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These two cultures had a lot of similarities in how there was a social structure and a deity that the people worshiped. These gods were a large part of all their lives. It was important to keep the gods happy so their civilizations would thrive. If the gods were angered, then possible social unrest and natural disasters were thought to occur. A King’s god given nobility was also linked to their religion and reign. We can see in many art pieces how the King was on the top looking as a deity himself and then the lower social classes going down the art piece. The Egyptian art piece of The Palette of King Narmer shows a similar hierarchy that was found in the other Mesopotamian cultures that we discussed last week. This particular piece shows a god and the god’s power over their enemies and a King who is showing his power also over the enemies. This piece also shows the unification of lower and upper Egypt. This would be a status symbol showing everyone how great King Namer is at running his country. Last weeks Carved Vessel from Uruk also showed the social hierarchies. This piece shows the king and god on the top and going down the social ladder in size and detail from the most powerful on top to the least powerful on the bottom. The Egyptian culture followed their own artistic conventions in how they built altars and pyramids as well. In Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara we see that the pyramids were erected for a tomb of the Pharaohs and their future afterlife. A lot of Egyptian art also deals with death and holy ground. In similarity the Mesopotamian art deals more with serving the gods or showing power of the kings. The buildings often made by the Mesopotamian also is made for worship and not death.
I had to chuckle that two of this week’s art pieces were ones I had heard of before in movies. Amun Ra and The Book of the Dead were both used in The Mummy movies.