Ancient art and civilizations

3000 B.C.E. - 400 C.E.: The Great Pyramids at Giza, the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and more.
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Ancient Near East

Ancient Near Eastern cultures established the first cities, the earliest code of laws, and the oldest known writing which was used, not for poetry, but for bookkeeping.

Egyptian art and culture

The art of the ancient Egyptians was (for the most part) never meant to be seen by the living—it was meant to benefit the dead in the afterlife.

Aegean art

19th century archaeologists sought evidence for Homer's epic poems. Instead they uncovered bronze-age art of the Cyclades, the Minoans, and the Mycenaeans.

Greek art

Ancient Greek art was collected in ancient Rome, studied during the Renaissance and formalized in the 19th century. It is the most influential art ever made.

Nabataean

The Siq is a canyon leading to Petra, the greatest city of the Nabataeans, a people who occupied the area from Sinai to northern Arabia and southern Syria.

Etruscan

Before Rome, the Etruscan civilization ruled much what is now Italy. The Etruscans left fine metalwork, elaborate tombs and a deep mark on ancient Roman culture.

Roman

The brilliance of ancient Roman art can be seen in the wall paintings of Pompeii, the massive ambition of the Colosseum, and the daring engineering of the Pantheon.

Judaism and art

Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion with a focus on sacred texts rather than sacred images, making its art an especially interesting area of study.

Asia

Asia is both huge and diverse. Explore Hinduism's principal deities, Buddhism's most sacred shrines and recently uncovered treasures from ancient Afghanistan.

Egyptian art and culture

The art of the ancient Egyptians was (for the most part) never meant to be seen by the living—it was meant to benefit the dead in the afterlife.
All content in “Egyptian art and culture”

A beginner's guide to ancient Egypt

Who were the ancient Egyptians? What did they believe? What did their art mean to them and what materials did they use to make it? We don't know everything about this culture, but we have learned quite a bit.

Predynastic and Old Kingdom

While today we consider the Greco-Roman period to be in the distant past, it should be noted that Cleopatra VII's reign (which ended in 30 B.C.E.) is closer to our own time than it was to that of the construction of the pyramids of Giza. It took humans nearly 4000 years to build something--anything--taller than the Great Pyramids. Contrast that span to the modern era; we get excited when a sports record lasts longer than a decade.