Egyptian temples
The Columns of Ancient Egypt
When we think of Egyptian temples, one of the principle architectural elements that comes to mind is the column. 

In fact, it is difficult to imagine a temple such as Karnak without thinking of its columned halls, and what many visitors will take away with them is visions of pylons, obelisks, statues and columns. Column shafts were often decorated with colorful depictions in painted, carved relief, and remain some of the most interesting architectural elements in Egyptian structures.

Most people who have any familiarity with ancient Egypt will immediately recognize the form of Lotus and Papyrus style columns, but actually not less than about 30 different column forms have been isolated from temples of the various periods. Most of the time, the column shafts were copied in stone of supports made from plants, resembling either a trunk or a bundle of stems of smaller diameter. Also, the shape of the capital, the top of the column, had a plant theme as well, and at the transition of the capital to the shaft, five bands might be found representing the lashing which held together the bundle of stems of which the earliest columns were made. Above the capital, a low abacus usually connected the column to the architraves placed above it. However, there are exceptions to all of this. At least prior to the Graeco-Roman Period, we also find columns with tent pole and the goddess Hathor and other god or goddess motifs.


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