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1.3: Inanna and Dimuzi

As you’ve read, the poem of Inanna and Dimuzi includes agricultural metaphors that are a bit more explicit than your typical Old Farmer’s Almanac entry.  Discuss the underlying meaning of this poem and how it relates to the Warka Vase, Warka Mask, and White Temple and Ziggurat from Uruk.  How is the imagery on the exterior of the Warka Vase connected with this poem and why were these literary and visual images so important to the Sumerians?


Discussion 1.4: Perception of Images

In the two pairs of images provided, (Eshnunna figurines vs. head of Sargon), (Palette of Narmer vs. Stele of Naram-Sin), discuss how the objects functioned and were intended to be viewed.  Consider the importance of propaganda, magic, and religion in the images. How did the needs and expectations of the patron and the underlying cultural ideas and expectations shape the form and function of these objects and their history?  Use references to the readings to support your statements.

Eshnunna figurines

head of Sargon

Palette of Narmer

   Stele of Naram-Sin


Discussion 3.2: Sharing of Ideas

Discuss the sharing of ideas that we see in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. Identify 2 specific examples that illustrate this sharing of ideas between the cultures we are examining this week and discuss how this sharing of ideas affected the development of art and architecture.


Discussion 3.3: Etruscan tombs

Larissa Bonfante’s article “Etruscan Sexuality and Funerary Art” looks at the intersection of Etruscan imagery, culture, and their beliefs about the afterlife. Put yourself in the shoes or sarcophagus of an Etruscan. When you choose to spend money on your tomb, sarcophagus, or the contents of your tomb, what are your needs, expectations, and obligations (to yourself, your soul, or your family)? Discuss why Etruscan tombs look like they do and are filled with beautiful objects (like Exekias’ famous vases).

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