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Aubri Stogsdill

It is true that like nearly all historic cultures, there were very strict social hierarchies in the kingdoms of Mesopotamia. Rulers used visual record to communicate their dominance as well as where their subjects fell in the ’line up’ in a number of ways. One example is found at Perespolis. This was a massive audience hall and to date it was the largest covered area. Inscribed on the sides were images of lions in combat, which were intended to represent the strength of the kind. Also just above, along the sides are carved soldiers. This structure was made for one purpose– to demonstrate to the people that the person ruler was in fact, above them. The sheer size communicated the ‘smallness’ of the kings subjects. Another example of this hierarchy is seen on the carved vessel from Uruk. At the top we see a priest-king interacting with a goddess. Just below there is a string of men, and still below that are lines of animals. As the vessel goes from top to bottom, the size of the characters decreases. The placement and size of the characters is a visual representation of status. When A character is larger than others, on top, or endowed with some sort of ‘god like’ attribute, it is clear that character was considered of more importance within the social hierarchy.