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Near Eastern Art
Where was Mesopotamia?
Mesopotamia was known
as "The land between the
This name was given to
the lands lying between
the Tigris and the
Euphrates rivers.
The space we call
Mesopotamia is roughly
the same as that of the
modern country of Iraq.
9000 – 5000 BC Early Farming Communities
5000 – 3500 BC Pre-Sumerians
3500 – 1900 BC Sumerians
1900 – 500 BC Babylonians and Assyrians
An area in conflict
Unlike their southern neighbors, the
Mesopotamian area was in conflict between
warring nations very frequently.
This area also required much more
maintenance of their agriculture systems.
Because of these and other factors, this area
had a more limited development of art as
compared to Egypt.
Mythical creatures
Mesopotamian sculptures
included mythical creatures
at times.
The figure to the right is an
Assyrian genie.
A genie is an Islamic ´jinn´
a spirit capable of
appearing in human and
animal form to influence
humans for good OR evil.
Human Figures
Sculptures in this area
often showed long
beards on the peoples
The long beard
represented power in
their society.
Most reliefs and
paintings would tell
stories of battles or
proclaimed the power of
the ruler.
In Sumerian cities they built ziggurats for their
worship. A ziggurat is a step pyramid with a temple
at the top.
Normally each city would have one main ziggurat
dedicated to the city´s special god.
Lion leading to Ishtar's Gate
Persian Bull
Human-Headed Lions
Hunting scene, 2250–2150 B.C.
Eye idol, 3500–3100 B.C
This figurine is made of stone
and having incised eyes.
It was excavated at Tell Brak,
where thousands were found in
a building now called the Eye
The idols are thought to be
offerings—wide eyes
demonstrate attentiveness to the
gods in much Mesopotamian