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  1. 1. Chapter One: The Beginnings of Civilization Cultures and Values, 6th Ed. Cunningham and Reich
  2. 2. Defining “Civilized” • Urban life: permanent constructions • System of regulatory government • Class distinction (wealth and occupation) • Tools/skills --> production/trade • Written communication • Shared system of religious belief ** Not a value judgment! **
  3. 3. Origins of Western Civilization • Paleolithic World View (Old Stone Age) • Circa 15,000 B.C.E. • Ramapithecus – earliest form of hominid • Homo Erectus – first direct ancestors • Homo Sapiens (Humans) • Dominated by geography and climate • Food and shelter
  4. 4. Homo Erectus Neanderthal Cro-Magnon Homo Sapien
  5. 5. Origins of Western Civilization • Art • Cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira (fig. 1.1) • Venus of Willendorf (Austria) (fig. 1.2) • Religion • Neanderthals • First to bury their dead carefully and place funerary offerings in the grave
  6. 6. Origins of Western Civilization • Neolithic Civilizations (Late Stone Age) • Earliest civilizations appear • Domestication of animals • Cultivation of vegetation • Community • War / Weaponry • War began as a way to raid communities’ stores of grain and food • Pottery invented 5000 B.C.E. • Metal came soon after • 1st copper Copper + Tin = Bronze
  7. 7. The Bronze Age (3000-1000 B.C.E.) • Large scale architecture • Fortified settlements • Mesopotamia – 2 periods: • Sumerian (3500-2350 B.C.E.) • Semitic (2350-612 B.C.E.) • Egypt • Aegean Cultures
  8. 8. Sumerian Culture • Agricultural/Urban settlements • “Fertile Crescent” • Between Tigris and Euphrates rivers • Writing/record-keeping: Cuneiform • First system of writing • Picture signs – pictographs • Able to trade and keep records • (fig. 1.3)
  9. 9. Sumerian Culture • Shared system of religious belief • Temple was central focus • Gods were manifest in natural phenomena • Holidays were linked to seasons • Civil ruler / Religious rulers • Priests held governing power • Built better temples and dug more canals
  10. 10. Epic of Gilgamesh • Gilgamesh ruled at Uruk c. 2700 B.C.E. • Sumerian ruler • Composed in Sumerian (2000 B.C.E.) on cuneiform tablets • Pessimistic work - Saw life as a continual struggle that would end in death
  11. 11. Epic of Gilgamesh • Asserts universal questions about human existence • Is all human achievement futile in the face of death? • Is there a purpose to human existence? • If so, how can it be discovered? • “The quest of Gilgamesh is the basic human search.” p.8
  12. 12. Semitic Culture • Akkadian Period • King Sargon and descendants (2350-2150 B.C.E.) • Focus on HUMAN achievement • Less submission to the gods • See Fig. 1.5 on page 8 – shows pride and self- confidence • Gutian invasion / return to tradition • Akkadian rule ended • Ziggurats – chief buildings, had religious significance • Emphasis on religion (see Fig. 1.8)
  13. 13. Semitic Culture • Babylonian Legacy • King Hammurabi • Authored the Code of Hammurabi • Law code that attempted to achieve social justice by legislation • Fig. 1.9 – Stele of Hammurabi • Many provisions deal with familial relationships • Look at the examples on page 9
  14. 14. Semitic Culture • Assyrians • Culmination of Mesopotamian culture • Art was often religious, but also contained scenes of battles and hunting expeditions
  15. 15. Fall of Mesopotamia • Medes • Nomadic warriors • Conquered Nineveh in 612 B.C.E. • Conquered and absorbed by Persians • Persians • Nomadic warriors • Conquered by Alexander the Great (330 B.C.E.)
  16. 16. Fall of Mesopotamia • Mesopotamia never equaled Egyptian achievements in the arts • They DID form independent city-states • Evolved an enlightened view of human relationships (i.e., Code of Hammurabi)
  17. 17. Ancient Egypt • Lower Egypt: delta of the Nile; within easy reach of Mediterranean neighbors • Upper Egypt: more isolated from foreign contacts; long narrow strip of fertile soil • Egyptian Priest Manetho’s History of Egypt • 31 dynasties / 4 groups: • Old Kingdom (2700 B.C.E.) • Middle Kingdom (1990 B.C.E.) • New Kingdom (1570 B.C.E.) • Late Period (1185-500 B.C.E.) • Absorbed into Persian Empire around 500 B.C.E.
  18. 18. Map used from Discovery Education
  19. 19. Ancient Egyptian Culture • Most striking feature of Egyptian culture: unified and consistent • Resistant to change • Art, religion, language, and political structure • Art especially remained conservative and rooted in the past • Egyptian worldview was affected by external events
  20. 20. Political Structure • Pharaoh • Head of a strong, central government • Regarded as a living god • Exercised absolute power • Orders depended on a large official bureaucracy • Ordered and controlled visible world • Priests • Preservation of traditional religious beliefs • Fundamental belief: divine kingship of Pharaohs • Aton-Ra (the sun god) created the world by imposing order, pharaoh did this in the human world
  21. 21. Egyptian Religion • Obsession with immortality / life after death • All Egyptians were offered hope of eternal life as a reward for a good life (not restricted to upper classes) • Funeral rites and rituals began to develop • Book of the Dead – book of funeral rites and their meanings • Osiris – god who presided over ceremonies • Isis – Osiris’ wife, mourned the dead • Horus – son, symbolized spiritual afterlife
  22. 22. The Prayer to Osiris from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, on papyrus. The man pleads with Osiris to forgive his faults Picture used from Discovery Education Osiris Tomb Video Segment
  23. 23. Egyptian Religion • Egyptians worshiped other deities, subdeities, nature spirits • Names were often confused and sometimes interchangeable • Responsible for all aspects of existence • Inspired mythology and ritual that affected daily life (See table 1.1, p. 12) • Most art was used to honor and worship the deities
  24. 24. Egyptian Art • Principal function of artists: to produce images of deities • Form of worship • Art standards set forth by Pharaoh’s court • Artists also provided temples and shrines for honoring deities • Individual artists had little opportunity for self-expression and own ingenuity • Controlled religion affected development of the arts
  25. 25. The Old Kingdom • Imhotep • First architect known to history • Used stone to build pyramid tomb to honor his master, the Pharaoh Zoser • Stone was easily available • Led to huge scale of works of art • This began the tradition of building massive funerary monuments • Pyramids • Funerary monuments for pharaohs, upper class • Guaranteed immortality for occupants
  26. 26. The Old Kingdom • Mummification developed with use of pyramids • Embalming was invented to maintain the body’s physical form • Preservation of the body was necessary for the survival of the soul
  27. 27. Great Age of the Pyramid • Pyramids at Giza (Dynasty IV) – built for 3 pharaohs: • Built for pharaohs Cheops, Chefren, Mycerinus • Demonstrate Egyptian skill in design and engineering on a massive scale • Who built the pyramids? • Farmers (during off-season) • Slaves (captured prisoners) • Perpetuate memories of upper classes and bear witness to lifestyle impossible without slaves
  28. 28. Pyramids • Constructed of limestone blocks • Blocks used for facing were quarried, ferried, cut, dragged into place • Now eroded away; came from across the Nile • Center chamber contained mummified body of pharaoh surrounded by treasures that would follow him to the next life • Plundered by robbers • Size drew attention • Sometimes plundered shortly after the burial chamber had been sealed
  29. 29. Chefren’s Sphinx • Created as the guardian for Chefren’s tomb at Giza • Commissioned by Chefren • Human face set on lion’s body • Greeks adopted the sphinx as a divine symbol of the mysterious and enigmatic (puzzling) • Greek art frequently uses the sphinx as a motif • Also appears in Greek mythology
  30. 30. Art of the Old Kingdom • Appearance of Chefren is preserved in several statues typical of Old Kingdom art • Realistic drapery and anatomy; features of pharaoh are idealized • Reflects confidence and certainty • Old Kingdom represented a golden age • Idealized realism (see Fig. 1.13) • Portraits of the concept of divine power, not the actual person
  31. 31. Chefren
  32. 32. Art of the Middle Kingdom • Loss of trust in divine providence • Artists attempted to recapture lofty serenity of Old Kingdom • Troubled spirit was captured in weight and somber expressions (Fig. 1.14, pg. 16)
  33. 33. Sesostris III
  34. 34. The New Kingdom • Age-old artistic traditions continued • Artists depicted the idea rather than actual appearance (conceptual approach) • Pharaoh Amenhotep IV/ “Akhenaton” • Ruled from 1379 B.C.E. to 1362 B.C.E. • Attempted massive religious/political reform • Replaced numberless deities with one, the sun god, Aton • He changed his own name to Akhenaton, “servant of Aton” • He moved the capital from Thebes to Tel el- Amarna to escape the influence of the priests
  35. 35. The New Kingdom • Tel el-Amarna Art – new kind of art • Traditional weight and idealism gave way to lightness and naturalism • Physical characteristics are depicted in detail • Scenes are relaxed and even humorous • Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and Three of the Their Children • Queen Nefertiti (Figs. 1.15 & 1.16) • Akhenaton’s belief in a single god was threatening to the priests who had an interest in preserving the old polytheistic traditions • Successors branded him a heretic and fanatic and cut out him name from all the monuments that survived him
  36. 36. The New Kingdom • Tutankhamen – Akhenaton’s successor • Not remembered for leading the opposition against Akhenaton • Best known for treasures found in his undisturbed tomb (Fig. 1.17, p. 18) • Gold objects inlaid with ivory and precious stones • Show a return to conservatism • Discovery of the tomb is important because it teaches us about the culture • Howard Carter discovered Tut’s tomb in Valley of the Kings • Discovered intact sarcophagus on February 17, 1923 (Fig. 1.18)
  37. 37. The Late Period • Artists revisited earlier period styles • Monumental building returned • Temples constructed during reign of Ramses III probably the most colossal of all Egyptian constructions (Fig. 1.19) • Sculptors tried to recapture realism, volume of Old and Middle Kingdom art • Return to pyramid-shaped tombs • Direct contact with Persians, Assyrians, and Greeks produced little effect on art
  38. 38. Aegean Culture • Aegean civilization sprung up early in the Bronze Age and disappeared around 1100 B.C.E. • Minoans of Crete • King Minos / Knossos - *see myth summary on p. 20 • Mainland Greece – Mycenaeans • Both rediscovered in the 20th century • Way of life valued grace, beauty, and comfort • How are they connected to later Greeks?
  39. 39. Aegean Culture • Major centers of Aegean culture were on Crete or the mainland • Cyclades Islands – early settlements there • Little is known about the Cycladic people • Used bronze tools
  40. 40. Aegean Culture • Created imaginative/humorous pottery (Fig. 1.20, p. 20) • Marble statues/idols – chief claim to artistic fame • Produced in large quantities • Many times buried with the dead; possibly had a religious function in funeral rituals • Usually female; possibly connected with cult mother goddess common in Mesopotamia • Range in height from inches to life-size • Purpose of idols remains uncertain
  41. 41. The Bronze Age in Crete • Crete was famous as the home of legendary King Minos, who ruled at Knossos • According to myth, there was a Labyrinth that housed the Minotaur (half man, half bull). Each year Minos took a tribute of 7 boys and 7 girls, who were sent to be devoured by the Minotaur. The Athenian hero, Theseus killed the Minotaur with the help of Ariadne (the king’s daughter). • Greeks had a mythological picture of Knossos as a prosperous and thriving community ruled by a powerful and ruthless king.
  42. 42. The Bronze Age in Crete • By the time of Classical Greece, no evidence existed of the Palace of Minos • Heinrich Schliemann had proven that war against Troy and the Mycenaeans were true • Arthur Evans, 1894-1900, English Archeologist • Excavated at Knossos • Found throne room of King Minos on April 13, 1900 • Confirmed legendary accounts of Cretan prosperity and power
  43. 43. The Bronze Age in Crete • Evans had found an entire civilization which he called Minoan • Divided the history of the Bronze Age into three main periods: • Early Minoan • Middle Minoan • Late Minoan
  44. 44. [Image 1.22] Palace of Minos at Knossos
  45. 45. Early Minoan Period • Period of increasing growth • Small towns began to appear in the south and east of Crete • Contacts with Egypt and Mesopotamia were established
  46. 46. Middle Minoan, circa 2000 B.C.E. • Scattered towns were abandoned and large urban centers evolved • Generally called palaces • Function was more than royal family home • Knossos best known center (Fig. 1.22, 1.24) • Rooms for banquets, public receptions, religious ceremonies, and administrative work • Working areas for slaves and craftsmen • Private houses of aristocrats and religious leaders • Minoan architects used columns to provide impressive entrances and construct light-wells
  47. 47. Middle Minoan, circa 2000 B.C.E. • Art = lively and colorful • Painted pottery, superb jewelry (Fig. 1.25)
  48. 48. [Image 1.25] Wasp Pendant
  49. 49. Middle Minoan, circa 2000 B.C.E. • Minoans showed little interest in monumental art • Greatest works are on a small, miniature scale • Invented writing system of hieroglyphic signs • Used in archives of palace for administrative purposes • Palaces were destroyed (c. 1700) • Probably destroyed by an earthquake; rebuilt on a grander scale
  50. 50. Late Minoan • Period of rebuilding after earthquakes • Palaces represent the high point of Minoan culture • Wall paintings – greatest treasure (Fig. 1.26, p. 24) • Display spontaneity and freedom, love of nature • Religion centered upon mother goddess connected with fertility (Fig. 1.27) • Snake Goddess is the most famous • Knossos invaded and occupied by mainlanders around 1450 B.C.E.
  51. 51. Late Minoan • By 1400 B.C.E., Minoan culture ended abruptly • Causes are mysterious and much argued • Mycenaeans’ power was growing; they may have played a part in the destruction of Knossos
  52. 52. [Image 1.27] Snake Goddess
  53. 53. Mycenaean Culture • Named after largest settlement, Mycenae • Mainland Greece • Heinrich Schliemann, 1870-1873, German • Mycenaeans were famous for the Trojan War (1250 B.C.E.) Legends said Mycenaeans attacked Troy • Schliemann was determined to find Troy and prove Homer (author of the Iliad and the Odyssey) right • Schliemann funded his own excavations, began in 1870
  54. 54. Mycenaean Culture • 1873, Found walls, gate of the city, gold, silver, & bronze objects in Troy • In 1876, he began to excavate walls of Mycenae • Found Royal Grave Circle in Mycenae (Fig. 1.28) • Large quantities of gold treasures • Strongly influenced by Minoan Culture
  55. 55. [Image 1.28] Funerary Mask
  56. 56. Mycenaean Culture • Strongly influenced by Minoan Culture • Life was centered around great palace complexes • Mycenae palace was probably built c. 1600 B.C.E • Became natural leaders in the Aegean area after the fall of the Minoans • Traders traveled throughout Mediterranean (from Egypt and Near East to Italy) • Art = preoccupied with death and war • Solemn and dignified • Decorated palaces with frescoes
  57. 57. Mycenaean Culture • Around 1250 B.C.E., successful expedition against Troy was launched • Fall of the Mycenaean empire (1200 B.C.E.) • Major centers were destroyed and/or abandoned • Cause of downfall unknown • Most palaces had massive fortifications • Walls at Mycenae were 15 ft. thick and probably 50 ft. high • Palace centers were chosen for defensibility • Cause: Enemies? Internal strife? Natural causes?