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Art of the Ancient Near East

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  • 1. Chapter 2The Ancient Near East 1
  • 2. The Ancient Near East 2
  • 3. The Gods ofMesopotamia:Henotheism:Many Gods but one above othersOver 2,000 deities and demonsThe Two Triads:Anu: The father of the gods (creator);god of heavenEa: God of WaterEnlil: God of earth, wind, and airShamash: God of the sun, judge, and lawgiver; god of wisdomNanna: God of the moonIshtar (Innana): Goddess of love, fertility,and war
  • 4. Marduk and TiamatBabylonian Creation Story 4
  • 5. Pazuzu 5
  • 6. The Epic of Gilgamesh Ca. 2,100 BCE Gilgamesh: God-like king of Uruk Part human, part god, blessed with beauty and courage Spurns the love of Ishtar (the Queen of Heaven) and kills the Bull of Heaven. He is punished with the loss of his dearest (male) companion, Enkidu, forced to contemplate mortality. Emotional bonds between men more common in Ancient World
  • 7. Epic of Gilgamesh Gilgamesh then goes on a quest for everlasting life. When he finds a plant that promises everlasting life, a serpent snatches it away. He is left with a vision of death, a “house of dust,” and a place of inescapable sadness.
  • 8. Epic of GilgameshBiblical Parallels ( PanBabylonism)Adam(Enkidu) and Eve (Shamhat)Great Flood and Noah (Utnapishtim)Serpent and Eternal Life
  • 9. SUMERCreation of a writing system(Cuneiform) Literary Works GilgameshDevelopment of the WheelDeveloped ArithmeticPrimary City States: Uruk, Ur 10
  • 10. CuneiformLatin:“wedge”-”shape”
  • 11. CYCLINDER SEALSSeals verifiy legal documents andownershipIncised designs
  • 12. Banquet scene, cylinder seal (left) and its modern impression (right), from the tomb of Pu-abi(tomb 800), Royal Cemetery, Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar), Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE. Lapis lazuli, 2”high. British Museum, London. 13
  • 13. ZigguratMassive structures having the formof a terraced step pyramid ofsuccessively receding stories orlevels. The Mesopotamianziggurats were not places for publicworship or ceremonies as theywere believed to be dwelling placesfor the gods. Only priests werepermitted on the ziggurat or in therooms at its base, and it was theirresponsibility to care for the godsand attend to their needs.AXIS MUNDI 14
  • 14. White Temple and ziggurat, Uruk (modern Warka), Iraq, ca. 3200–3000 BCE. 16
  • 15. The White Temple and AnuZigguratNamed after the principal god Anu (skyGod).The White Temple was constructed overthe Anu ZigguratBoth temples entailed massivemanpower inputs—7500 man-yearsaloneStructures separated priestly residentsfrom the populace
  • 16. UrukPopulation 40,000 18
  • 17. Uruk-hai 19
  • 18. reconstruction drawing of theWhite Temple and AnuZiggurat Cella Center of the temple (“Waiting Room”) 20
  • 19. “bent-axis” plan 21
  • 20. Ziggurat of UrThe “Nanna” ZigguratMud-brick buildingTapers outward for rain to wash offFour corners oriented to thecompassGuardhouse at top of stairsNot built in stagesNanna (Sin) is Moon God 22
  • 21. •Ziggurat at Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar), Iraq, ca. 2100 BCE.
  • 22. Female head (Inanna?),from Uruk (modernWarka), Iraq, ca. 3200–3000 BCE. Marble, 8”high. Iraq Museum,Baghdad. 24
  • 23. InnanaGoddess of Love and War 25
  • 24. Inanna by Boris Vallejo 26
  • 25. Presentation of offerings to Inanna(Warka Vase), from Uruk (modernWarka), Iraq, ca. 3200–3000 BCE.Alabaster, 3’ 1/4” high. Iraq Museum,Baghdad. 27
  • 26. Registers Horizontal narrative bands 28
  • 27. Depicts the ritual marriage of thehuman Priest-King (Ensi) and theGoddess Innana 29
  • 28. Sumerian ArtHierarchical ScaleFigures: Men – bare chested withkiltsWomen – left shoulder coveredNudity is a debasement, onlyslaves and prisoners are nudeEmotionless“Votive” Figures 30
  • 29. Statuettes of two worshipers, fromthe Square Temple at Eshnunna(modern Tell Asmar), Iraq, ca. 2700BCE. Gypsum inlaid with shell andblack limestone, male figure 2’ 6”high. Iraq Museum, Baghdad. 31
  • 30. 32
  • 31. 33
  • 32. Fragment of the victory stele of Eannatum (Stele of the Vultures), from Girsu (modern Telloh), Iraq,ca. 2600–2500 BCE. Limestone, fragment 2’ 6” high, full stele 5’ 11” high. Louvre, Paris. 34
  • 33. 36
  • 34. 37
  • 35. 38
  • 36. Royal Cemetery of UrDiscovered by Sir Leonard Woolleyca. 1922 39
  • 37. 40
  • 38. 41
  • 39. War side of the Standard of Ur, from Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery, Ur (modern TellMuqayyar), Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone, 8”x 1’ 7”. British Museum, London. 42
  • 40. Peace side of the Standard of Ur, from Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery, Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar),Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone, 8” x 1’ 7”. BritishMuseum, London. 43
  • 41. 44
  • 42. 45
  • 43. Bull-headed lyre (restored) fromTomb 789 (“King’s Grave”),Royal Cemetery, Ur (modern TellMuqayyar), Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE.Lyre: Gold leaf and lapis lazuliover a wooden core, 5’ 5” high. 46
  • 44. 47
  • 45. Sound box (right): Wood with inlaidgold, lapis lazuli, and shell, 1’ 7” high.University of Pennsylvania Museum ofArchaeology and Anthropology,Philadelphia. 48
  • 46. 49
  • 47. A concern for the “after”-life… 50
  • 48. AKKADAkkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian:Sumer is taken over by the Akkadians.The style of rule is different – city-staterulers are not as important – one king forall the city-states.Art deifies the king – who rules with thegods’ approval, not assistanceAppropriates Sumerian iconography intheir art – why not? 51
  • 49. AKKADAkkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian:Sumer is taken over by the Akkadians.The style of rule is different – city-state rulersare not as important – one king for all the city-states.Art deifies the king – who rules with the gods’approval, not assistanceAppropriates Sumerian iconography in theirart – why not? 52
  • 50. Head of an Akkadian ruler, fromNineveh (modern Kuyunjik), Iraq,ca. 2250–2200 BCE. Copper, 1’ 23/8” high. Iraq Museum, Baghdad. 53
  • 51. •Lost-wax casting 54
  • 52. 55
  • 53. 56
  • 54. Victory stele of Naram-Sin, from Susa,Iran, 2254–2218 BCE. Pink sandstone, 6’7” high. Louvre, Paris. 57
  • 55. The Victory Stele of Naram-SinTaken to Susa by the Elamites in 1150BCE as “War Booty”(second inscription attests to this)
  • 56. 59
  • 57. “The Spoils of War” GeorgesRochegrosse 60
  • 58. The Victory Stele of Naram-SinComposite View Frontal chest but the rest oft he body in profile. (Sameas Egyptian) This shows his power andthe correct side “right side” of the ruler.Symbols of Authority and Kingship – Largest Figure (Hierarchical Scale). Larger even thanthe Gods. Wears the horned crown Large BeardDirectional Symbols – Upward diagonal motion ofKing’s soldiers at left, downwardmotion of enemy.
  • 59. Lagash and GudeaThe “Guti” people invade from themountains and wipe out Akkadians.Only Gudea, and Lagash remainindependent.Gudea’s patron God is Ningirsu 62
  • 60. Seated Statue of Gudea2100 BCE diorite temple statue• Ensi of Lagash- 20 statues survive• Holding temple plans- he built /rebuilt many temples• Piety• Abundance symbolized by overflowing vase• Power and authority: – messages to the gods, temple plans, – diorite (rare), bare shoulder, – muscular physique
  • 61. Seated statue of Gudea holdingtemple plan, from Girsu (modernTelloh), Iraq, ca. 2100 BCE.Diorite, 2’ 5” high. Louvre, Paris. 64
  • 62. 65
  • 63. Temple planConstruction workers treated verywelll……as soft as “combed wool”apparently 66
  • 64. Hammurabi(Babylonian)The Amorites conquer the “Guti”and make their capital in Babylon(the first version but not the mostfamous) 67
  • 65. Stele with law code ofHammurabi, from Susa, Iran, ca.1780 BCE. Basalt, 7’ 4” high.Louvre, Paris. 68
  • 66. DIORITE 69
  • 67. DOLEMITE 70
  • 68. Copper saw 71
  • 69. Law Code ofHammurabiOne of the earliest law codes everwritten.Sun god (Shamash), hands Hamurabi arope, a ring, and a (measuring) rod ofkingshipHe is literally given right to rule by god.Shamash-Large beard, multi- hornedhelmet, bare shoulderEngages his God directly.http://www.general-intelligence.com/library/hr.pdf 72
  • 70. 73
  • 71. Shamash 74
  • 72. Was found in SusaMore war booty for the Elamites.. 75
  • 73. Nearly one-half of the Code dealswith matters of contract,establishing for example the wagesto be paid to an ox driver or asurgeon. Other provisions set theterms of a transaction, establishingthe liability of a builder for a housethat collapses, for example, orproperty that is damaged while leftin the care of another. Approximately a third of the codeaddresses issues concerninghousehold and family relationshipssuch as inheritance, divorce,paternity and sexual behavior.Only one provision appears toimpose obligations on an official;this provision establishes that ajudge who reaches an incorrectdecision is to be fined and removedfrom the bench permanently. 76
  • 74. Statue of Queen Napir-Asu, from Susa,Iran, ca. 1350–1300 BCE. Bronze andcopper, 4’ 2 3/4” high. Louvre, Paris. 77
  • 75. Aint no-one gonna be movin thisthing! 78
  • 76. ASSYRIABabylon falls to the Hittites in 1595BCEFrom 900-600 BCE Assyrians takecharge 79
  • 77. 80
  • 78. …and they aint messin ‘round 81
  • 79. Assyrian ArtPraised the greatness of the KingFigures are stoicAnimals are expressiveDomination over wild beasts showsauthority of king over his people 82
  • 80. AshurnasirpalStone panel from the North-WestPalace of Ashurnasirpal II atNimrud, northern Iraq, neo-Assyrian, 883–859BC. Thisalabaster relief shows the royalsport of kings. Royal lion huntswere an ancient tradition inMesopotamia, with examples ofsimilar scenes known as early as3000BC. Ashurnasirpal, who reigned 883–859BC, seems to have been anespecially enthusiastic hunter.Inscriptions claim that he killed atotal of 450 lions 83
  • 81. Assyrian archers pursuing enemies, relief from the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Kalhu(modern Nimrud), Iraq, ca. 875–860 BCE. Gypsum, 2’ 10 5/8” high. British Museum, London. 84
  • 82. Sargon IIMakes fortress at Dur Sharukkin 85
  • 83. •The Fortified City 86
  • 84. Sargon IIMakes fortress at Dur Sharukkin 87
  • 85. Reconstruction drawing of the citadel of Sargon II, Dur Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad), Iraq, ca.720–705 BCE (after Charles Altman). 88
  • 86. •That’s a 7 level ziggurat btw 89
  • 87. S 90
  • 88. Lamassu (winged, human-headedbull), from the citadel of Sargon II, DurSharrukin (modern Khorsabad), Iraq,ca. 720–705 BCE. Limestone, 13’ 10”high. Louvre, Paris. 91
  • 89. LamassuWinged human-headed “guardian”figures meant to ward off enemies,seen and unseen5 legs Front – at attention Side – walking 92
  • 90. 93
  • 91. 94
  • 92. 95
  • 93. 96
  • 94. 97
  • 95. AshurbanipalAlso likes killing LionsBased in Nineveh 98
  • 96. Ashurbanipal hunting lions, relief from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Nineveh (modernKuyunjik), Iraq, ca. 645–640 BCE. Gypsum, 5’ 4” high. British Museum, London. 99
  • 97. 100
  • 98. 101
  • 99. 102
  • 100. •Gratuitous wounded lion 103
  • 101. 104
  • 102. 105
  • 103. Neo-BabyloniaKing Nebuchadnezzar“I caused a mighty wall to circumscribeBabylon…so that the enemy who woulddo evil would not threaten… King Nubuchadnezzar the biblical Daniel’s “King of Kings”
  • 104. 107
  • 105. 108
  • 106. 109
  • 107. 110
  • 108. •Etemenanki•temple of the foundation of heaven and earth
  • 109. 112
  • 110. 113
  • 111. 115
  • 112. •Cyrus did it…. (539 BCE) 116
  • 113. Ishtar Gate(restored),Babylon, Iraq, ca.575 BCE.StaatlicheMuseen, Berlin. 117
  • 114. 118
  • 115. Ishtar GateGlazed brick over mud wallsAnimals guard the cityLions sacred to the goddess IshtarMarduk- Patron God of Babylon 119
  • 116. 120
  • 117. 121
  • 118. Marduk (patron god)dragon 122
  • 119. Adad (storm god) 123
  • 120. Ishtar (patroness)Lion 124
  • 121. PERSIA 125
  • 122. 126
  • 123. Persepolis (apadana in the background), Iran, ca. 521–465 BCE. 127
  • 124. 128
  • 125. 129
  • 126. 130
  • 127. Processional frieze (detail) on the terrace of the apadana, Persepolis, Iran, ca. 521–465 BCE.Limestone, 8’ 4” high. 131
  • 128. •Darius and Xerxes 132
  • 129. Triumph of Shapur I over Valerian, rock-cut relief, Bishapur, Iran, ca. 260 CE. 133
  • 130. •2250 BCE, Akkadian 350 CE, Persian 134
  • 131. •“repousse” 135