In 1850 speculation begins about the possibility of a Pre-Akkadian civilization. Building materials not long lasting.
Standard of Ur
Stone slabs carved with low reliefs and pierced in the center are typical of the art of the archaic Sumerian Dynasties. They were usually carved from soft stone such as limestone and decorated with a sculpted narrative, arranged in superimposed registers. The central perforation was probably intended to peg the slab to the wall in the votive part of the shrine. Of the 120 slabs of this kind that have been found, mostly in the large cities of the Sumerian cultural area, this is one of the most remarkable in terms of its size and the quality of the execution, as well as for the wealth of iconographic detail it offers.
it would be interesting if we could establish a link between the Asian bull-man lamassu and the Greek bull-man Minotaur, although the first one has a man's head and a bull's body, and the Minotaur has a man's body and a bull's head. However, there are Greek coins that show lamassu's, like those of the Siciliancities of Gela and Panormus. The latter, modern Palermo, may, as a Phoenician colony, have had artistic ties with the east.
Ancient Near East
Ancient Middle East
Sumerians 3500-2000 B.C.E.City states, first urban communitites Agricultural affluence Central Government First known writing system
Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur 2600-2400 B.C.E.Limestone Box, inlay of shellsand lapis lazuli. Found in agrave, one side celebrates
Narrative told in registers.Hierarchy of scale employed.
"Ziggurat at Ur: Viewed from the East."Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. G. Eric and Edith MatsonPhotograph Collection. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File,Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=AMH168&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 11, 2012).
CylinderSealsThe seals were used to "sign"clay tablet documents--in thecase of the Spurlock seals,commercial receipts--withthe unique seal of anindividual such as the seller.They can be compared to anotarized signature today.The impression gave visualproof of the genuineness ofthe object. They could also beused on the clay "envelope"containing the receipt orletter to prove no one hadtried to open it since it hadleft the merchant’s hand
Compare stelesStela of Ur-Nammu, c. Victory stele of2112-2094 B.C.E Naram Sin3 x 1.5 m 2.007 m
Babylonian Empire"Babylonian Empire." Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File,Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
Babylonians 1792 - 1198• Empire comparable to Roman in size.• Hammurabi 1792-1759, Babylon’s Golden Age.• Code of Law most famous accomplishment and art.
Code of Hammurabi• His law code, which was part of an even earlier tradition, was a means of imposing order over the territories he conquered, much as the gods Anu (An) and Enlil oversaw the organization of heaven and earth. The codification of responses to certain—and probably recurring— problems would also have served the purpose of simplifying and standardizing the administration of justice in his empire.
Hammurabi justifies his position as ruler ofBabylon by describing it as a consequenceof the divine ordering of the world, andboasts of his achievements as a conquerorand restorer of temples.
Neo Babylonian aka Chaldean Empire• 626 BC and ended in 539 BC• Nebuchadnezzar II• Tower of Babel• Ishtar Gate
Gilgamesh• A series of tales knit into one epic poem.• Based on a historical Sumerian king• The Epic is from the original Babylonian era. It was written in Akkadian.
Hittites• Used huge boulders in construction• Large fortification• Guardian lions
Lamassu Protective spirit or deity. Winged bull Usually male face At city gates so everyone would see it on entering. From the front it is standing and from the side walking. Achieve this by placing 5 legs on the lamassu.