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arh 301, 01.24.08 - Ancient Mesopotamia Fertile...

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01/24/08 Ancient Mesopotamia: Fertile Crescent (“cradles” of civilization) Sumerian Culture: “founding fathers” of Mesopotamian civilization, flourishing by 3200 BC -Each city-state had its own protector deity, and the architecture is centered around this -Cuneiform script Sumerian Ziggurat at Ur, c. 2100 BC: hallmark of ancient religious architecture, holds patron deity -(unknown) origins: the need to escape from catastrophic floods may have necessitated how high they were built -made of clay and (baked) mud -all non-stone architecture, as opposed to Egypt -Religious, economic (they are the tallest structure for miles around in the dessert) -oriented to the cardinal directions: cosmogram: miniature model of the universe, use of axial symmetry Axial symmetry: symmetrical along a central axis Sumerian sculpture: worshippers & deities, Temple of Abu, Tell Asmar (modern Iraq), c. 2750 BC - rich people commission artists to carve them and place them in the temple so they are standing there in “perpetual adoration” of the god
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