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Unformatted text preview: Early Sumerian Cities • Time periods o Ubaid period: 5000-3500 BC o Protoliterate (Uruk) period: 3500-2900 BC o Early Dynastic period: 2900-2350 BC (divided into 3 parts: I, I I, I I I) • Inhabited southern Mesopotamia from the fourth into the early second millennium BC • Language has now known relatives and architecture and artifacts do not indicate ethnic ties with culture of other regions • Had independent self governing cities ; ruled by a mortal king • Each Sumerian city nominally belonged to a god or goddess; temple was the focus of both ritual and economic activity regional administrative center • Rivalries b/t cities in Early Dynastic period cause of agricultural land warfare people migrated to cities from countryside • Tigris and Euphrates Rivers fertile soil deposited + fresh water but fluctuates depending on seasons • Also had marshes (fishing + hunting), steppe land (useful for grazing) and mountains and seas (long distance trade, raw materials such as wood, stone and metals) • I r rigation channels brought salts but did not flush them away problem as far back as the end of the 3 rd millennium no remedy • Sumerian city was divided into different neighborhoods, residential, administrative, industrial and a cemetery • Neighborhoods were divided by streets, walls and water channels canals flowed through and alongside through cities gave rise to separate markets, commercial centers and harbors • Uruk (Protoliterate period Levels IV and III) o Dominant city of early Sumer o Temples dominated main god or goddess considered ruler of all; over divinities celebrated in smaller temples o New temples provided with its own mountain: ziggurats- key form of Mesopotamian architecture o Temple quarter was off center or at the edge; set apart from the secular o Contained two main temple areas: White temple- dedicated to Anu, sky god Eanna Precinct- dedicated to Inanna, goddess of fertility, love and war. “house of heaven” o White Temple is example of High Temple. Sits on terrace. Mud brick walls covered with plaster and were buttressed; considered a characteristic Mesopotamian way of incorporating 3 dimensional decoration o Inanna adopted by other cultures with different name: Astarte/Ishtar by Akkadians/Babylonians and shares features with Anatolian Kubaba and Greek goddess Artemis o Temples of Eanna precinct were ground levels o Uruk vase- gives knowledge of Sumerian religion in the Protoliterate period. Sculptered scenes of ritual activity, homage to the goddess Inanna. Made 3000 BC. 5 layers: Top has Inanna herself receiving gifts; priests offer food and drink; world of animals; plants; river o Limestone head of a woman, 20cm high....
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