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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Asia

Asia is both huge and diverse. Explore Hinduism's principal deities, Buddhism's most sacred shrines and recently uncovered treasures from ancient Afghanistan.
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.
All content in “Greek art”

Daedalic and Archaic

This tutorial traces the representation of the human body in monumental Greek sculpture from the earliest Egyptian influence to the increasing naturalism that lays the foundation for the Classical style.

Early classical

The Early Classical style describes the trends in Greek sculpture between c. 490 and 450 B.C.E. Artistically this stylistic phase represents a transition from the rather austere and static Archaic style of the sixth century B.C.E. to the more idealized Classical style.

Classical

By around 500 B.C.E. ‘rule by the people,’ or democracy, had emerged in the city of Athens. Following the defeat of a Persian invasion in 480-479 B.C.E., mainland Greece and Athens in particular entered into a golden age. In drama and philosophy, literature, art and architecture Athens was second to none. The city’s empire stretched from the western Mediterranean to the Black Sea, creating enormous wealth. This paid for one of the biggest public building projects ever seen in Greece, which included the Parthenon.

Late classical (4th century)

The late Classical style during the early 4th century was a time of experimentation and transition away from the strict canonical ideals of the high Classical moment.

Hellenistic

Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C.E. leaving a vast empire to his generals, the Diadochi (successors). The Diadochi divided Alexander's empire amongst themselves—the Hellenistic dynasties of the Seleucids in the Near East, the Ptolemies in Egypt, the Antigonids in Macedonia, and the wealthy Attalid kings of Pergamon who ruled most of western Asia Minor. Greek culture flourished across an enormous area, but at the same time, these "Hellenized" peoples infused Greek art with a drama and breadth beyond anything the Greeks had previously produced.