Beaker – Susa (modern Shush, Iran) (c. 4000 BC) ceramic painted in brown glaze
Paris, Musée du Louvre

Standard of Ur – "peace" side (c. 2500 BC) from a princely tomb in Ur
shells, limestone and lapis lazula attached to wooden core with tar
London, British Museum

details of the "Standard of Ur" (c. 2500 B.C.)
The top row contains gods or nobles enjoying a banquet.
Lower rows are subject peoples bringing tribute
Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

Statue of a Sumerian worshiper (c. 2600 BC)

Sumerian clay figures -- with eyes emphasized (c. 2600 BC)
(considered the windows of the soul, the pathways of communication to the gods)
Iraq Museum

Statue of Gudea, Prince of Lagash (c. 2150 BC) diorite – from Tello (formerly Girsu)
Paris, Musée du Louvre

Sumerian ziggurat at Ur, built around 2000 B.C.

A reconstructed ziggurat  at Ur

Goldern bull's head (with lapis lazuli eyes) from the Royal Cemetery, Ur

Priest Guiding a Sacrificial Bull – Fragment of a mural painting (2040-1870 BC)
from the palace of Zimri-Lim, Mari (modern Tell Hariri, Iraq)
Aleppo, Syria, National Museum

Hammarabi bust

Babylonian Boundary Stone

Assyrian bas-relief stone carving showing assault on a town with a siege engine
and the impaled enemies of Assyria, c. 730 B.C.
British Museum

Artist's reconstruction of Babylon during the reign of the Chaldean King, Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.)
showing the Ishtar Gate, rooftop gardens and (in the distance) the ziggurate in honor of Marduk
Oriental Institute

The Ishtar Gate - Reconstructed (c. 600 B.C.)

Lion – From the Processional Way, Babylon (c. 575 BC) glazed brick
Istanbul, Archeological Museum

The Royal Palace at Persepolis - built by Darius and Xerxes -
used only once a year to celebrate the New Year.
The bas relief on the grand stairway depicts the 23 nations of the empire
bringing New Year's gifts to the king

The Archers of Darius (400s BC) glazed siliceous bricks
from the Palace of Darius, Susa
Paris, Musée du Louvre

Continue on to the Next Section: Egyptian Art

Miles H. Hodges - 2018