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Castrum doloris of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne at Saint-Denis

Egyptian is perhaps the most funerary of all architecture. After all, almost all architecture in ancient Egypt had something to do with death and the afterlife.

Because of the influence of the Catholic church, early city cemeteries have often had a schizophrenic attitude toward Egyptian Revival architecture because of its pagan roots. However, as time went on and the Catholic church’s influence waned, the Egyptian Revival style became more popular in the cemetery.

Egyptian Revival architecture is the easiest architecture to spot. Pyramids, of course, are the most easily identifiable. Often Egyptian Revival tombs are adorned with a pair of vulture wings sprouting from a circle (symbolizing the sun) and flanked by twin cobras (symbolizing death). Sometimes a pair of male sphinxes (female sphinxes are Greek) guard the entry to the tomb. Above the entry to the tomb is an architectural element called a cavetto cornice (flared with curve). Other hallmarks of Egyptian Revival architecture are the tapered (battered) entry and hieroglyphics. Since Egyptian architecture doesn’t make use of the strength of arches or tapering columns, its dimensions are quite massive. To provide strength, the walls of the Egyptian temple-style mausoleums taper in at about 70 degrees.

To soften the pagan demeanor, designers of Egyptian Revival tombs have often added selected Christian symbols and statues in front of or on the tomb, and religious-themed stained glass windows. Much of world’s fascination with Egyptian architecture was the result of Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt and the book Description de l’Egypte, which featured illustrations by the artists, scientists and scholars who went along with the army.

The second element that helped to ensure Virginia’s survival was the influx of workers, indentured servants bound to serve for ten years in return for the cost of their passage to the colonies. Johannesburg/East Rand Metro Map Most of these bond servants were poor; many were abducted off the streets of English cities or lured aboard, only to discover their destiny too late. Others were deported convicts. The last group of workers was slaves, the first of which were brought by a Dutch ship in 1619. Although some Africans came as indentured servants, it was not long before they were kept as slaves. This influx of ready and cheap labor was seen as a great benefit to the large and growing tobacco plantations. The third component that helped to stabilize Virginia also came in 16201621, when the London Company sent approximately 100 young women, agreeable persons, young and incorrupt. These women were sold with their own consent to settlers as wives at the cost of their transportation. These first women faced tremendous hardships as they carved out homes for themselves and their children. Thus, within thirty years, the first native-born Virginians took their place in history.

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