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Allie Eby

Both Mesopotamian and Egyptian artistic conventions held a great deal of focus on showing effigies of their rulers. Both cultures had busts, reliefs and sculptures made of their kings (and later Pharoahs in Egypt). However, the Egyptians had a far closer association and cultural relationship with death. Much of their artwork featured depictions of the afterlife, as opposed to Meopotamian art that tended to show the activities of their rulers’ daily lives. Egyptian art even included “books of the dead’ that were meant to serve as illustrated guides to those who had passed to help them succeed in the afterlife. I also noticed that there was much more color used within the Egyptian art, and many of the pieces were brightly painted or coated with hues of oranges, turquoise, blues and golds. Mesopotamian art was also frequently set with semiprecious stones as accents, but unfortunately few of these stone settings have survived to modern day, so it is difficult to say what the materials were to determine how different the cultures’ usage of color was.