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Lecture 3

ARTE 101 Lecture 3: ArtHist101 Lecture3 Art of Ancient Near East

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ARTE 101
Liz Lawson

Ancient Near Eastern Art ● Ancient Mesopotamia: ○ Sumerians ○ Akkadians ○ Babylonians ○ Assyrians ● Persian Art Timeline: ● 3500BCE - Sumerian city of Uruk emerges ● 2900BCE - Mesopotamians begin using cuneiform writing ● 2350BCE - Conflict over Sumerian city states over access to water and fer Fle land. ● 2100BCE - Earliest surviving tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh ● 1792-1750BCE - Hammurabi rules Babylon ● 1595BCE - The Hittites Conquer Babylon ● 1400-1200BCE - Apogee of the Hittite Empire ○ Assyrians take over ● 612BCE - End of the Assyrian Empire ○ Babylonians resurgent ● 604-662BCE - Reign of Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II ● 559-530BCE - Rule of Cyrus the Great - Persian leader overthrows the Medes ● 331BCE - Alexander the Great defeats the Persians Sumerian Deed of Sale. 2400 - 2200 BCE. The British Museum. Length: ​16.17cm Width: 19.05cm Thickness: 6.88cm Babylonian Deed of Sale. ca. 1750 BCE. The British Museum, London. Two Central Themes emerge: ● Art enabled and reflected political power ● Mesopotamians used visual narrative ○ Wanted to sell stories through art Sumerian Art and Culture: ● Sumerian city of Uruk emerges 3500 BCE ● Mesopotamians begin using cuneiform 2900 BCE Key Terms: ● Cuneiform ● Theocratic Socialism ○ An economic system where the fundamental authoritative figures are the Gods. This system was used during the ancient mesopotamian period in the ancient cities of Uruk (or Warka) and to some extent during the neo mesopotamian period in the city of Uruk. Main Forms of Art: ● Sculpture ● Relief ● Pottery Ruins of the Anu Ziggurat and White Temple. Uruk. C. 3300 - 3000 BCE. 2-2. Archaeological site at Uruk (modern Warka) Digital reconstruction of the White Temple and Ziggurat, Uruk (modern Warka), c. 3517 - 3358 BCE. German Archaeological Institute. Section Through the Central Hall of the “White Temple,” digital reconstruction of the interior of the two-story version White Temple, Uruk (modern Warka), c, 3517 - 3358 BCE. Interior View of the two-story Version of the “White Temple,” digital reconstruction of the interior of the two-story version White Temple, Uruk (modern Warka), c, 3517 - 3358 BCE. Types of Sumerian Temples: ● Low ● High Ziggurat Both Tripartite ● Consisting of three parts Excavation of the Ancient City of Uruk (1920s) ● British archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley excavated in the 1920s and 1930s, the city was a tell, a great artificial hill over seven meters (23 feet) high composed of centuries of building and rebuilding mud brick structures, one stacked on top of another. Puabi’s Grave site Queen puabi Epic of Gilgamesh Dromos The Great Lyre with Bull’s Head. Puabi’s Tomb, UR(Uruk). C. ● When Woolley and his men found the Great Lyre in PG789, the wood of its sound box had completely disintegrated, leaving only an impression in the soil. Woolley carefully recorded the size and shape of all the parts of the instrument. The bull’s head and front plaque were conserved at the British Museum and then mounted on a new sound box constructed here at the Penn Museum upon its arrival in Philadelphia in 1929. ● The imagery used in the lyre represent significant parts of Early Mesopotamian funerary rituals.The bearded bull on the front represents the sun god Shamash, depicted in cuneiform texts as the golden bull with lapis lazuli beard. Shamash is the divine judge who shines light on all things.Only Shamash can descend into the underworld and emerge again at sunrise. ● Taken as a whole, the lyre imagery shows the human cycle of the kings’ control over nature, the funerary ritual and entry into the underworld. All of this is presided over by the god of judgment and destiny, the sun god Shamash. Apotropaic ● Preventing Evil Register ● A device used in spatial definition Art of Akkad ● 2350 BCE - Sumerian City States began fighting over access to water and fertile land. ● Semitic people from the north began taking control of the south. ● Leaders: ○ Sargon 2334 BCE (conquers Sumer and Elam) ○ Naram-Sin 2254 - 2218 BCE ○ Idea of Kingship coming in through this Mesopotamia ca. 2500 BCE Head of a Man/Akkadian Ruler. From Nineveh. c. 2300 - 2200 BCE. Iraq Museum, Baghdad. 2-6 ● Page 36 ● Life-sized bronze head. ● Found in the Northern city of Nineveh (present-day Ninua, Iraq) and thought to date from the time of Sargon. ● It is the earliest known work of hollow-cast sculpture using the lost-wax casting process. ● The facial features and hairstyle may reflect a generalized ideal more than the unique likeness of a specific individual, although the sculpture was once identified as Sargon himself. ● The enormous curling beard and elaborately braided hair indicate both royalty and ideal male appearance. ● The deliberate damage to the left side of the face and eye suggests that the head was symbolically mutilated
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