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Ancient Middle East

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Post on 13-Jan-2015



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First set of slides on the Ancient Near East.


Page 1: Ancient Near East

Ancient Middle East

Page 2: Ancient Near East

Sumerians3500-2000 B.C.E.

City states, first urban communititesAgricultural affluenceCentral Government

First known writing system

Page 3: Ancient Near East

Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur 2600-2400 B.C.E.

Limestone Box, inlay of shells and lapis lazuli. Found in a grave, one side celebrates war, the other peace.

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Narrative told in registers.Hierarchy of scale employed.

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"Ziggurat at Ur: Viewed from the East."

Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. (accessed September 11, 2012).

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Votive figuresRepresent the devout

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Cylinder Seals

The seals were used to "sign" clay tablet documents--in the case of the Spurlock seals, commercial receipts--with the unique seal of an individual such as the seller. They can be compared to a notarized signature today. The impression gave visual proof of the genuineness of the object. They could also be used on the clay "envelope" containing the receipt or letter to prove no one had tried to open it since it had left the merchant’s hand

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Lyre 2600 B.C.E.

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Gudea 2100

Twenty-six statues of Gudea have been found

Benevolent leader instituted many humanitarian reforms.

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Akkadian 2370 ~ 2350

• Victory Stele of Naram-Sin• Grandson of Sargon, I, the first

Akkadian ruler to conquer and unite region


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Stela of Ur-Nammu, c. 2112-2094 B.C.E


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Compare stelesStela of Ur-Nammu, c. 2112-2094 B.C.E3 x 1.5 m

Victory stele of Naram Sin2.007 m

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Babylonian Empire

"Babylonian Empire." Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. (accessed September 11, 2012).

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Babylonians1792 - 1198

• Empire comparable to Roman in size.• Hammurabi 1792-1759, Babylon’s Golden Age.• Code of Law most famous accomplishment

and art.

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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.

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Hammurabi justifies his position as ruler of Babylon by describing it as a consequence of the divine ordering of the world, and boasts of his achievements as a conqueror and restorer of temples.

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Neo Babylonianaka

Chaldean Empire

• 626 BC and ended in 539 BC• Nebuchadnezzar II • Tower of Babel• Ishtar Gate

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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.

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• Used huge boulders in construction

• Large fortification

• Guardian lions

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• Very masculine, idealizes king• Emotion shown in animals. Domination over

wild beast expressed the authority of the king over his people and the powerful forces of nature.

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Assyrian 9-7th c

• Build palaces to express power. 14 ft tall.• Decorated palaces with large panels

showing king’s military exploits.

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Major Works

• Palace of Sargon II• Lammassu• Lion Hunt


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Palace of Sargon II

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LamassuProtective spirit or deity.

Winged bullUsually 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.

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Ninevah 650

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• Persepolis c 500 B.C.E.• Built by Darius I and Xerses I and destroyed by

Alexander the Great• Built for receptions and festivals


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Palace Persepolis

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• Palace of Shapur I

• Influence of Roman architecture in the barrel vault

• Blind arcades, a Roman feature

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Cylinder Seals