Ancient Mediterranean + Europe
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, Akkadian, pink limestone, 2254-2218 B.C.E. (Louvre, Paris) This monument depicts the Akkadian victory over the Lullubi Mountain people. In the 12th century B.C.E., 1,000 years after it was originally made, the Elamite king, Shutruk-Nahhunte, attacked Babylon and, according to his later inscription, the stele was taken to Susa in what is now Iran. A stele is a vertical stone monument or marker often inscribed with text or relief carving. Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
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- What happened to Naram-Sin's face? Was it worn off through time, or was it intentionally removed as a sign of disrespect or some other reason?(7 votes)
- I'm not sure as to why Naram-Sin's face is gone, but often images were intentionally damaged - specifically important parts such as eyes and ears - because it was thought that the image of a person held some of their power. An example of this would be the head of a man you can see here: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/akkadian.html(11 votes)
- how do archeologist find out how old some these stone carvings are?(3 votes)
- Archaeological dating techniques would fill a lecture course by themselves.
There are absolute dating methods which are derived from historical records, environmental processes (annual flood, tree ring growth), radiocarbon (for organic materials), thermoluminescence (pottery, burnt material) and a variety of other scientific techniques.
Then there are relative dating methods: where and how the object was found, the style of any decoration, the language used for any inscription, the material, tools and methods used to make it. The typological sequences for artifacts are frequently revised.(15 votes)
- why are their 2 suns(1 vote)
- Is Mesopotamia real?(0 votes)
- It wasn't just Iraq. Here is a visual to help you understand a bit more. It generally is measured as being in between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. In Greek, the word Mesopotamia means "μέσω ποταμός" which literally means in between the rivers. Because so long ago there was no such thing as nations, the world was divided into regions, such as the Mesopotamian region, the Byzantine region, the Ottoman region, etc.
- I've always read that there was only two stars at the top of the stele, yet i believe, like at2:45it appears that there are three stars. Does anyone else see this?(4 votes)
- Look at the style of the stars, one pointed followed by a flat all way around. You can see the remains of the same style (star on right) at11:00which shows a point above it, and at12:00a flat part of a star.
Also I believe there is a second tree below the first with as described shows a feeing force. Throughout history it has been known that if you have the higher ground you have a better chance of winning. With this victory against a force which is above you would have been glorious. Yes it shows him killing them while they beg for their lives, and to me it also shows that his forces on the ground chased them into a wooded area or forest killing them too.
I am wondering as to what the big dome shape is... almost looks like a mountain peak or space ship? Must have some symbolic meaning?
The king is also carrying a spear, bow, and axe... he's well armed!(2 votes)
- There is an inscription on the the mountain next to Naram-Sin, does anyone know what it reads?(4 votes)
- there seemed to be some text carved in vertically was that cuniform or some other known language of Acadians?(3 votes)
- It is cuneiform, and reading that is how we gather the stry of the king and his ancestry and so on.(2 votes)
- how would they carve these into the stone?(1 vote)
- Stone-carving techniques are much the same now as in antiquity. Stone carvers would rough out the piece they were shaping using mallets and wedges, proceeding to finer and finer degrees of chisels as they created the finer details of the piece.(3 votes)
SPEAKER 1: We're in the Louvre, and we're looking at the victory stele of Naram-Sin. This is a really old stele. It's a really old relief sculpture. It is 4,200 years old. It was made, we think, in approximately 2200 BCE. Now Naram-Sin was the great-great-grandson of the founding king of the Akkadians, Sargon. And this stele commemorates a really important victory of his. SPEAKER 2: It commemorates a victory over the Lullubi people, who are mountain people who lived in the eastern region of Mesopotamia. Now normally victory scenes like this from ancient Mesopotamia are shown in registers. In other words, the scene is divided into horizontal bands. Here the artist has created a new kind of composition where we see Naram-Sin at the top, and a diagonal [INAUDIBLE]. On the left, underneath Naram-Sin we see his soldiers climbing the mountain. And then on the right, the vanquished, falling, and defeated, and wounded. SPEAKER 1: What I find so interesting is that Naram-Sin's army is so disciplined, they don't break ranks, they're marching in line, there are standard-bearers followed by those with weapons, whereas on the right, you have all kinds of chaos. SPEAKER 2: And Naram-Sin is so erect and noble-looking, and clearly associated with the gods compared to the mortals that surround him. One of the things that I noticed immediately is how everyone's gaze-- or nearly everyone's gaze-- is directed at Naram-Sin himself. So his soldiers look up at him, the vanquished turned towards him. He is clearly the focal point of this composition. SPEAKER 1: One of the aspects that I love most about this are the vanquished, I have to say. You have one of the vanquished mountain people who are actually being literally thrown off the mountain. You can see him upside down falling as if he's falling into water. We see somebody else literally under Naram-Sin's foot, somebody with a spear in his neck. And then most interestingly, I think, to the extreme right, profiled against the mountain, is a man who is fleeing, because you can see that his feet are facing away from Naram-Sin, but he's also turned around-- turned back and pleading as he flees. SPEAKER 2: Clearly what we're seeing is using a symbolic language. This isn't supposed to be a naturalistic representation of an army climbing a mountain, but a symbolic image that tells the story, through symbols, of this event. And so we see Naram-Sin, much larger than everyone else, with his shoulders frontal, his head in profile, and close to the deities at the top, who are represented by what look like suns. SPEAKER 1: Right. The suns, or the stars above, are the forces that have helped guide him to victory. But also, and this is important, he's wearing a horned helmet, which is for the Akkadians a symbol of divinity. So through this victory he is actually assuming the importance and the status of the gods. And in fact, the whole ascension to the mountaintop certainly supports this idea. He's rising into the realm of the heavenly.