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Art of the Ancient Near East
Terms in this set (10)
Name and describe the important achievements of the Persians.
The Persians are best known for their jewelry, coinage, and ornamental weaponry. The delicate designs and intricate details of their jewelry demonstrate high levels of technical and artistic sophistication. Coins were made with miniature low-relief portraits of rulers, so that coins, in addition to their function as economic standards, served as an advertisement for the ruler. Their ornamental weapons showed a high level of sophistication as well as the political need to emphasize power and strength.
List the steps taken by women to create the first textiles.
Textile Production • Gather fibers • Clean fibers • Comb and sort fibers • Spin fibers into threads • Weave the fibers using crude looms to make textiles
Describe the cultural shift that occurred in the Fertile Crescent between 4000 and 3000 BCE.
Between 4000 and 3000 BCE, the agricultural villages of the Fertile Crescent turned into prosperous cities with developed specialized skills. Grain mills and ovens were added along with brick and pottery kilns, textile and metal workshops. With the addition of these extra goods came increased trade and contact with other cultures.
Describe what historians know about the two sculptures pictured above.
Picture 1: This is a life-sized head of a goddess. It is the first known mask created in the region. It is made entirely out of marble. Historians believe that the mask originally held paint, had a golden wig atop its head, and was inlaid with jewels in its eyes and across its eye brows. Picture 2: This is the first known hallow cast bronze sculpture. The beard and hair indicate royalty and importance. This was the ideal male appearance of this time period, for this region.
Describe the development of cuneiform by the Sumerians. What word is symbolized in the image below?
Around 3100 BCE, Sumerians pressed Cuneiform symbols into clay tablets with a stylus to keep business records. It was the first form of writing. The earliest writing was more of a pictograph or a crude picture of the item. Later writing evolved into more symbols and lines. The word symbolized is "bull."
Name the two rivers that run through the Fertile Crescent. How were the rivers both positive and negative to societies of the Fertile Crescent?
The two rivers that run through the Fertile Crescent are the Euphrates and the Tigris. The rivers are the reason that the region is referred to as "fertile". A fertile region is an area that produces healthy, sustaining vegetation. The negative aspect of the rivers was that flooding was common. Flooding could wipe out an entire years crop.
How were Sumerian cylinder seals made? What was the purpose for the seals?
Sumerians developed seals for identifying documents and establishing property ownership. When a cylinder stamp was rolled across soft clay and applied to the closure that was to be sealed, an impression was left. This impression insured that no unauthorized person could open whatever was being sealed.
What is the Stele of Hammurabi (above)? How did it come to exist? What is its significance?
The Stele of Hammurabi was carved in Diorite, a very hard rock, and stands approximately seven feet tall. On the rock is engraved the image of Hammurabi who stands next to the seated sun god, Shamash. Legend says that the sun god told Hammurabi of the laws that should be shared. The laws are engraved at the bottom in cuneiform, and flow horizontally. It is significant because it is the first known written code of law.
Describe the physical attributes of this sculpture. What was its purpose? What did it symbolize?
This is a statue or sculpture of a human-headed winged lion. It is 10 feet 3.5 inches tall. Its purpose was to let all who passed by know who was in charge. It symbolized the strength of the ruler it defended. The intention was to inspire civic pride and fear.
What type of figures are pictured above? What is known about these figures by historians?
These figures are votives, which traditionally hold religious significance and were most likely dedicated to the gods. They are limestone statues. They are an examples of the traditional way Sumerians represented forms, with simplified faces and bodies, and with clothing that emphasized the cylindrical shape and the styles of the time. The bulging eyes indicate the openness they had when approaching a god.
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