Human-headed winged lion (Lamassu) Artist: Unknown, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 883-859 BCE. Content: The subject matter is a lamassus that is a guardian-protector of palaces. It has the body of a lion, wings of an eagle, and the headdress of a god. Context: This piece is from the Ancient Near East, specifically Mesopotamia. This piece was often commissioned by a ruler. Function: This piece purpose was to guard the palaces and thrones. It also served as a way to impress outside visitors and show them the amount of power the ruler had.
Carved Vase known as the uruk vase
Artist: Uknown, Iraq Museum, Baghdad. 3300-3000 BCE.. Content: The vase tells a story of a ritual marriage between a human priest-king and a goddess. Each strip on the vase tells a part of the story. Context: This piece is from the Ancient Near East, specifically Uruk. This was found in the temple of Inanna and was made to honor her. Function: The vase serves to honor the goddess Inanna.
Votive Figures Artist: Unknown, The Quare Temple, Eshnunna (present-day Tell Asmar, Iraq). c. 2900-2600 BCE. Content: These are Sumerian votive figures that depict various gods. The eyes are wide open because this is how you were suppose to approach a god. Context: These figures depict the religion of the Sumerians, which is polytheism. The audience is the gods. Function: These figures are dedicated to the gods and can be often found in a temple.
Nanna Ziggurat Artist: Unknown, Ur ( present-day Muqaiyir, Iraq). c. 2100-2050 BCE. Content: This is a temple dedicated to the god, Nanna. The ziggurat most likely has a shrine on top for the priest to come and meet the god, Nanna. Context: This piece was created for the citizens to be able to pray to the god, Nanna. The audience is the citizens, as well as the gods. Function: Serves as a place to pray, make sacrifices, as well as to praise Nanna.