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The Ancient World

Historical Overview • Stone Age – Paleolithic – Neolithic

• Named for the development of stone tools – Made of stone, bone, and wood

Paleolithic Age • Humans hunt and gather – Discover fire, how to make clothing

• Establish simple social organization • Development of early art and religion

Neolithic Age • 8000 BCE-3000 BCE • Humans settle, cultivate land – Begins near fertile crescent

• Neolithic Revolution – Improvement in tools – Pottery and textiles advance – Growth of villages near end of era – Domestication of animals

Neolithic Revolution • Possible causes: – Geographic changes – Settling in rich lands – Show of wealth and power – Drive for need of food

• Events – Domestication of plants • Grains

– Domestication of animals • Provided food or workforce • Impacted by feeding, mating, & lifespan

• Effects – Growth of society, disease, technology/tools

Mesopotamia • 6000 BCE to 1100 BCE • Sumer civilization – Capital at Babylon – Hammurabi

Ancient Egypt

Egypt • Old Kingdom 3000 BCE-2000 BCE – Capital in Memphis – Pharaoh seen as a god responsible for annual flooding of the Nile – Pyramids built

• Middle Kingdom 2000 BCE-1300 BCE – Capital in Thebes – Use of Papyrus for paper

• New Kingdom 1300 BCE-700 BCE – Famous pharaohs: Tutankhamun and Ramesses II

• Egypt afterwards – Conquered by Persians – Rule of Alexander the Great – Ptolemaic dynasty (Cleopatra) – Roman rule – Byzantine Empire

Book Concepts • • • • •

Individuality and Symbols Civilization Religion Literacy Law

Individuality and Symbols • Symbols used to help comprehend reality, sharing information • Art used to express uniqueness

Civilization • Needs 5 elements – Urban centers – Written language – Trade or commerce – Common religion – Centralized government

Religion • As early 100,000 BCE • 50,000 BCE: evidence of burial rituals, belief in afterlife

Sumer Religion • Epic of Gilgamesh • Dismal afterlife • King responsible to gods

Egyptian Religion • Changed through dynasties • King/pharaoh – manifested Horus on earth – Son of Ra – Power to change religious ideas – Link between mortals and gods

• Local gods • Specific burial methods, highly decorated tombs

Literacy • Sumerian writing used pictographs as syllabic sounds or words – cuneiform

• Egyptian hieroglyphics • Effects: – Establishes the past – Tool of control and power

Rosetta Stone •Declared Ptolemy V as ruler of Egypt •Written by priests •written in hieroglyphic (used by priests), demotic (vernacular), and Greek (royal language)

Importance of RS • Knowledge of how to interpret hieroglyphics lost until RS found • Allowed for greater understanding of ancient Egypt

Law • Code of Hammurabi: – 282 articles: wages, divorce, medical fees, family disputes, commerce, land/property – “eye for an eye”

Arts of the Ancient World

Cave of Lascaux • • • • •

France, discovered in 1940s Some of earliest paintings Many artists Known for quantity and quality ux/en/

Hall of Bulls

Venus Figurines • Paleolithic • Fertility figures – Shown in pregnancy?

• Sign of obesity? – Desire for abundance

• Mother goddess?

Tell Asmar Statues • • • •

Eyes Great dignity Pipe-like limbs Substituted for real worshipers

He-goat from Ur • Symbol of royalty and masculinity • Earthly manifestation of Sumer god


• Valley of Kings: 62 tombs • Valley of Queens: 90 tombs • Luxor: government area

Tombs of Thebes • Functionary art – Ritual of death – Impact of religion in Egyptian life

• Representation of gods • Shows daily life

Queen Nefertari’s tomb

Tomb Analysis • • • •

Attention to black boarders Ceiling of stars Palette uses 4 hues, no change in value Humans in profile form – Not lifelike – Unequal proportions

Prince Rahotep and wife Nofret • • • •

Lifelike color Eyes Skin tones Body detail

Great Sphinx

History of the Sphinx • Lion’s body, human head • Stories of requesting an answer to a riddle • Also appears in Greek art

King Smenkhkare and Meritaten • Change in body pose • More intimate scene, less formal

King Amenhotep IV • Moved capital, changed religion • Secular sculpture • Emphasis on faces – Impact on body proportion ratio of 1:8

Body proportion in art • Human figures normally at “8 heads high” • King Amenhotep – Head larger – Arms thinner – Shoulders vs. torso

Funerary Mask of Tutankhamun • Beaten gold, stones, and glass • Snakes on hood

How did the depiction of the pharaohs change?

Nefertiti • More art of her than of husband • Emphasis on sexuality?


Giza Pyramids • Built to protect pharaoh’s bodies, held items needed for afterlife • Detailed, specific layout • Some materials taken for building Cairo • No longer at full heights, tombs raided

Orion’s Belt


Sumer Music • entertainment and religious ceremonies • Solo or group, instrumental and/or voices • Stringed instruments, created soft, lyrical tones

Egyptian Music • Depicted through art • Harps, lyres, pipes, cymbals, and bells – Harps varied in size, complexity, shape, and ornamentation – Tambura: strings made of cat-gut – Pipes with or without reeds


• Sumer – Used in processions, maybe religious

• Egypt: depicted through art – Stride dance – fertility


Epic of Gilgamesh • Epic poem (long) • Insight to Sumer religion – Polytheistic – Cities had individual gods, placed in the hierarchy of the pantheon – Human and animal attributes

• Tale of a hero’s adventures – Gilgamesh ruled Uruk

• Themes – Nature – Man, role of women • responsibility

– Gods, world of death

• Mention of flooding – Parallel to Noah’s flood?

Book of the Dead

• Guide for the afterlife • 200 chapters, never found in whole

Hymn to the Aton • Aton=sun god • Showed pharaoh’s reverence

Ch 01 Ancient World  

Chapter 01 Powerpoint

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