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It is from this point in the ancient past that the development of interior design can be traced historically.In contrast with the monumental tombs and temples of stone, many of which remained intact to the 20th century, Egyptian houses were built of perishable materials, and, therefore, few remains have survived.To some extent the present attitude has resulted from the rise of the specialist collector since the 1840s.Porcelain and silver, for instance, no longer fulfill their original purpose as part of the household furnishings but are collected into cabinets, since they are so precious.

There are few objects or motifs that do not have some meaning, and the making of objects that have no other purpose than the pleasure taken by their creator in executing them is very rare.Although the practices of present-day primitive peoples sometimes shed light on the historical origins of those practices, there is too little art and decoration in such communities today to illuminate the beginnings of interior decoration.No clear-cut progressions of styles, like those that occurred in Europe, can be identified except among peoples who could hardly be regarded as primitive, such as the former civilizations of South America or the Benin culture of Africa.Excavations in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt suggest that the earliest equivalent of furniture consisted of platforms of bricks, which served as chairs, tables, and beds, no doubt spread with textiles or animal skins.There is also good reason to think that walls were painted and, in the case of more important buildings, decorated with mural paintings.

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