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  2. 2. Module 3 Overview  hunter/gatherer culture (paleolithic period)  emergence of agriculture (neolithic period)  the implications of surplus for art and urbanism  GöbekliTepe (not in text)—early temple complex  Jericho (1-13)—walls and towers  Catal Höyük (1-16)—early town  Ziggurat of Ur (2-15)-large platforms with a temple on top  WarkaVase (2-4)-container for sacred offerings  ‘Lady ofWarka’ (2-5)—possibly the face portion of a life-size cult statue  Statuettes of worshippers (2-6)—possibly worshipped when priests or king was absent  Akkadian, Head of a Ruler (2-14)—possibly a portrait of King Sargon
  3. 3. “When humans first gave up the dangerous and uncertain life of the hunter and gatherer for the more predictable and stable life of the farmer and herder, the change in human society was so significant that historians justly have dubbed it the Neolithic Revolution.” —Stephen S. Kleiner, Art: A Global History (2012) “Neolithic Revolution” –the textbook view
  4. 4. “Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day.Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing élite set itself above the disease- ridden masses.” —Jared Diamond, “TheWorst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” “Neolithic Revolution” – alternative view
  5. 5. Jared Diamond Guns, Germs & Steel (2005)
  6. 6. Diamond’s central question Why was it that the Spanish invaded Cuba, instead of the Arawaks invading Spain?
  7. 7. Diamond’s answer Geography is destiny.
  8. 8. The transition to food production in the Fertile Crescent begins around 8500 BC, not 18,500 or 28,500 BC. Why not earlier?
  9. 9. Before that time, hunting-gathering was more rewarding than food production because:  Wild mammals were still abundant (gazelles)  Wild cereals were not yet abundant  People had not yet developed technology necessary for harvesting and storing grains (sickles with flint blades for harvest; baskets for carrying grain, mortars and pestles to remove the husks; technique of roasting grains so they could be stored without sprouting; plastered underground storage pits)  Population density was low enough that people didn’t have to worry about extracting the maximum number of calories per acre.
  10. 10. Why did agriculture come first to the Fertile Crescent?  Climate  Available suites of wild plants  Helped along by available suite of large mammals suitable for domestication.  They yield milk and meat (important food source)  They can pull a plow or wagon (important for development of agriculture)  They can carry a rider (important military use)
  11. 11. Agriculture developed first in the Fertile Crescent:  Climate  Available suites of wild plants  Helped along by available suite of large mammals suitable for domestication. This led to:  Dense population  Stored food surplus These in turn lead to:  More specialized, stratified societies  Kingdoms with armies (fed on stored grain)  Ability to conquer other territories (empire-building)  Cities with writing, culture, technology development  Dense populations are winnowed by disease, yielding disease-resistant descendants
  12. 12. Diamond’s purpose is actually to understand why Europe dominated the world from the 16th-19th centuriesWe will return to his argument when we talk about the European conquest of the Americas. But for today, let’s think about his argument as it applies in the initial context he discusses, Mesopotamian agricultural dominance (and consequently, military, political and religious dominance).
  13. 13. This is the later, Greek name for this area between theTigris and Euphrates Rivers, which feed into the Persian Gulf. It means “land between two rivers.” An alluvial floodplain, this area was perfect for agriculture (when not actually flooded!). Myths about floods abound in the Mesopotamian religions. What is Mesopotamia?
  14. 14. Looking at the map, you can see that numerous towns and cities grew up in this rich agricultural area that yielded plenty of crops to sustain larger populations.
  15. 15. As Jared Diamond would predict, more intensive agriculture went hand in hand with population growth.Agricultural surplus was the basis for the first taxes, which went to the temple to provide offerings to the gods, and to the king to provide military protection. A stratified society becomes possible. Most are farmers; a small elite serves as priests, nobles, and kings.
  16. 16. surplustradedevelopment of writing Large treasuries of grain and other agricultural products permitted trade with other nations for goods that could not be produced locally. This stimulates the need for writing and accounting, which first arose in Mesopotamia, an agricultural powerhouse. pre-cuneiform clay tablet, city of Ur, Sumeria 4th millenium BCE
  17. 17. surplusconcentration of wealth in hands of a fewlarge expensive building projects to maintain and enhance elite power and prestige The first cities, the first temples, the first fortresses came into being in Mesopotamia as well. ancient walls of Jericho, c. 7000 BCE
  18. 18. surplusconcentration of wealth making of precious objects for the a) temple to be used in religious worship and b) king to represent his power and achievements prestige.The priesthood commissioned valuable objects to be used in religious worship. Kings tended instead to call for art that represented their likenesses and demonstrated their achievements.
  19. 19. Many successive cultures came to power in this region
  20. 20. Among them were…  Sumerians  Elamites  Akkadians  Babylonians  Assyrians  neo-Sumerians  and neo-Babylonians!
  21. 21. Although there was a lot of complexity in terms of changing centers of power, changing rulers, and changing religious beliefs, these societies also had a great deal in common. To keep things simple, we are going to look primarily at artifacts from the first culture to come into ascendance in the region, the Sumerians.
  22. 22. temple site, GobekliTepe, c. 10,000 BCE
  23. 23. temple site, GobekliTepe, c. 9,000 BCE relief sculpture on massiveT-shaped stone
  24. 24. temple site, GobekliTepe, c. 10,000 BCE circle of stones
  25. 25. Jericho archaeological site, outside modern city of Jericho walls and tower date to 9,000 BCE
  26. 26. Catal Höyük (1-16), c. 7400 BCE
  27. 27. Mesopotamia, neo-Sumerian, Ziggurat of Ur (2-15), c. 2100 BCE l
  28. 28. model of the Ziggurat of Ur (proposed reconstruction) at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  29. 29. Mesopotamia, Sumeria, city of Uruk large votive vase with sculptural relief known as the “WarkaVase”, c. 3500 BCE damaged, stolen, and subsequently returned during the fall of Baghdad in 2003 to NATO forces and the looting of the Baghdad Museum
  30. 30. reconstruction drawing of the WarkaVase, showing the figures on each register
  31. 31. Mesopotamia, Sumerian, from the city of Uruk female head, c. 3200 BCE (possibly the goddess Inanna based upon being found at the site of a temple in her honor) marble 8 inches high also known as the Lady of Warka also stolen in 2003 from the Baghdad Museum
  32. 32. view in profile most likely this head was attached to a body made out of wood or other material marble was used only for the front of the face
  33. 33. this picture of the “Lady of Warka” is included for scale
  34. 34. Mesopotamia, Sumerian,Two worshippers, c. 2700 BCE, Baghdad Museum
  35. 35. Mesopotamia, Akkadian, Head of a Ruler, bronze, c. 2400 BCE