Talk by Anja Wutte (DCCD) on “Shape Grammar as a Typology Defining Tool for Ancient Egyptian Funerary Monuments”

Time: Wednesday 27 January 2021, 11:00 am – online.

Abstract: This presentation proposes a parametric shape grammar for ancient Egyptian funerary monuments. The corpus of monuments includes ten rock-cut structures, duly documented. They exhibit different grades of completion and preservation and possess variant archaeological documentation. The generation of a design following the proposed grammar depends both on formal and functional aspects. Metadata indicates the evidential value and numerical occurrence of rules in the generation of designs. The developed grammar can be used to reconstruct unfinished tombs, extend an existing one, or generate new designs according to the rules. It denotes the linear and symmetric structure characteristic of the monuments and reflects the chronological sequence of construction. The proposed grammar encodes the typology of the studied monuments and suggests that ancient Egyptian architecture may have implied a clear set of canons that may be made explicit by developing additional grammars for other building types.

Bio: Anja Wutte studied shape grammars during her research visit at Penn State and MIT last year. The presented grammar was developed under supervision of Jose Duarte, with contribution by George Stiny.