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AACC History of Western Art

White Temple, Uruk, Iraq, 3200- 3000 BCE

Warka Vase (presentation of offerings to Inanna), from Uruk, c. 3200-3000 BCE

Worshipers from Eshnunna, Iraq, c. 2700 BCE

Stele of the Vultures, from Girsu, Iraq, 2600- 2500 BCE

Standard of Ur, tomb 779, Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE

Bull-headed lyre, from Ur, Iraq, c. 2600 BCE

Head of Akkadian ruler, from Nineveh, Iraq, c. 2250 -2200 BCE

Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, from Susa, Iran, 2254- 2218 BCE

Stele with law code of Hammurabi, from Susa, c. 1780 BCE

Citadel of Sargon II, Dur Sharrukin, Iraq, c. 720- 705 BCE

Lamassu (winged, human-headed bull), from Citadel of Sargon II, 720-705 BCE

Assyrian archers pursuing enemies, relief from the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Kalhu, Iraq, ca. 875- 860 BCE

Ishtar Gate, Babylon, Iraq, c. 575 BCE

Persepolis, Iran, c. 521- 465 BCE


Greek word that means "The Land Between the Rivers" (Tigris and Euphrates)


An area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day Iraq


The Akkadians were the first Near Eastern rulers to call themselves kings of the world and to assume divine attributes. The earliest recorded name of an author is the Akkadian priestess Enheduanna.

Neo-Sumerian and Babylonian

During the Third Dynasty of Ur, the Sumerians rose again to power and constructed one of the largest ziggurats in Mesopotamia at Ur.


An ancient kingdom in northern Mesopotamia which is in present-day Iraq

Neo-Babylonian and Persian

In the sixth century BCE, the Babylonians constructed two of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The Ishtar Gate, with its colorful glazed brick reliefs, gives an idea of how magnificent Babylon was under Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 604-562 BCE).


An independent, self-governing city.


A picture, usually stylized, that represents an idea; also, writing using such means; also, painting on rock. See also Hieroglyphic.


Sumerian writing made by pressing a wedge-shaped tool into clay tablets


A temple tower of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.


Art of Ancient Mesopotamia art and architecture mainly serve theocracy: gods (statue embodied divine presence), worshipers (block like; large eyes to fix gaze on god; hands clasped to evoke humility before the divinity); ziggurat and its complex (symbolizes holy mountain; recesses and projections on outer walls, inside cella, bent-axis) [Sumer]


The chamber at the center of an ancient temple; in a classical temple, the room (greek, naos) in which the cult statue usually stood.


Also known as bands, one of a series of super imposed bands/friezes in a pictorial narrative, or the particular levels on which motifs are placed.

Ground line

In paintings and reliefs, a painted or carved baseline on which figures appear to stand

Hierarchy of scale

An artistic convention in which greater size indicates greater importance.


A carved stone slab erected to commemorate a historical event or make a grave.


The use of perspective to represent in art the apparent visual contraction of an object that extends back in space at an angle to the perpendicular plane of sight.

Cylinder seals

Small cylinders decorated with distinctive images. These were rolled on damp clay to leave a rectangular impression to "seal" a deal in business/ equivalent to a signature today.

Heraldic compostition

A composition that is symmetrical on either side of a central figure.

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