Africa and profoundly influenced the culture of the region through the spread of its language, laws, and customs along lands adjacent to the Niger River, as well as other areas consisting of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.

~Modern oral traditions recorded that the Mandinka kingdoms of Mali or Manden had already existed several centuries before unification. This area was composed of mountains, savanna, and forest providing ideal protection and resources for the population of hunters. Those not living in the mountains formed small city-states.

~The combined forces of northern and southern Manden defeated the Sosso army at the Battle of Kirina in approximately 1235. This victory resulted in the fall of the Kaniaga kingdom and the rise of the Mali Empire.

~The Mali Empire covered a larger area for a longer period of time than any other West African state before or since. What made this possible was the decentralized nature of administration throughout the state. Its power came, above all, from trade.

~The Mali Empire reached its largest size and flourished as a trade and intellectual center under the Laye Keita mansas (1312–1389). The empire’s total area included nearly all the land between the Sahara Desert and the coastal forests.

~The 1599 battle of Djenné marked the effective end of the great Mali Empire and set the stage for a plethora of smaller West African states to emerge.

Source: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-worldcivilization/chapter/mali/