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Thanks for your comments. The island part and being isolated does make sense for their connection to nature and being able to focus on that more than war and protecting their territory like previous cultures we’ve studied have done. It is definitely interesting to see how all these different cultures looked at life and how they integrated it into their art forms.
Hi tmbergan, Yes I definitely feel like I would have a different opinion if the warriors were not cartoon like and light-hearted. I know this is a weird comparison but it honestly gives me more the impression of those old Road Runner cartoons. Those cartoons where full of fighting and the Coyote character getting hurt but it was done in a light-hearted manner and with comedy. There is a huge difference to some modern cartoons that include actual war and fighting where the characters are dying and blood and gore is shown. Both cartoons are dealing with fighting but there is a very different approach and influence to the audience.
Ultimately both these civilizations have some of the same influences and are showing those influences in their art forms but they both seem to be including a more amusing and entertaining side than some other cultures we have studied.
Hi Lacey, I am doubtful too now that I know there is likely skewed historical importance put on these objects. It makes me wonder what other historical finds might have been altered. I thought it was amazing how so many of those ancient female forms were also being reproduced and sold as authentic for these times periods. So a civilization that has one of two female art pieces found and dozens of fake replications means our current society could view these people being obsessed with woman and fertility when in reality they may have not respected woman like that at all.
Sad that people care so little about history and just care about making money off false history or making a famous name for themselves.
It is sad to me that these men did influence incorrectly what our ideas are of these ancient civilizations. I thought it was interesting how the Snake Goddess was probably not correct and how our other readings included woman figures that were likely in relation to fertility. Fertility and objects representing that make more logical sense to me than anything as having children and keeping a population going through reproduction would be such a huge part of their lives. The fact that many woman would have died in childbirth and how having a lineage would be of huge importance. Most female art forms would be in relation to that then a supposed snake goddess, in my opinion.
I can’t help but see how the living in harmony with nature aspect of the Minoan culture when I see their art like the Honeybee pendant. Or The Master of the Animals pendant. Both include animals and are ornate and beautiful. It does give the impression that there was possibly more wealth in the Minoan culture and that they were a people group that respected nature and animals. Besides the jewelry much of the ceramics also portrayed animals and light-hearted aspects like the Octopus Flask. Being in touch with nature and having respect for it is also seen in some of the Mycenaean’s art as well. They have many ceramics with animals and plants as well and could be thought to have similar respects for the environment like the Minoan. The main differences in Mycenaean’s art does include art with more war themes like The Warrior Krater and The Lion Gate. It could be said though that both cultures had similar influences, but one chose to not embrace the conflicts and war in their art like the Mycenaeans did. In the case of The Warrior Krater, there is warriors on the jar, but honestly, they don’t look fierce or scary and they almost look cartoon like and light-hearted.
These two men are great examples of men who wanted their names aligned with prestigious archaeological finds and leaving a legacy instead of preserving what the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean culture originally had provided. Taking some liberties with what the similar art at the time had was likely expected from archaeologist and ancient restoration artists, but clearly Heinrich Schliemann wanted fame over authenticity in his changing of The Mask of Agamemnon. The mask didn’t match similar masks found at the same time and it was clear Schliemann thought his discovery was Agamemnon. Sir Arthur Evans already found an amazing discovery when he found his “Palace’ but his true intentions showed themselves over and over. Sir Arthur used a man name Emile and his son Emile to help excavate the Palace of Knosses and to help with restoration illustrations. The conflict in interest lies in how Emile and his son had a very successful reproduction business already and many of their art works they fragmented together from the evacuation site have since been proven to be put together incorrectly and with incorrect cultural meaning. Sir Arthur Evans aligning himself with these men does not add to his credibility. Sir Evans was also remembered for his naming of the Snake Goddess. Both the “Palace’ and the “Goddess’ seem to be inflated names for more basic and non-famous finds.
Hi Dean, you are correct in saying how there were Egyptian gods in every aspect of the Egyptian people’s life. The idea that every aspect of ones life would have different deities looming over it makes me wonder if these people felt constantly judged and under watch. Especially since all bad things were blamed on angering the gods. Glorifying the gods in art and worship does make sense though if they felt these gods would choose their afterlife situation.
Tmbergan, I feel like these ancient civilizations aren’t very different than modern ones in how the young, fit and pretty are the idealistic goals of society. Back then there were only a few accurate portrays of men and women in their imperfect figures. Just like modern society, the pretty are revered and a lot of celebrities or people in high power are trying to show themselves as fit and beautiful and hide any blemishes.
I agree that both cultures had a vested interest in appeasing the gods and showing off their prestige and worthiness through these large structures. Both of these structures were likely thought to be stairways to the heavens and examples of how much they revered their gods. I think in the end the Egyptians take on also including the afterlife in their structures make more logical sense me. If I believed in a god like they did, I wouldn’t want my time on earth to be the end of my connection. I think the idea of planning for eternity and my ultimate legacy with my family and my wealth would make the tombs and burial sites a large part of eventual goal as Pharaoh.
I like how you compare the Ziggurats and Pyramids as both having a meaning that references the gods and in that way they are similar. Pyramids seemed to be very useful in addition to pleasing the gods as they had internal chambers designed for the afterlife. The Ziggurats in comparison had another meaning as a kind of shrine to the gods and a ceremonial area for other religious events. Both are amazing in structure and importance to the people. Having built a home I know the insane amount of work involved in one small structure with modern tools. The idea that ancient cultures with no modern conveniences can design and create these enormous structures is almost unbelievable.
The reference to gods is seen throughout Egyptian art. Much of the ancient Egyptian art pieces were only preserved because they were found in tombs/pyramids for afterlife usage. These pyramids were made to appease the gods and provide an afterlife resting ground for the divine rulers and their families. The gods were usually depicted as different animals or nature, i.e. the sun, and the pharaohs would be shown in the art with the gods. The men were often shown in a younger and fit age for the sculptures and the women were always in the young and fit depictions. Egyptian civilization was characterized by the strength of the pharaoh. The pharaoh was held to be descended from gods, with the power to assure prosperity and control the rituals that assured the flow of the Nile and the fertility derived from irrigation. In the piece, The Palette of King Narmer, the pharaoh is shown large in scale and towering over his enemy. The god is shown above the pharaoh symbolizing his greater power. In statues like, Menkaure and a Queen the pharaoh and his wife are both depicted in large scale and the male is slightly in front of the wife showing his greater power.
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.
Great examples Aubri of how artifacts could show the social hierarchy of people in this time period. Throughout history it has been shown that people are placed at different levels of importance and honestly it makes sense to give the people on the low end of the hierarchy a reason for why they are there. No one wants to feel less important than others but the idea that you are following a god’s divine appointment likely helps with the blow of getting to be a slave or lower class individual.
Maggie, I liked how you brought up “The eyes on the Head of an Akkadian Ruler may have been removed by a later ruler to remove that ruler’s power.’ I can’t help but think of posters and how often kids or adults will scratch out the eyes of the people they don’t like. Obviously posters like that weren’t around in ancient times but I wonder if that same feeling of removing the eyes is actually done throughout history to show disdain for someone.
Thanks for your comments. I think this kind of rule is still used in modern days. I believe much of the middle east rulers are Presidents and were appointed by the people but they still feel they are god appointed to some extent or at least god approved. Also, the Vatican isn’t a ruling nation, but that city also feels it is god appointed in the ruling by the pope.