1.Even without television advertising and Press Secretaries, ancient Near Eastern rulers did a fine job of self-promotion. Which examples of art do you feel best communicated the rulers’ power to their people? What leadership qualities did they present in their imagery?
2.In this chapter we have depictions of gods along with humans. Use examples from the chapter to explain how works of art embody the different and varied roles of humans and their gods within the ancient near east.
3.Your textbook mentions that many world religions employ buildings that reach up into the sky, illustrating their belief that deities inhabit the heavens. What other purpose may lie behind the interest in building large religious structures? Pick two examples and relate them in terms of their physical form and their function within society. (Compare and contrast the formal strategies. Identify the features their architecture share.
Explain the significance of scale and height in the art and architecture.
4.Let’s think about geography and technology and art. How is the frequent political instability visible in ancient Near Eastern art and architecture? Describe at least three different building technologies employed by architects working in the ancient Near East.
5.Take a moment to think about what life must have been like before cuneiform writing first recorded such mundane information as trade records and bureaucratic documents. Why do you think these routine documents had such a profound impact on early civilizations? How does writing influence our understanding and interpretation of the art in this chapter? Pick an exemplary work of art that displays this relation between text and image.
6.Click on the link below and watch the video before answering the questions
http://academic.cengage.com/art/book_content/0155050907_kleiner/0495573558_premium/podcasts/Ancient/StandardofUr/index.html (Links to an external site.)
One misconception is that naturalism in depicting the human form is evidence of a more advanced civilization. Even though the Standard of Ur shows rather stylized and un-naturalistic depictions of the human figure, argue for its indication of an advanced civilization based on the conventions utilized within it. What do you think is the most important development in visual communication within the artwork?
After the discovery of the Royal Cemetery in the 1920’s and the uncovering of nearby monuments, there was a flood of interest in the near-east and a complete rethinking of the culture and time period. Previously ancient Egypt was thought to be the oldest advanced civilization and now that honor belonged to the Sumerians.
7. Find the website on at the Metropolitan Museum in New York titled “ART OF THE FIRST CITIES”. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/trdm/hd_trdm.htm Then take a look at the British Museum’s virtual exhibition of Ancient Near Eastern art. Currently this I found by clicking on the explore then galleries tab from the top toolbar of the website and scrolling down to the middle east. What are the most useful aspects of each website? If you were in charge of web development, what would you develop? Briefly outline a resource that you think would be helpful for students of art history for this chapter.