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Prehistoric Art. Mesopotamia. The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia. Art was used to effect and reflect political power. Art was used to tell stories.

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Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia

The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.


Mesopotamia1
Mesopotamia

Art was used to effect and reflect political power.

Art was used to tell stories.


Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur, front and back sides. ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli, approx.. 8”X17”. The British Museum, London

It is a small trapezoidal box about 8”x19”, and the function of the box is unknown.

The rows on the long sides of the box are called registers, and they tell a story reading from left to right, bottom to top.


Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur, front and back sides. ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli, approx.. 8”X17”. The British Museum, London

There are two sides to the box: a war side and a peace side.


Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur, front and back sides. ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli, approx.. 8”X17”. The British Museum, London

The “war” side shows charioteers pulled by onagers (wild donkeys) in the bottom register. The middle register shows infantry escorting prisoners. The top shows the prisoners being presented to the king.


Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur, front and back sides. ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli, approx.. 8”X17”. The British Museum, London

The “peace” side depicts figures carrying loot from battle, accompanied by animals for sacrifice and celebration.


Sumerian ArtStandard of Ur, front and back sides. ca. 2600 BCE. Wood inlaid with shell, limestone, and lapis lazuli, approx.. 8”X17”. The British Museum, London

Both sides of the standard show a king.

The artist depicts the king’s importance by making him slightly bigger than the other figures.


Neo babylonian art
Neo-Babylonian Art

The Ishtar Gate was a double gate, the part shown here would have been the inner gate.

The rounded arched entryway that is flanked by two guard towers was a ceremonial gateway into the city of Babylon.


Neo babylonian art1
Neo-Babylonian Art

The gate is adorned with blue glazed brick and relief sculptures of animals.

The animals portrayed were sacred, and were used to represent the gods.


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