Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Visualizing the Temple of Amun

My curiosity thrives on visual input, but sometimes a written description jolts your mind's eye.

I was flipping through the DK Annotated Guide to Architecture & was looking at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, Egypt. It's an amazing complex that must have been awe-inspiring when it was a functioning spiritual & cultural center.

Despite digital recreations & artistic renderings, actually experiencing the sacred space in its original context is hard to imagine. One of the distinctive features of the temple is the massive Hypostyle Hall, lined with huge columns. I posted before to a 360 panorama of the ruins of this area:

I already knew that the hall was roofed in ancient times, but the the book vividly suggested the psychological effect of being a priest of the time inside the vast, enclosed hallway :

Searching the web for virtual versions of the Karnak temple buildings, I came across this extensive work by UCLA researchers & artists:


There are also cool Quicktime videos of the 3D simulations embedded on the site.

No comments: