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Architecture and Civilizations

Architecture has contributed much towards civilization from the ancient world to the present. Architecture acts as the mirror of civilization. It reflects all the manifestations of culture innovations and achievement in different fields that include humanity, science, and technical fields among others. Civilizations take place in different fields of the society, with culture acting as the key control of civilizations. This paper looks at architecture, civilizations, and their relationship.

Architecture forms one of the arts that include construction of mosques, housing, schools, museums, hospitals and all other constructions that man uses to help himself with the daily activities of his life. It has become difficult to trace early stages of the process of architecture out of the first attempts of man to develop buildings. The oldest forms of architectural manifestations, those of Chaldea and Egypt belong to an advanced civilization. The elementary structures built by savages in central Africa have no classification as works of architecture. Therefore, it became difficult to consider primitive ways of building into genuine architecture (Mitias 138).

Ancient Egyptian architecture

Primitive architecture became a subject of archaeology, as opposed to the history of art. However, the first architectural manifestations can trace back to the first civilized people in Egypt. The architectural practices that Egyptians used in their buildings must have established from the start of architectural knowledge and resources, which exist in the oldest monuments, though the early monuments, have almost become extinct. Even at an early age, humankind tried to build tall buildings that showed developments in architecture and civilization.  Some of the impressive structures that exist today developed a long time ago; however, we cannot trace the exact dates of their development. For instance, no person can exactly trace the period that the great pyramid of Giza came into existence. This has made the true meaning of pyramids a mystery in terms of its architectural age. As multiple cultures in Africa used their forms of architecture to build pyramids, the middle, west, east and Central America built pyramids around the same period (Gelernter 14).

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Neolithic architecture

The first manifestations of architecture and civilization could be Neolithic architecture. Neolithic cultures appeared after 10000 B.C in Levant. From here, the architecture spread eastwards and westwards.  The Neolithic people of Levant, Anatolia, Syria, northern Mesopotamia and central Asia displayed their building prowess in utilizing bricks made from mud to construct houses and villages. They painted their houses with scenes of human beings and animals. In Europe, ancient people built their houses using wattle and daub.

In the ancient Egypt, the priests executed the founding and ordering of the Egyptian city and the significant buildings that included the temples and the palace. Architecture and civilizations got an influence from culture. In Egypt, the architecture and civilization got an influence from the Egyptian culture. People believed that God had an omnipotent character. The aspects of their daily lives reflected respect to the notion of the divine and supernatural godliness. The ancient architecture and civilization in Egypt showed the tension between the divine and mortal world. Cities contained sacred spaces over nature. An architect would receive recognition as part of a continuing tradition, as opposed to a significant figure, in Egypt, whether a priest or king.

Ancient Greek architecture

The Greek architecture and civilizations happened differently from that of the Egyptians and Persians. During the ancient periods, the ruling order handled matters of religion. The Greek architecture and civilization received an influence from their culture and religion. For instance, public stores, buildings and temples surrounded the agora, which sustained the Greek civic life. The rituals of civilizations became inscribed in space that wound towards the acropolis. Each place had its own nature and reflected certain, myths. Therefore, when Greeks built their temples on top of mountains, they wanted the temples to touch heavens (Ishay 66).

Ancient Roman architecture

The roman architecture facilitated building of public houses that had unprecedented sizes throughout the empire. These buildings included roman baths, roman temples, bridges, aqueducts, harbors, arches, amphitheatres, palaces and mausoleum.

From the rise of ancient Greece to the fall of the Roman Empire, the construction of buildings happened according to precise rules. For example, Marcus Vitruvius, the roman architect who existed during the first century B.C believed in the notion that all builders should use mathematical principles when building houses, temples and other buildings.  Without symmetry and proportion, no building would have a regular plan.  The first inhabitants of the Greek peninsula built primitive and basic structures, with apsidal, circular, oval or rectangular shapes. The rectangular buildings had an oblong shape and had the door at one of the shorter ends. The Minoan architects had residential towns with less temples and public spaces. Unlike the earlier civilizations, they had private houses that had many rooms. However, they used pillars to separate rooms. The stairways in those buildings provided a prominent feature of the massive buildings (Benevolo 574).

Therefore, all the early architectural designs and civilization happened with an influence from culture and religion. The civilizations of the ancient Egypt, Greek and ancient Rome influenced government, recreation, religion, education, theatre and arts. They also had an influence on architecture. Today, we encounter architectural designs that have borrowed heavily from the civilizations of the ancient world.

A recurring theme in forms of modern art explores attempts to reform civilizations through art. At the beginning of the twentieth century towards its half, the idea of reforming civilizations happened literary in the field of architecture. The architect put himself or herself in a position that portrays them as saviors for humankind.

Technology and industrialization have changes the concept of civilization because of modernization and invention of new architectural ways and resources of use.

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The early architecture and civilization have an influence to the current world of architecture and civilization. The world of architecture has received a lot of influence from the roman architectural development and design. The innovative designs and developments that came in to existence many years ago provided a background for architectural masterpieces found across the world today. The architecture and civilization of the ancient Rome have remained viable up to date. With the invention of concrete by the Romans, building in the modern world became easy. Until this development, architectural progress in the world had been restrictive and limited. The increased understanding of the use of concrete, people erected strong structures.

The use of concrete by the Romans made it possible for Romans to experience innovations in architecture, for instance, the use of arches and vaults. Before the Romans began to use concrete, their temples had small sizes because they had a difficulty in putting roofs on the top of those temples. Therefore, the Romans developed internal arches that would help in providing roof for structures. This made it possible for them to develop buildings with larger sizes.

Ancient civilizations act as a basis for the modern world architecture and construction as we understand it.  The roman architecture influenced the Islamic architecture, particularly, in the field of stone columns. Towards the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth century, certain architectural schools appeared in the western world. The focus of the curricular they taught rested on the values of the industrial revolution. These schools advocated for intellectual revolution, in which shapes appear simplified to replace former decorations that had a base for visual excitement. The dominant thought, significant events and beliefs, had an effect from architecture. For example, Greek, roman and Islamic architecture had an influence from the thought and practice of societies at that time (Perry Et.al 269).

Post modernism architecture opposed the previous architectural concepts and became individualistic. For instance, it did not use ornamentations and symmetry. It erased the constructive structure and the identity of architecture.  After post modernism architecture, deconstructive architecture emerged. This type of architectural manifestation opposed the heritage resurrection principle. Its proponents eliminated the shortcomings of other architectural approaches such as immobility and tried to make deconstructive architecture feasible. This marked the end of aesthetic architecture (Peter and Et.al 240).

The early architecture and civilization contributed to architectural reformation. In the present day architecture and civilization, most designs do not work with the influence of culture and religious affiliations. However, the Islam and Hindu architectural designs still have certain forms of influence from culture and religion. The two architectural designs use an aesthetic principle just like the Greek and roman architecture, among other early architectural designs.

However, much other architectural designs use an aesthetic principle they get influence from climate, the construction materials available, resources and technology among other issues. Unlike the early architecture and civilization that concentrated on buildings, the modern architecture has extended to various sectors, for instance, the road and public work sector (Woolf and Et.al 666).


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The western civilization has received different influences from the ancient civilizations. Ancient Romans contributed much towards the modern western civilization. The civilizations influenced the west inters of architecture, engineering and literature. Engineering encompassed roads and aqueducts. Architecture contributed towards columns and domes in building.

Engineering in the ancient roman civilization has influenced the western culture today because of the bridges, harbors, aqueducts and roads. Today, the western world still uses aqueducts and roads that the ancient Romans introduced many years ago. The western world still uses domes and archways. Most of the capital and religious buildings, in the west, have archways, domes and columns, in their structure.

The literature that the ancient Rome displayed had an influence over the west, in a significant way. For instance, the literature that Pliny and Virgil used influenced the west. They still use literature to arouse patriotism so that when threatening situations arise, people become more patriotic, such as during the time of wars, and natural calamities. The influences that have come from ancient roman civilization, in terms of literature, engineering and architecture have helped the western world in a significant way. It provided a background for architects to come with new ways of carrying out construction activities together with improving the old technique and materials to use in constructions (Perry 168).

The developments in the ancient Egypt, roman and Greek architecture and civilization, show that although man had a primitive nature, he had a considerably developed brain that could help him develop buildings using crude tools and equipments.

These architectural designs and civilizations contributed towards the origin of a new thought that led to inventions in the architectural field. These inventions made use of the past to come up with new ways and strong techniques, materials and resources of building. Therefore, architecture and civilization of the ancient times have had importance towards the development of the modern-day world. Most building designs that exist in the world today have borrowed something from the ancient world architecture and civilization (Cram 5).

Architecture and civilization form two concepts that work concurrently. Civilization encompasses architecture, engineering and literature that work towards the achievement of better goals. The western world have benefited from the ancient architecture and civilization, especially from ancient Rome and Greek. They provided the west with techniques and materials for building bridges, roads and buildings among other things.