A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Architecture

By Gwendolyn Leick | Go to book overview

M

Malkatta

Egypt (Western Thebes), see map p. xvi. Palace of Amenophis III (c. 1417-1379 BC), which used to be linked by a causeway to the now vanished mortuary temple of the same king.

Various separate buildings (a temple of Amun, an audience pavilion, residential quarters etc) were grouped parallel to each other, except for the more loosely spaced buildings in the so-called ‘West city’, where irregularities in the terrain had to be taken account of. Blocks of smaller buildings for workmen or personnel stood between them and the Western Gate. The palaces (eg the Southern Palace) feature rectangular columned halls used as throne rooms or reception rooms, which were surrounded on each side by a suite of three rooms thought to be reserved for the royal ladies. The decoration of the interior palace walls is preserved in some places; the plastered mudbrick walls and ceilings were painted with ornamental borders which surrounded larger compositions of animals, plants and divine figures. The space between the main buildings and the outer enclosure wall was taken up by gardens and pavilions.

Hayes, W.C., Journal of Near Eastern Studies 10 (1951) 82ff; 156ff; 231ff

mamissi or birth house

A small chapel with plant-columns found in some Egyptian temple precincts. They represent the ‘house’ where the god (and by correlation the pharaoh) was born and reared. This clear reference to domestic architecture is emphasised by a comparatively light structure and easier access than in the large temples. Only late examples (from the Graeco-Roman period) built in stone have survived; they were probably built of more impermanent materials, like plant bundles and matting, or timber, in previous times.

The usual emplacement is at right angles to the main temple. Simple single-roomed chapels eventually developed into more elaborate structures with vestibules, store rooms and shrines. The mamissis at PHILAE and EDFU were surrounded by a colonnade, while those at KARNAK (temple of Mut), the older one at DENDERA, and the one at KOM OMBO had no external ambulatory. The roof of the colonnade can be higher than the one of the inner sanctuary, providing thus a secondary ‘lid’ of a box-like structure.

Badawy, A., ‘The Architectural Symbolism of the Mamissi-Chapels in Egypt’, Chronique d’Egypte 38 (Brussels 1933) 78-90
Borchardt, L., Tempel mit Umgang (Cairo 1938)
Daumas, F., Les mamissis des temples égyptiens (Paris 1958)

Mari (modern Tell Hariri)

Mesopotamia, see map p. xviii. This important site on the middle Euphrates has yielded not only a number of

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A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Architecture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 41
  • D 59
  • E 68
  • F 75
  • G 82
  • H 92
  • I 102
  • J 105
  • K 108
  • L 121
  • M 127
  • N 145
  • O 152
  • P 155
  • Q 172
  • R 173
  • S 181
  • T 199
  • U 229
  • V 238
  • W 241
  • Y 245
  • Z 246
  • Alphabetical List of Entries 249
  • Index 253
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