Ancient Near East assignment

general article writing


Ancient Near East: Chapter 2

 1.  Sumerian (3500 – 2340 BCE)  Akkadian (2340 – 2180 BCE)  Babylonian (1792 –

1750 BCE)  Hittite (16o0 – 1200 BCE)  Assyrian (1000 – 612 BCE)  Persia (559 – 331

BCE) S.A.B.H.A.P (help yourself remember them in order!)

 2. Iraq and Turkey (all Iraq except Hittite, which is Turkey)

 3. KEY IDEAS: •Birth of art in the service of the state and religion •Objects and writing give

us 1st systematic record of human development •Buildings made for religion (ZIGGURATS)

•Buildings made for the state (palaces) •Built of mud-brick, painted or tiled/stone covered

•Large STELAI erected throughout Mesopotamia (commemorate rulers’ achievements)

•Guardian figures (man-animal) protect site entrances •Assyrian lion reliefs- first organized

narrative art in history

 4. EVERYTHING Started in Mesopotamia!!! Wow! Writing Cities Organized Religion

Organized Government Laws Agriculture Bronze Casting The Wheel! •Big population in

fertile river valley between Tigris and Euphrates rivers •City centers, urbanization •Groups

overtaking each other for control of area (layering of cultures)

 5. STELE OF NARAM-SIN From Sippar; found at Susa (present-day Shush, Iran). Naram-

Sin r. 2254-2218 BCE. Limestone, height 6'6” •Kings used artists to help glorify their careers.

•Artists make them look grand •Brought the gods to life •Sculpted narrative tales for legacy

•Patron/Artist relationships form

 6. -wrote in CUNEIFORM -royal names on tablets and sculptures -permanent records of

business -wedge-shaped script -laws were written down -tax records -first written an epic,

“Gilgamesh” -narrative painting to illustrate stories

 7. CYLINDER SEAL = private communication between people CYLINDER SEAL AND ITS

MODERN IMPRESSION From the tomb of Queen Puabi (PG 800), Ur (present-day

Muqaiyir, Iraq). c. 2600-2500 BCE. Lapis lazuli •written document is folded and sealed with

stamp • is made of clay •pressed cylinder into clay •arrives with the seal unbroken = no

one messed with your mail!

 8. INNOVATIONS IN ARCHITECTURE: •urbanization •buildings for a living, government, and

worship •not much stone or wood- used baked mud bricks (cheap and sustainable) •built

ZIGGURATS (tall, solid structures of mud bricks) •ZIGGURATS dominated the flat landscape

 9. INNOVATIONS IN PAINTING AND SCULPTURE: •clothed humans with anatomical

precision •active figures (hunting, praying, rituals) •people are settled in cities = big

sculptures (lamassus) •palaces filled with large relief sculptures carved into stone •represent

animals with human characteristics and emotions •trend to combine animal parts with the

human head

 10.  Development of Cuneiform  Building of Ziggurats  Small Scale Sculpture in marble,

diorite, hammered gold and lapis lazuli  The writing of Gilgamesh

 11. Votive Figures from Tell Asmar(Iraq c. 2900 – 2600 BCE), limestone, alabaster, and

gypsum (biggest one is 30” high)

12. Can you describe their characteristics?

 13. •different heights = hierarchy of scale •men: bare chest, skirt, beard in ripple pattern, belt

•women: dress draped over one shoulder •inscription on back- “it offers prayers” •figures held

cups or branches in their hands • folded in prayer •huge eyes in awe •staring at the

god(s) •arms and feet cut away from body •represent real people •praying to god Abu?

 14. • 2 sides: war and peace • historical narrative • part of a soundbox for a musical

instrument? • figures have broad frontal shoulders, body in profile • emphasized eyes,

eyebrows, and ears • repetition of forms • horses placed behind each other to suggest depth

• organized- reads bottom to top Standard of Ur, c. 2600 BCE, panel inlaid with shell, lapis

lazuli, and limestone

 15. • hierarchy of scale • Sumerian king ½ head taller • came down from his chariot to

inspect captives • enemies nude to suggest defeat and debasement < peace < war

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