For more than 2,000 years --- 3150 B.C. to 30 B.C. --- Egypt flourished as one of the most prosperous and cultured lands. The art and architecture created through all of ancient Egypt's periods and dynasties teach historians and anthropologists about the beliefs of the Egyptians, from murals to sculptures to symbolic decorations. Often, the sculptures and murals from the period were to be used as guides in the afterlife. Interior design decorations inspired by the ancient Egyptian culture make provocative and educational pieces in any home.
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The Ancient Egyptians created large, colourful, elaborate wall paintings depicting stories and ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians decorated walls in their homes with murals, according to a Scholastic "Teachers" article on interior design. While ancient Egyptians painted the murals in tombs for the pharaohs, having Egyptian murals in a modern home is an interior design choice. Most murals depict Horus, god of the sun, Anubis, the Egyptian death deity, King Tut (Tutankhamen) and other pharaohs. Sometimes a carved relief -- a raised, tactile carving in stone -- is mistaken for murals, but murals are always made of paint.
Ancient Egyptians believed particular animals, such as cats, crocodiles, falcons, cows and bulls, had the spirit of God inside them. Artisans created replicas of these creatures in sculpture form, often with a functional purpose. Sculptures were made of bronze, limestone, marble and other natural materials. The god Horus, god of the sun, had the body of a man and the head of a falcon. In one statue featured on PBS's "Antiques Roadshow," valued $12,000 to $18,000 dollars, the statue has a hollow centre. The centre of the sculpture holds a mummified falcon bird, which Egyptians believed protected the soul in the afterlife. For home interiors, replica sculptures of sacred animals make beautiful, provocative art pieces for the home.
Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus was an amulet, or talisman, believed to bring good luck or strength to the owner. The Eye of Horus shows one human eye, with a light cosmetic extension from the corner of the eye, a slim eyebrow and the beginning of a swirling cheek. While ancient Egyptians used the amulet to protect themselves against death and evil, the image of the "all-seeing Eye" is popular to feature on jewellery, clothing and wall decorations, such as gold-plated window decor.
A standing relief is a stone slab intricately carved. In ancient Egypt, the reliefs featured the figure of a pharaoh or deity. Egyptians included standing reliefs in temples, such as the Temple of Abidos, in 1317 B.C. Anubis, the death deity, is often depicted carrying a sceptre as he leads the dead by the hand to have their souls weighed and judged for the afterlife. The standing reliefs for interior design in the modern day millennium can be made of faux-rock, real stone or plaster modelled after the originals.
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- Scholastic; Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture; "The New Book of Knowledge"; John D. Cooney
- Scholastic; Teachers; Art on Demand; Types: Interior Design; Fred Lowe Vestal
- The Old Gift Shop: Ancient Egypt
- University of Washington; Eureka Alert: "Indus script encodes language, reveals new study of ancient symbols;" Hannah Hickey; April 23, 2009
- PBS; "Antiques Roadshow": Teacher's Guide Late-Period Egyptian Bronze Falcon