Art of the ancient Mediterranean

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.
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Palmyra

Palmyra, an ancient caravan city in the Syrian Desert, is renowned for its monumental architecture and colonnaded streets, as well as for its distinctive tower tombs. The ancient city and its material culture incorporated elements from Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern cultures and the city itself existed at a key point of connectivity where the spheres of the Mediterranean, Persian, and Near Eastern world overlapped.

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.

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.
Community Questions
All content in “Ancient Near East”

The Ancient Near East, an introduction

Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians - no wonder we need an introduction!

Assyrian

The Assyrian empire dominated Mesopotamia and all of the Near East for the first half of the first millennium, led by a series of highly ambitious and aggressive warrior kings. The culture of the Assyrians was brutal, the army seldom marching on the battlefield but rather terrorizing opponents into submission who, once conquered, were tortured, raped, beheaded, and flayed with their corpses publicly displayed. The Assyrians torched enemies' houses, salted their fields, and cut down their orchards.

Persian

Western histories have often looked at the Persians only in relation to their confrontations with the ancient Greeks, but the Persian empire was long-lived, complex and sophisticated. The heart of ancient Persia is in what is now southwest Iran, in the region called the Fars. In the second half of the 6th century B.C.E., the Persians (also called the Achaemenids) created an enormous empire reaching from the Indus Valley to Northern Greece and from Central Asia to Egypt.