Substantive Education

Art Appreciation Homework Page 2.

Chatal Huyuk was a city in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) with a population of about 5,000 during 65oo BC to 5500 BC.

They developed a thriving trade based on Obsidian.

The single story buildings were densely clustered around courtyards that were used as garbage dumps.

There were no streets or plazas.

The city was easy to defend because the entire outside was a continuous, unbroken wall.

People moved about by crossing rooftops and entering houses through the roof.

Many interior spaces that have been discovered are highly decorated and appear to be shrines.

On some walls are pictures of women giving birth to bulls…we don’t know what this means, possible a fertility goddess.

Chatal Huyuk was abandoned suddenly for unknown reasons and never reoccupied.

Sumer is in Southern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Sumerians invented the wagon wheel and plow

They could cast objects of bronze and copper.

They developed a writing system called cuneiform.

Cuneiforms are symbols made with a stylus in clay.

The most impressive buildings of the Sumerians were their ziggurats.

Ziggurats are stepped pyramids whose structures may have resulted from repeated rebuilding at a sacred site, with rubble from one structure serving as the foundation for the next

Ziggurats proclaimed the wealth, prestige, and stability of a city’s rulers and glorified their gods.

They functioned symbolically as a bridge between earth and heaven.

Some were given names like “House of the Mountain” and “Bond between Heaven and Earth”

The temples within them were known as ‘waiting rooms’ because the priest and priestesses waited their for the deities to reveal themselves.

The exteriors were decorated with elaborate clay mosaics and reliefs.

It was said the gods were pleased by this work because they disliked laziness in their people.

A tall carved alabaster vase found near the temple complex of Inanna in Uruk shows how stories were told.

Pictures were organized into registers or bands, condensing the narrative much like comic strips.

Lower levels show the natural world, water, plants (fertility symbols)

Size was associated with importance in much ancient art.

This convention is called hieratic scale.

The figures are stylized.

They are shown simultaneously from the side and profile.

These are limestone images dedicated to the gods.

They show an ancient Near Eastern practice of placing small statues of individual worshipers in shrines.

Anyone who could afford it would commission a self-portrait and dedicate to a shrine.

It was important to approach a god with an attentive gaze…hence the wide open eyes.

Each sculpture would serve as a stand in, at perpetual attention to the god, always making eye contact.

The faces and bodies were simplified and cylindrical is shape.

Generally, hands were clasped in respect.

When the Akkadian empire invaded Sumer one city-state remained independent, Lagash.

It was ruled by Gudea.

His image is one of the more familiar in ancient art as 20 small figures remain of him.

Gudea restored many temples and placed votive statues of himself within them.

They were made of diorite, a very hard substance.

The statues portray him as strong, peaceful, and pious.

His garment is made in such a way that it provides space to write in cuneiform that he dedicated this temple to the goddess Geshtinanna, the divine poet and interpreter of dreams.

He holds a vessel from which life-giving water flows in two streams filled with leaping fish.



  1. I need to know how the whole city-state was buit from inside to out!I really need it and nowhone else seems to know!Pklease its for my History grade!THX!

    Comment by Nicole — September 13, 2009 @ 12:08 am | Reply

  2. The houses were made of mud. Houses were built on top of each other. The city is called Catal Hoyuk. I have a lot more but it is probably way to late to be sending this in 🙂

    Comment by Alexa — October 12, 2010 @ 12:04 am | Reply

  3. Awesome thanx for the help on a test!

    Comment by Jessie — November 3, 2010 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

  4. […] sumarian wagon wheel […]

    Pingback by Sumarian Wagon Wheel | All Wheels Blog — March 28, 2011 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

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