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Chapter

Visual Arts History 1040 Chapter Notes -Semitic Languages, Ishtar Gate, Lagash

by

Department
Visual Arts History
Course Code
VAH 1040
Professor
Cody Barteet

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Chapter 2
Art of The Ancient Near East
Stele of Naram-Sin
oIran (c. 2254-2218 BCE)
oCommunicated and celebrated the political stratification that gave order
and security to their world
oHierarchal Scale - relative size indicates relative importance
oMale potency and vigor were related to political power
oHelmet horns were associated with gods
oThe representation of the ruler speaks to his religious and political
authority
oPortrays an actual event, the execution of his enemies
oThe king is wearing the horned crown of a deity
oStands above his soldiers
oHe is being watched over by a cluster of solar deities symbolized by the
radiating suns
Fertile Crescent
oCalled the Mesopotamia by the Greeks, meaning "land between the
rivers"
oLand was prone to both drought and flood
oMeeting the need to control the water supply contributed to the
development of the first cities
oSocial hierarches, rulers and workers, emerged with the development of
specialized skills beyond those needed for agricultural work
Art as Spoils of War - Protection or Theft
Art has always been a casualty in times of social unrest
The Warka Head
oIraq (c. 3300-3000 BCE)
Sumer
The cities and city-states that developed along the rivers of southern
Mesopotamia between approx. 3500 and 2340 BCE
Credited with many "firsts"
May have invented the wagon wheel, the plow, and copper and bronze casting
Invention around 3100 BCE of a form of writing on clay tablets, as an accounting
system for goods traded at the city of Urak
oPictographs
drawn in wet clay with a pointed tool, each representing a thing or
concept
oPhonographs
evolved from pictographs
Representations of syllable sounds, thus becoming a true writing
system
oScribes
Professionals who wrote and maintained records
Created the stylus, a pointed writing instrument
oCuneiform
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