I’ve had some great responses to my new video series, 5-Minute Art History, so I have filmed some more episodes! Today, I cover the art of Ancient Sumer which is one of the first ever civilizations and responsible for a lot of our history’s firsts.
Watch the video, and then download the printable handout covering the conventions of Sumerian art at the bottom of this page.
Sumer Art Conventions
~4500 – 1750 B.C.E.
- First civilization
- Sumerians had many inventions include wheel, writing, and more
- First written language = cuneiform
- Theocracy, ruler was God and leader was God’s representative on earth
- Hierarchical scale
- Stylized and geometric forms
- Manipulated and exaggerated proportion in art and features
- Ziggurat = stepped temple
- Creates a connection between heaven and earth
- Winding pattern of steps slows you down and prepares you for god
- Reflects important role of religion in people’s lives
- Tell Asmar Hoard
- The Standard of Ur
- The Ziggurat of Ur
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