ARHS 2913 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Horned Helmet, Lagash, Lavash

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Sumer
collection of city-states established in Meso.
some autonomy
complex religious systems
each city under the protection of a god
ruler of each city regarded as rep. on earth
Ziggurats
stepped pyramidal structures with temples on top
spiritual, administrative, and econ. centers
White Temple and Ziggurat, Sumer, 3200-3000BCE
Early Sumerian Sculpture
Face of a Woman, 3500-3000BCE
could rep. Ishtar
marble, painted, inlaid brows and eyes, wig attached
Votive Figures
found in Sumerian temples dedicated to gods
stood as replacements for worshipers
large eyes, praying hands
(large eyes could also serve as windows to the should for gods to look into)
status indicated by the size of the figures
relatively abstract
inscriptions include prayers, details about individuals, and the god being worshipped
Bull Harps
Bull Lyre, 2685 BCE
Royal Cemetery at UR
decorative details of the bull Lyre
composition broken up into registers
personification of animals
could be creatures from the land of the dead
representation of a mythical world
composite creatures - part animal part human
focus on clarity and order, legible, narrative
heraldic - main subject flanked by two symmetrical creatures
Akkad
conquered Sumer around 2300BCE
semitic, spoke dierent lang. than Sumerians, assimilated some Sumerian traditions
Sargon of Akkad
shift in political power
power was divided b/w city-states -> power was held by ruler
Stele of Naramsin, 2254-2218BCE
evidence of shift of gov. system
Naramsin closer to the summit, wearing a horned helmet, larger than everyone depicted
move towards greater naturalism
doesn’t utilize registers
legibility of narrative still paramount
Lagash
Akkadians attacked by the Guti, a mountain ppl. from the NE around 2150BCE
took control of central and lower Meso.
Sumerians kept control of Lavash, led by Gudea
Gudea built and rebuilt temples where he put statues of himself
Statue of Gudea
rep. standing of seated on throne in deep prayer
large eyes, again suggesting admiration for deities
almost all of these statues are diorite
Babylon
when the last king fell power was distributed b/w city states again for a brief time
Hammurabi came to power around 1792 BCE
Stele of Hammurabi, 1792-1750 BCE
inscription of Hammurabi's laws
rep. of god Shamash and Hammurabi together
Shamash hands Hammurabi a measuring rod and a coiled ring (building tools)
suggests power of Hammurabi to rule the community, enforce his laws
eort towards foreshortening seen in throne and beard
movement towards greater naturalism while we still see some of the same conventions in earlier Sumerian
work (twisted view)
Assyria
fall of the Babylonians followed by polio. turmoil that ended in 1000BCE when the Assyrians took control
by the end of the 7th cent. BCE they controlled areas as far west as Egypt
Lammasu
Human Headed Winged Lion
placed at the entry ways of political structures
suggest power of ruler and serve to protect them
can see four legs from the side, two from the front
Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions
reliefs on inside walls of polit. structures that depict power of ruler
bow strings depicted to not cover faces but would not work naturally
shift of interest to the drama of the scene, more interesting narratives
general movement towards greater naturalism
truer perspective, less twisted view
Neo-Babylonia
Assyrian Empire never very secure, for a brief period Babylonians regained power
restoration of the city of Babylon
Ishtar Gate
Persia
neo-babylonia didn’t last long, conquered by Persia around 550BCE
largest empire in the world at their time
Subjects Bringing Gifts to the King, 500BCE
faces more detailed
strict profile
increasingly more naturalism
can see influence of ancient greek work
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