Ancient Wonders of the Flooring World, Part One
With all that ancient construction has given us to marvel at, have you ever stopped to think about what purpose it serves? After researching, I have found that there is not much information out there about ancient flooring. So, I decided to embark on a journey through the ancient world with a focus floor construction and floor coverings. Join me as I take you on a journey through the “Ancient Wonders of the Flooring World.”
1. Tibetan Sand Painting
Because, I have always had an interest in the designs of Buddhist temples, I found myself drawn to the intricate detail put into sand painting. The process of creating a sand painting is a spiritual journey to Buddhist monks and it can take weeks, months, and sometimes years to complete one of the works of spiritual art. In Tibetan, this ancient art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor which translates as “mandala of colored powder.” In Buddhism, people believe mandalas are imaginary temples that a Buddhist contemplates during meditation. The result is a beautiful piece of art, with symbolic meaning to this religious belief.
They were traditionally made in temples on the ground. Talk about a beautiful floor covering. Chanting and Mantras are performed during the construction of this art, and each imaginary palace created represents a spiritual teaching or blessing. This is still practiced today, more commonly on short height tables instead of on the floor.
2. Pyramids of Gize
When thinking of Ancient Wonders, how could one leave out the Pyramids of Giza. Scientist have theorized how these amazing feats of human construction came in to being for many years, and are still searching for the right answers to this day. One thing that we are certain of is the make up of the materials involved in constructing the stone used in these impressive monuments. Ancient Egyptians would quarry their own stone slabs from limestone and sandstone.
One amazing recent discovery of hieroglyphs were not found on the walls, but on the surface floor tiles in the Great Pyramid of Giza. By using a robot equipped with a snake like camera, used for taking images around corners, named the Djedi robot, scientist were able to find hidden hieroglyphs on the floor. How amazing is that, a floor that tells a story. The hieroglyphs have been dated to be 4,500 year old markings. It makes me wonder, what stories will our floors provide to future civilizations.
3. Mosque of Taj Mahal
Completed in the Year 1653, the Taj Mahal has been a go to destination since its construction. With a spot in the Seven Wonders of the World, it has been engrained in our minds since we were children. After looking for flooring facts about this amazing part of history, I found nothing concrete to share about its flooring. I did, however discover some interesting information about the Mosque located next to it. In Muslim religion, one traditionally prays facing Mecca at various times of the day. This is done on a piece of cloth, known as a prayer rug or mat.
The point of this, as it relates to flooring is significant, the floor in the Mosque that is located next to the Taj Mahal is actually constructed to mimic prayer rugs. The design of the Mosque’s floor is in the shape of prayer rugs, which articulate what would have otherwise been a rather plain expanse of polished stone. So not only are its floors beautiful, they are spiritually functional. From a spiritual perspective, this floor is remarkable.