How architecture has changed

Our entire civilization, in America and Europe, is called the Western, or Occidental, civilization. It grew out of the lands on the Mediterranean Sea, where civilization began thousands of years ago—Egypt, and Greece, and Italy (which was the seat of the Roman Empire). Architecture was a part of this civilization. So we call our styles in architecture Western, and they are different from the Eastern, or Oriental, architecture of China and India and and other lands in Asia. Styles in Western architecture changed as men learned more about engineering and other branches of science.

Here are some of the most important styles of architecture that have been developed in the thousands of years of our Western civilization: egyptian architecture. When a building has a heavy roof, or any floor above the ground floor, a strong structure is needed. In the earliest buildings, this was done by building a heavy wall, or a line of posts, and laying a flat piece across it. This flat piece is called a beam, or lintel. The beam or lintel is still used in millions of houses and buildings.

As used by the ancient Egyptians, it created buildings of great beauty, but thousands of slaves were needed to put the huge stone lintels weighing many tons on top of the posts. The slaves would build a hill of packed sand to the top of the posts; then they would slide the stone slabs up the sand hills and put them in place on the posts; and then they would clear away the sand, leaving the building.