The wedge-shaped characters made in clay by the ancient Mesopotamians as a writing system.
From the Assyrian word ziqquratu, meaning "mountaintop" or "height." In ancient Assyria and Babylonia, a pyramidal mound or tower built of mud-brick forming the base for a temple. It was often either stepped or had a broad ascent winding around it, which gave it the appearance of being stepped.
The principal enclosed room of a temple used to house an image. (Also called the naos.) Or, the entire body of a temple, as distinct from its external parts.
A horizontal band containing decoration, such as a relief sculpture or a fresco painting. When multiple horizontal layers are used, registers are useful in distinguishing between different visual planes and different time periods in visual narration.
An artistic technique in which the importance of figures is indicated by size, so that the most important figure is depicted as the largest.
Representation of a subject in a full frontal view.
From the Greek word for "standing block." An upright stone slab or pillar, sometimes with a carved design or inscription.
A projecting support built against an external wall, usually to counteract the lateral thrust of a vault or arch within.
An ancient Near Eastern guardian of a palace; often shown in sculpture as a human-headed bull or lion with wings.
Upright slabs of stone constituting or lining the lowest courses of a wall, often in order to protect a vulnerable material such as mud-brick.
An ancient drinking or pouring vessel made from pottery, metal, or stone, and sometimes designed in a human animal form.
An arcade (series of arches supported by piers or columns) with no openings. The arches and supports are attached decoratively to the surface of a wall.