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Thanks for your comments. It is interesting how cultural respect can be used in times of war and its also sad how many wars through the ages have destroyed priceless artifacts and buildings. Using sacred or religious monuments to protect other important objects works well if attacking nations also respect those same sites.
Your right Bob, many cultures today also include their faith and supposed god given authority to legitimize their authority. We don’t see the conquering other cultures because of that authority like in ancient times but there is definitely conflict and arguing over differing views. Israel and Palestine comes to mind and differing rulers in much of the Middle East still deal with these conflicts.
As with a lot of ancient cultures there is a lot of social hierarchy. There would be a King/Nobility, Priests and Priestess, Upper and Lower class and slaves. The king and his kingdom would be assumed to be chosen by the gods and with expansion of new lands, the people would believe the king was being favored by the gods. Upper class would often own slaves and probably had more leisure time than lower class who did most of the blue color of today’s age, the farmers and bakers and construction workers who kept a town running would be them. Some of the first writings spoke of everyday life because writing was such a new and novel thing. This enabled future generations to have a decent idea of what life was like back then.
These ancient cultures seemed to often use religion and supposedly god given appointed rulings. Since religion was such a huge part of their lives, the people under the kings would likely not want to disagree with what the gods wanted. The many bodies found near different sites that seemed to be sacrifices confirm that people truly felt they were doing the god’s work but giving up their lives or following different leaders without revolt. The Ziggurat of Ur was especially interesting how a leader could get the people to build such a massive structure in those ancient times. The time and resources needed to build those structures is absolutely overwhelming.
The interesting political move by Saddam was also fascinating in how he placed his planes near the Ziggurat of Ur in hopes that they would be protected by the ancient area’s cultural importance. Clearly it didn’t work as he planned but it was a pretty good idea if he thought other countries would respect the ancient site.
I agree that these art pieces seem very precise and recognizable as actual images and animals. Abstract in what I understand it to be would not be what I would call any of these pieces as well. I am assuming life in this ancient time period was much more survival driven and I would think that people had too many other things to do than create art that didn’t have an important an vital meaning to their everyday lives.
In modern terms abstract is usually shapes and lines and unrecognizable images which is nothing of what I saw in the images from this weeks examples. However, since I was obviously not alive when the sculptures and drawings where made it is plausible to think the artists took liberties with proportions and details and had a more abstract idea of their pieces. The sculpture showing a female in the example of the Nude Venus could have had exaggerated breasts and waistlines to show an idea of what the creator thought of all woman’s bodies and the beauty of those body parts. Since the term abstract was likely not in existence in this ancient time period I honestly think the art found would have been realistic in nature and meant to show something to future generations or to worship in ritual or belief systems.
I have to agree that the Nude Venus sculpture definitely seems to be related to fertility and possibly good luck for conceiving. I would imagine women were revered for their child bearing attributes in a society where surviving childbirth and continuing the species was more important than it seems today. I don’t know the size of the tribes that made these sculptures but as there was only one sculpture found I would think this was not a huge group of people so having children and continuing the tribes lineage would be a very important part of their lives.
Raven, I love your comparison of the Venus nude sculpture to prehistoric selfies and had to chuckle when I read what you wrote. The more I think about the small arms on the breast and the looking down from the top of the figure I can totally see how that could be viewed as a self portrait. I think nudity in general was fairly widespread in ancient times since clothes would be difficult to make and possibly unnecessary in certain areas, so the being nude might have just been how everyone looked, but the idea of the figure being made for hot boys was an amusing and interesting idea.
Although we don’t know what caused people to paint images or carve likenesses. We do know these prehistoric people were humans, just like us and as such they would have likely had some people with artist capabilities who might be given the job of crafting gifts or children toys. They might also just be people who tried to pass on their traditions and knowledge through art and drawings. Assuming the language was very different than now, the only way to communicate might have been through drawings and exhibiting what one people’s groups thought. The lion man video also brought up a great point in how 85% of current world populations have some sort of belief system and I’m assuming prehistoric people groups likely had an even higher percentage of spiritual beliefs. Those beliefs likely influenced their art and maybe led some of the art pieces to be gods that they chose to worship.
Part I: What is Art? Creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture. I’d say I disagree with this as it only covers a few areas of art. I’d say art is really any expression of one’s creativity in any medium. Personally, since I love pottery and feel it is a beautiful form of art the first definition completely leaves that out.
Part II: What is Art History? Art History is the academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts. I believe we study art history, so we understand all the previous versions of art and how they apply to throughout history. I think art helps us understand a creative part of everyone and how people were being creative throughout the ages.
Great job on your video Kaylyn and nice to meet you. It’s very cool that you get to play basketball for UAF and study Psychology. I’ve taken a bunch of classes in Psychology and always thought it would be a great field to help people. Good luck with that goal and I hope your brother is doing okay.
Nice to meet you Lucas and nice job on your introduction video. I tried for an Engineering degree once too and decided that wasn’t a good fit either so I understand your switching degree fields. That’s very cool you are a twin and I hope you enjoy this class!
Here is my introductory video, looking forward to meeting everyone.