THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, MESOPOTAMIA.docx

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Department
Visual Arts History
Course
Visual Arts History 1040
Professor
Cody Barteet
Semester
Fall

Description
THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST/MESOPOTAMIA - Present day Iraq; ‘land btwn 2 rivers’: Tigris and Euphrates - Rise in civilizations SUMERIANS - first to build towering temple platforms (ziggurats), and place figures in registers to tell coherent stories - White Temple and ziggurat, Uruk (modern Warka), Iraq, ca. 3200–3000 BCE - Mud bricks, temple platforms - White Temple probably dedicated to Anu (sky god) - central hall (cella) with stepped altar where priests await the apparition of the deity - Sumerian Contract, ca. 2600 BCE - Cuneiform (writing); Epic of Gilgamesh - Female Head (Inanna?), Uruk ca. 3200-3000 BCE - Polytheistic - Strong developments in vis arts - Portrait or deity? - Imp things (head) in marble/stone, less imp in other stuff; therefore not preserved - Unibrow incised, suggests inlaid w/ stone/jewels previously - Headdress suggested; pot eyes painted or w/ jewels - Human tendency to make representations of the divine - Worshipers from the Square Temple, Eshnunna Ca. 2700 BCE - Holding hands like in prayer, large eyes (in awe) - Holding container (offering?) - Looking up for ‘divine inspiration’ - Remnants of kids left - Some objects inscribed; becomes stand in for the ind, as offering - Fashion; how presented themselves to public, hair: beards and long hair (male), bound (females) - Presentation of offerings to Inanna (Warka Vase), Uruk Ca. 3200-3000 BCE - Figures, potential class structure - One of earliest narratives, defined in layers, 3 registers dividing into sequence - Crops and animals, people w/ baskets, larger figures (deity) being offered objects - Hierarchal scale (more important -> bigger) (deity biggest, profile) - Deity doesn’t have eyes as big as rest; 3 horns on head signif ‘divine’ - Nude males: lower class, slaves of conquered, sign of humiliation - Standard of Ur, Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE - Representation of war and peace - War side: chariots, horses, layered (depth), people injured, captured, heir scale (largest figure breaks above upper register) - Peace: plentiful crops, harvest, no beards - Banquet scene, cylinder seal,tomb of Pu-abi(tomb 800), Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE - Cuneiform - Fragment of victory stele of Eannatum (Stele of the Vultures), Girsu, Iraq, ca. 2600– 2500 BCE - Cuneiform describe victory of Eannatum of Lagash over city of Umma - This fragment: Eannatum leading army into battle - King larger than soldiers - Bull-headed Lyre, Royal Cemetery, Ur, ca. 2600 BCE - High class; interest in craft of making musical instruments; spn AKKADIANS - Began attacking and conquering other communities, made ppl pay tributes - first Near Eastern rulers to call themselves kings of the world and assume divine attributes - earliest recorded name of author is Akkadian priestess Enheduanna - Head of an Akkadian Ruler, From Nineveh, ca. 2250-2200 BCE - Homage, Sargon - Copper - Rulers and individuals being sculpted, detailed - New materials, textures (using metals) - Headdress: ruler’s crown; eyes gauged out and ears broken (showed lost power) - Victory stele of Naram-Sin, from Susa, Iran, 225
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