History of Project Management at Essay

  • Length: 25 pages
  • Sources: 40
  • Subject: Architecture
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #38615055

Excerpt from Essay :

Houses permitted the people to move from a nomadic existence to a settled and more organized way of life. The majority of the houses were square with other rooms built on. The palaces of the early Sumerian culture were the political, economic and religious focal points of the city; large-scale, lavishly decorated, and consisted of rooms used to house craftsmen and such. Archaeological finds have also revealed them to be temples and burial chambers for the elite, as well as library complexes, armories, and entertainment halls decorated with pictorial and mythological figures.

It was during the time of the Sumerian civilisation transitioning from nomadic hunting to agriculture, that many changes occurred as the population grew and more force was exerted on the local food supply. This necessitated more organization and administration that led to non-tribal leadership with its own political, economic and religious arrangement. Mesopotamia's expansion led to a wide assortment of striking advances including domesticated techniques for flora and fauna, an extensive irrigation system that was essential to the economy, codified measurements for measuring time and angles, cuniform writing and recordkeeping, a government with specific rules and regulations, a formal medical system with diagnosis and planning, a trade and market economy using commodity metrics fixed in legal code, and standardized rules for property ownership and monetary compensation for legal infractions.

Egypt was thought to be the rational continuation of Mesopotamia, and there were many similarities in political and social development. Yet, despite both civilizations existing at the same time, it was Egypt that lasted the longest and fashioned the basis of the Great Mediterranean Civilizations. Ancient Egypt was successful mainly because it was able to adjust to the varying circumstances of the Nile Valley. It was as a result significant for the society to develop a hierarchy of prediction of flooding, planting times, harvest times, storage of grain for lean years, all of which required a more superior political and social hierarchy which engendered mathematics, writing, management, and a stratification of labor, including scribes and overseers.

Egypt has provided humanity with a rich treasure of innovative and creative forms of architecture. The most significant were royal tombs which started with the earliest years of the civilization. The labour force required for monumental Egyptian construction projects involved many thousands of workers. A lot of would have been peasants, as in Mesopotamia, who worked for pay during the off-season from farming. The rest were thought to be slaves. These labourers worked as stone haulers and setters. Many are thought to have been skilled masons, while the others were only for their muscle. There is no suggestion that there was any type of organized labour in Egypt. Craft skill was present but it was not that advanced. The master builders were thought to be noblemen who were educated in mathematics and astronomy. Their role included all aspects of project management, from design, engineering, and building to administration. Those surrounding them may have risen through the ranks of the engineering class. They were skilled in management and planning, using alphabetic writing and papyrus to keep track of resources, materials, labour, and accounting as well as to correspond with royal and religious patrons.

As the Egyptian culture evolved from a hunter-gatherer population it united under the first pharaoh. This unification allowed a nation with statecraft, political and social goals, and a sense of shared culture. In many ways, Egypt was the southern counterpart of Mesopotamia, with many similarities in political and social development. However, the monotheistic Egyptian civilisation lasted longer, partially because had an advanced political and social hierarchy that could predict the varying conditions of the Nile Valley and the planting season.

It was during this time that there were great advances in mathematics, writing, scribal administration, and labour stratification, as well as solar and luna calendars, shipbuilding, empirical anatomical and medical knowledge, astronomy, and geometry. The legacies of ancient Egypt passed to Greece and Rome through cultural exchange and Egyptian fraction monetary units were extended in use and diversity to Greek, early Islamic culture, and medieval cultures. Land management was crucial, and taxes were assessed based on the amount of land a person owned. It was also during this time that trade was conducted with neighboring countries in order to obtain rare goods that could not be obtained elsewhere.

There are many things and process that were developed during this era that can still be seen today. This was a time when societies evolved out of necessity. As tools and process were invented the ways in which things were done and the materials with which they were done also changed. Civilisations often designed their buildings based upon the architectural influences of the period before. So even though the tools and processes evolved the influence remained, especially in the design and decoration of the buildings going forward. This same concept is also true with the project management processes that were used back then but yet have been named and codified today.

4.2.0 Introduction

History of project management of the Classical Antiquity can be also looked at from two different civilisations -- Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In this section both of these civilsations will be looked at from the perspective of cconstruction technology, architectural design, culture, science, economics, labour, and management, which all led to the creation of the master builder during this time period.

Only Greek architecture in the time before Alexander carries an authentic, ethnic designation. The ancient Greeks were notoriously dismissive those who spoke Greek non-natively or not at all. The incredible conquests of Alexander and the subsequent application of a veneer of Greek city states to a base of Egyptian, Semitic, and Iranian populations produced an important change. Politically and culturally, there was not one singular or monolithic "Greek culture." Instead Greece consisted of several hundred city-states that were sovereign and independent, Sparta and Athens being the best known, which often battled each other. Over time the political structure limited democracy for male Greek citizens in Athens, a tradition that was rediscovered during the Renaissance period in Europe

The Architecture of Ancient Rome adopted the external Greek architecture for their own purposes, creating a new architectural style. The Romans absorbed Greek and Phoenician influence, apparent in many aspects closely related to architecture; for example, this can be seen in the introduction and use of the Triclinium in Roman villas as a place and manner of dining. The Romans, similarly, were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics and in the construction of arches. Social elements such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced the ancient Romans to discover new architectural solutions of their own. The use of vaults and arches together with a sound knowledge of building materials enabled them to achieve unprecedented successes in the construction of imposing structures for public use.

4.2.3 Conclusion

A basic scan of the notable achievements of ancient builders of the classical antiquity reveals some of the most significant structures in human history. Among these are the Parthenon, Caesar's Rhine Bridge, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. These structures came out of the Greek, and Roman civilisations as enduring monuments which had irrepressible effects on the history of architecture. All of these structures have been analysed in this research project. Most of them are still standing today. None of them could have been completed without the separation of responsibilities and the advanced skills required for design, engineering, construction, and project management.

The conclusions reached in this research demonstrate that this era of project activities was foundational for all that followed. In it, the very concept of the master builder was created, along with the first surviving monuments that archaeology can still study. The history reveals the kinds of changes that took place in construction, management, and technology as a result of cultural and scientific pressures. What follows will sketch some of these important conclusions and evaluate the impact of these changes on project activities.

During the classical antiquity, humans built upon the knowledge and traditions of the previous period. It is clear with the Greek and Roman civilisations, however, that earlier knowledge from other cultures was sought out, accumulated, systematised, and applied. This intellectual growth produced many enhancements to life in general, and to project management and the construction of buildings specifically.

The basic elements of thinking and reasoning were developed by the earliest civilisations through the study of mathematics, written communication, law, medicine, production optimisation, astronomy, and science. For example, Ancient Greece formulated the democratic principles of political organisation for use in the leadership of its city-states. The Roman Empire made great strides in the transportation of water for domestic and agricultural use. Many…

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