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Ancient Mesopotamia Part 1-Uruk, Sumer, and Zigguratts

Sumer(56 slides)
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Laura McPherson

on 24 January 2015

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Transcript of Ancient Mesopotamia Part 1-Uruk, Sumer, and Zigguratts

Sumer , Zigguratts, and Culture
Sumeria
Architecture
Akkadian Empire
The Near East
Zigguratts
Akkad
Ancient Mesopotamia
Eridu
Ancient Mesopotamia
Developed around religious shrines
Temple complexes at the heart of Sumerian cities
Earliest
Eridu (now called Tell Abu
Shahrain)
Had a small shrine with a brick altar in from of a wall niche , probably constructed to contain a cult statue
Later the temple was enlarged and it stood on a platform.
Sumerian Urban communities
Iraq today
The White Temple sits on its ziggurat, Uruk 3500-3000 BC. It was made of stone and polished brick. The temple was 80 x 60 feet and the ziggurat was 140 x 150 ft at its base and 30 ft high.

It was called the White Temple because of the white paint on its outer walls. Dedicated to the sky god-Anu.

* Tomb architecture was rare in Mesopotamia.
At Uruk the earliest surviving ziggurat dates from 3500-3000 BC. It was a solid clay structure reinforced with brick and asphalt. ( Asphalt????)
White pottery jars were embedded into the walls , their rims creating a surface pattern of white circle framing the dark round spaces of the interior.
White Temple , Uruk
It was divided into several rooms off the main corridor , or
cella
, which contained the altar. The temple probably housed a statue of the god, although no such statue has been found.
Foundation of the early Mesopotamian temples made of mud Bricks
monumental setting for the worship of their deities
61 x 16 ft.
Ziggurat- high platform
Predates Egyptians
Dedicated to Anu- Sky God
3200-300 BCE


Encompasses an area about 500 miles long and 300 miles wide
Southern boundary – Persian Gulf
Tigris and Euphrates rivers empty into the gulf
There have been profound changes in the environment since antiquity.
The Greeks called this place –Mesopotamia which means “ land between two rivers”- the Tigris and Euphrates. The climate was harsh and the people developed irrigation to make the land fertile. The southern and western landscape was open and without natural protection. As a result, Mesopotamian cities were vulnerable to invasion and accessible to trade.
Development of the earliest written language as a way to document governmental transactions and only later was used for literary purposes.

It is considered the cradle of western civilization and architecture.

Mastered the art of agriculture
Developed irrigation
Lasted until 2350BC
Known as Sumerian
Developed Writing- cuniform
City-state
Political and religious center devoted to serving gods based on natural elements
4000 BCE Nomads called Al UbaidIndo-Europeans from the steppes of central Asia migrated to Mesopotamia
Settled in the fertile valley between the two rivers
Has wedges and holes for jewels or wigs

8” high

-Inanna was the God of love/war

Marble and Gold

3200 BCE
Warka Vase
Presentation of offering to Inanna.
Medium is Alabaster, 3'1/4" high.

The so-called Warka Vase from Uruk is the first great work of narrative relief sculpture known.

Found within the Inanna temple complex, it depicts a religous festival in the honor of the goddess.

side notes: (votive) offerings – gift made to a deity out of gratitude or in exchange for something -hierarchy of scale – depicting importance. April 13, 2003 – Broken, stolen from Baghdad 10,000 pieces missing
Uruk
Tunnel Vaults
The grandson of Sargon I was
Naram –Sin and he
commemorated his victory over the mountain people , the Lullubians, by have this STELE – an upright stone marker- made.
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin
The word is derived from an Assyrian word meaning “up” or “ high” and is uniquely a Mesopotamian architectural form.
Ziggurats
Ancient Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamians believed that each city was under the protection of a god or gods to who the city’s inhabitants owed service and they built imitation mountains or ziggurats , as platforms for those gods.
Ziggurats
Their goddess “ Ninhursag” was called lady of the mountain, and source of nourishment.

As a symbol of a mountain ,a ziggurat satisfied one of the basic requirements of sacred architecture-namely the creation of a transitional space between people and their gods.

Their massive walls had small openings or none at all.
Ziggurats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuEzWcMa7mo&feature=related
Ziggurats
Ancient Mesopotamia
Ziggurats are examples of load-bearing construction, a system of building that began in the Neolithic period.
Ziggurats
Ancient Mesopotamia

.
Cylinder seals- The cylinder seals were produced in the Uruk Period.
Ancient Mesopotamia
Cuneiform
Ancient Mesopotamia
This is a rare messenger tablet with a list of provisions supplied to the messenger for the journey, such as bread, dates, oil, wine, etc. The messenger tablets are always small and highly valued, for the writing upon them is finer and better than upon tablets of any other type.
What it says
An example of a Mesopotamian Cuneiform Tablet
Map of AKKAD- Empire of Sargon
Ancient Mesopotamia
Akkadians were people who lived north of Sumer.



Their capital was Akkad which is near modern Baghdad. They expanded their rule until they ruled all of Mesopotamia.
Akkad ( 2300-2100 BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia
The next group of people to rule the region were the Assyrians.

Located along the Tigris in modern Syria, its capital city was named for Assur, the chief Assyrian god, which was equivalent to other chief gods from other cultures.

The leaders of this group of people were in communication with the leaders of Egypt. Built large palaces
King Assurnasirpal II is pictured.
Assyria ( 1300- 612 BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia
The Assyrian state is particularly well documented through its texts , the remains of architecture, and sculptural projects . The region had a great deal more stone available than did the rest of Mesopotamia.
Assyria
Ancient Mesopotamia
This is in the British Museum.
It is part of the collection called the Nineveh Marbles.
Assyrian bird headed figure
Ancient Mesopotamia
2
1
3
4
Royal apartments 2.
throne room 3.
Ambassadors’ courtyard 4.
center courtyard. 5.
Ziggurat 6.

battlements
Citadel of Sargon II
Ancient Mesopotamia
Citadel of Sargon II
Ancient Mesopotamia
The entrance to his palace was guarded by monumental stone figures called LAMASSU .
They were divine genii combining human and animal features, in this case the body and legs of a bull with a human head.
The hair, beard, and eyebrows are stylized, and the figure wears the cylindrical three horned crown of divinity.
14 ft high
Lamassu
Ancient Mesopotamia
Lamassu
Ancient Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamia
King Assurnasirpal II hunting lions- in alabaster
Ancient Mesopotamia
With the rise of Assyrian palace architecture, the ziggurat declined. Originally the palaces had been parts of the ziggurat and places from which a ruler ran the administration of the city-state.

Under the militaristic Assyrians, the relationship between religious and administrative centers changed.

The power of the king was reflected in immense fortifications and reliefs showing his victories and cruelty and the ziggurat became an accessory to the palace.
Decline of the ziggurat
Ancient Mesopotamia
Religion
Mesopotamian religion was the first to be recorded.

Mesopotamians believed that the world was a flat disc, surrounded by a huge, holed space, and above that, heaven.
They also believed that water was everywhere, the top, bottom and sides, and that the universe was born from this enormous sea.

Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic.


The Sumerian word for universe is ‘An-Ki’, which refers to the god An and the goddess Ki.
Their son was Enlil, the air god.
They believed that Enlil was the most powerful god.
He was the chief god of the Pantheon, equivalent to the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter.
Homes of the Common Man

The materials used to build a Mesopotamian house were the same as those used today: mud brick, mud plaster and wooden doors, which were all naturally available around the city.

Most houses had a square center room with other rooms attached to it, but a great variation in the size and materials used to build the houses suggest they were built by the inhabitants themselves.

The smallest rooms may not have coincided with the poorest people; in fact it could be that the poorest people built houses out of perishable materials such as reeds on the outside of the city, but there is very little archaeological evidence for this.
Dying Lioness
Elevating the shrine, also protected
it from flooding.
Used a stylus to create the wedge shaped writing.
Head of Sargon
Represents the
model of a ideal man
rather than Sargon


By 7000 BCE there was farming, which required permanent settlement. By 4500 BCE, people archaeologists call Ubaidians were living in towns near where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers emptied into the Persian Gulf.
The Ubaidians drained marshes.
They grew wheat and barley and irrigated their crops by digging ditches to river waters.
They kept farm animals.
Some manufactured pottery.
They did weaving, leather or metal work, and some were involved in trade with other societies.
By 3800 BCE the Sumerians had supplanted the Ubaidians and Semites in southern Mesopotamia.
They built better canals for irrigating crops and for transporting crops by boat to village centers.
They improved their roads, over which their donkeys trod, some of their donkeys pulling wheeled carts.
And the Sumerians grew in number, the increase in population the key element in creating what we call
civilization – a word derived from an ancient word for city.
Culture
Akkadian
These third millennium BC palaces functioned as a large-scale socio-economic institution.
Assyrian palaces of the Iron Age have become famous due to the pictorial and textual narrative programs on their walls, all carved on stone slabs known as
‘orthostats.’
Gates and important passageways were flanked with massive stone sculptures of mythological figures.
The architectural arrangement of these Iron Age palaces were also organized around large and small courtyards.

Usually the King's throne room opened to a massive ceremonial courtyard where important state councils met and state ceremonies were performed.
Because the bricks were very weak, the Sumerians built their buildings with very thick walls, which served as thermal insulators as well.

Bricks could not be used as lintels to span the distance between walls and as a result narrow oblong spaces were covered with
tunnel vaults.

This became the primary unit of architecture in the region.
Represents some of the earliest texts found in the Sumerian cities of Uruk around 3300 BCE
Uruk – White Temple
Predating the Egyptian pyramid by several centuries, it is a load-bearing structure in the shape of a stepped platform with inward-sloping walls that have few or no openings.

At the summit sat a shrine, approached by stairs built along the outer walls of the ziggurat.

In some cases, a steep ramp for hauling carts and sacrificial animals led straight up one of the ziggurat walls onto the open landing of the platform
White Temple
In present-day Warka, Iraq — the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk and home of the legendary Gilgamesh — stands the oldest surviving ziggurat, crowned by the so-called White Temple, a shrine named in modern times for its whitewashed mud-brick walls.

Believed to have been dedicated to the sky god Anu, the temple sits on its ziggurat platform 40 feet above the ground, its corners oriented toward the cardinal points of the compass.
The White Temple is modest in size (about 60 feet long) and was built, not for public ceremonies, but for rituals in which only a select few would act as intermediaries to the gods.

Sumerians referred to temples as ''waiting rooms,'' because kings and priests would gather high atop their man-made mountains, occupying a rarefied position between heaven and earth, and wait to commune with their gods.
You should
be able to recognize this slide
as that of a tunnel vault
* know the term
Mesopotamia,where it is
and the two rivers
What did they accomplish?
cella
Objectives

1. Learn the vocabulary related to the Middle East

2.Compare a zigguratt with other architecture

3. Understand that the area has had numerous rulers under different cultures for 6000 years

4. Relate form, function,line,and materials to the architecture of the Middle East

5. Examine the tombs of the Sumerians
6. Identify slides of Mesopotamian architecture



Sir Leonard Wooley was chosen to lead a joint team of archaeologists from the British Museum and the Pennsylvania Museum to explore the environs around the great ziggurat at Ur.


Woolley's greatest discovery at Ur was the so-called 'Royal Cemetery', which he began to excavate in 1926.
15 of the
16 Tombs of Ur that Woolley considered to be "royal".
The cemetery was originally dug outside the walls of the city of Ur, and were built over by the walls of Nebuchadnezzar's larger city about 2,000 years later. Some 1,840 burials were found, dating to between 2600 BC and 2000 BC.
They ranged from simple burials (with a body rolled in a mat) to elaborate burials in domed tombs reached by descending ramps.
Sixteen of the early burials Woolley called 'Royal Graves' because of the rich grave-goods, the presence of burial chambers, and the bodies of the attendants who had apparently been sacrificed.
The tomb included 6 men and 68 women. The men, near the tomb’s entrance, had weapons and were meant to guard the tomb against grave-robbers.

Most of the women were in four rows across the northwest corner of the death pit. The women were dressed in scarlet. They wore ornamental headdresses and were adorned with jewelry of silver and gold, lapis lazuli and carnelian. Six women lay near two lyres and a harp, near the southeast wall. Almost all of the women had cups or shells containing cosmetic pigments.

Body 61, in the upper right corner, was more elaborately attired than the others, and she held a silver tumbler close to her mouth. Half of the women (but none of the men) had cups or jars, as if at a banquet.

One of the women was found still clutching a coiled ribbon for her headband, as if she had been late for the ceremonies and was too hurried (or frightened) to put it on.
The attendants were arranged as shown, then they were given poison to drink. The oxen were also killed.

The structure in the background is the domed burial chamber.

The female attendants, with their elaborate headdresses, are lined up before it. The men on the left are the soldiers who will guard the tomb for all eternity.

notice the columns
Akkad was the northern (or northwestern) division of ancient Babylonian civilization.

The early inhabitants of this region were predominantly Semitic, and their speech is called Akkadian.

To the south of the region of Akkad lay Sumer, the southern (or southeastern) division of ancient Babylonia, which was inhabited by a non-Semitic people known as Sumerians.
Third millennium
Akkadian Empire
Akkad
Map of AKKAD
Ancient Mesopotamia
Akkadians were people who lived north of Sumer.



Their capital was Akkad which is near modern Baghdad. They expanded their rule until they ruled all of Mesopotamia.
Akkad ( 2300-2100 BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia
The next group of people to rule the region were the Assyrians.

Located along the Tigris in modern Syria, its capital city was named for Assur, the chief Assyrian god, which was equivalent to other chief gods from other cultures.

The leaders of this group of people were in communication with the leaders of Egypt. Built large palaces
King Assurnasirpal II is pictured.
Assyria ( 1300- 612 BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia
The Assyrian state is particularly well documented through its texts , the remains of architecture, and sculptural projects . The region had a great deal more stone available than did the rest of Mesopotamia.
Assyria
Ancient Mesopotamia
This is in the British Museum.
It is part of the collection called the Nineveh Marbles.
Assyrian bird headed figure- famous
Ancient Mesopotamia
2
1
3
4
Royal apartments 2.
throne room 3.
Ambassadors’ courtyard 4.
center courtyard. 5.
Ziggurat 6.

battlements
Citadel of Sargon II
Ancient Mesopotamia
Citadel of Sargon II
Ancient Mesopotamia
The entrance to his palace was guarded by monumental stone figures called LAMASSU .
They were divine genii combining human and animal features, in this case the body and legs of a bull with a human head.
The hair, beard, and eyebrows are stylized, and the figure wears the cylindrical three horned crown of divinity.
14 ft high
Lamassu
Ancient Mesopotamia
Lamassu
Ancient Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamia
King Assurnasirpal II hunting lions- in alabaster
Ancient Mesopotamia
With the rise of Assyrian palace architecture, the ziggurat declined. Originally the palaces had been parts of the ziggurat and places from which a ruler ran the administration of the city-state.

Under the militaristic Assyrians, the relationship between religious and administrative centers changed.

The power of the king was reflected in immense fortifications and reliefs showing his victories and cruelty and the ziggurat became an accessory to the palace.
Decline of the ziggurat
Ancient Mesopotamia
Dying Lioness
Head of Sargon
Represents the
model of a ideal man
rather than Sargon

Notice the right eye..
Sargon of Akkad (also known as Sargon the Great and Sarru-Kan, meaning 'True King’) reigned in Mesopotamia from 2334 to 2279 BCE.

He is equally famous today as the father of the great poet-priestess Enheduanna.

He was born as an illegitimate son of a temple priestess of the goddess Innana and, according to the Sargon Legend (a cuneiform clay tablet purporting to be his biography) was set adrift by her in a basket on the Euphrates River where he was found by a man named Akki who was a gardener, perhaps in the Kingdom of Kish.





He followed in his father’s trade and somehow became appointed Cup Bearer to Ur-Zababa, the King of Kish, who sent him to work for Lugalzagesi of Uruk, whom Sargon promptly overthrew.

He then conquered Kish, became king and founded the city of Akkad (Agade).

Sargon conquered the dominant Sumerians to forge the first great Semitic kingdom, the Akkadian Empire.

His story was long known throughout Mesopotamia and he was considered the greatest man who had ever lived, celebrated in glorious tales down through the Persian Empire.
He traveled throughout Mesopotamia conquering one city-state after another and expanded his empire as far as Lebanon and the Taurus mountains of Turkey.

He built the first city of Babylon and instituted military practices of combining different types of fighting forces which became standard down through the time of Alexander the Great.
4th millennium BCE
Overview map of the Ancient Near East


4000 BCE : City of Ur in Mesopotamia
4000–3000 BCE : Naqada culture on the Nile
3761, October 7 BCE : Epoch of the modern Hebrew Calendar
3600 BCE : Civilization of Sumer, city-state
3500 BCE : beginning of desertification of Sahara: the shift by the Sahara Desert from a habitable region to a barren desert.
3500 BCE : First cities in Egypt
Beginnings of urbanisation in Mesopotamia with the Sumerians.
First writings in the cities of Uruk and Susa (cuneiform writings). Hieroglyphs in Egypt
Potter's wheel used in Middle East
Sails used in the Nile
Archaic Period of Ancient Egypt



3rd millennium BCE

Camels domesticated in Somalia and southern Arabia
First ziggurats built in Sumer
Near East civilizations enter Bronze Age around 3000 BCE
Completion of the Great Pyramid of Giza
2500 BCE : Ur-Nina first king of Lagash
Invention of Wheel somewhere in Mesopotamia
Akkadian Empire

Tombs
He followed in his father’s trade and somehow became appointed Cup Bearer to Ur-Zababa, the King of Kish, who sent him to work for Lugalzagesi of Uruk, whom Sargon promptly overthrew.

He then conquered Kish, became king and founded the city of Akkad (Agade).

Sargon conquered the dominant Sumerians to forge the first great Semitic kingdom, the Akkadian Empire.

His story was long known throughout Mesopotamia and he was considered the greatest man who had ever lived, celebrated in glorious tales down through the Persian Empire.
Sargon of Akkad (also known as Sargon the Great and Sarru-Kan, meaning 'True King’) reigned in Mesopotamia from 2334 to 2279 BCE.

He is equally famous today as the father of the great poet-priestess Enheduanna.

.
He was born as an illegitimate son of a temple priestess of the goddess Innana and, according to the Sargon Legend (a cuneiform clay tablet purporting to be his biography) was set adrift by her in a basket on the Euphrates River where he was found by a man named Akki who was a gardener, perhaps in the Kingdom of Kish
The royal cemetery excavations of that early era in archaeology remain one of the most remarkable technical achievements of Near Eastern archaeology, and they helped to catapult Woolley’s career. Indeed, at the time of its discovery, the royal cemetery at Ur competed only with Howard Carter’s discovery of the intact tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun for public attention. By the end of the excavation in 1934, Woolley had become, as the Illustrated London News termed him, “a famous archaeologist,” with his own series on BBC Radio, and in a little more than a year he was awarded knighthood.

The next group of people to rule the region were the Assyrians.

Located along the Tigris in modern Syria, its capital city was named for Assur, the chief Assyrian god, which was equivalent to other chief gods from other cultures.

The leaders of this group of people were in communication with the leaders of Egypt. Built large palaces
King Assurnasirpal II is pictured.
Assyria ( 1300- 612 BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia
Full transcript