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the scene presented, the story; the action's time and place; the persons involved; and the environment and its details


daily life


"writing with images," study of symbols


the people or group that pays artists to make individual works or employed them on a continuous basis


how an artist organizes forms in an artwork


create an illusion of depth or space on a two-dimensional form


produced the illusion that one part of the body is farther way than another; even though all the forms are on the same surface


the relationships (in terms of size) of the parts of person, buildings, or objects


systems, "correct" or "ideal" proportions for representing human figures, parts of buildings

Relief sculptures

the objects project from the background and remains a part of it


single standing stons


an arrangement of huge stones in a circle

Post and lintel

a system of construction in which two ports support a lintel


in ancient Mesopotamian architecture a monumental platform for a temple


a god or goddess

Votive offering

a gift of gratitude to a deity usually made in fulfillment of a vow


the chamber at the center of an ancient temple; in a classical temple, the room in which the cult statue usually stood


one of a series of superimposed band or friezes in a pictorial narriative, or particular levels on which motifs are placed

Lapis lazuli

blue semiprecious gemstone


carved stone slab erected to commemorate a historical event or to mark a grave

Hierarchy of scale

artistic convention in which greater size indicated greater importance


in sculpture, figures projecting from a background of which they are a part of, the degree of relief is low


in ancient Egypt, the immortal human life force


a system of writing using symbols or pictures


plant used to make a paper-like writing material

Engaged columns

a half-round column attached to a wall


a technique used by the ancient Egyptians to preserve human bodies so that they may serve as the eternal home of the immortal Ka

Rosetta stone

key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphic writing


a roofed colonnade, also an entrance porch

Fluted columns

vertical channeling, roughly semicircular in cross section


a series or row of columns, usually spanned by lintels


usually the front of a building, also the other sides when they are emphasized architecturally


a male figure that functions as a supporting column, caryatid (female)


tall, four-sided shaft of stone, usually tapered and monolithic that rises to a pointed pyramidal top


a simple and massive gateway with slopping walls

Hypostyle hall

one where columns support the roof


architectural term denoting an upper level of a building, the walls of which rise above the rooflines of the lower aisles and are pierced with windows. The purpose of the clerestory is to give light to the inner space of a large building.


painting on lime plaster either (fresco secco) or wet (true or buon fresco), in the latter method, the pigments are mixed with water and become chemically bound to the freshly laid lime plaster

Continuous narration

the same figure appears more than once in the same space at different stages of a story

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