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UNT / History / HIST 2350 / Why contextualization is important in the stone age?

Why contextualization is important in the stone age?

Why contextualization is important in the stone age?


School: University of North Texas
Department: History
Course: Art History Survey I
Professor: Mickey abel
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Egypt, mesopotamia, Catalhuyuk, ziggurates, China, India, Japan, MesoAmerica, lascaux, Stonehenge, StoneAge, fertilityfigures, and Pyramids
Cost: 50
Name: Study guide for test 1
Description: covers the big ideas laid out by the lectures. Does not cover the book. Good luck everyone
Uploaded: 10/02/2016
4 Pages 27 Views 7 Unlocks

Stone age 

Why contextualization is important in the stone age?

∙ Contextualization is important 

o Location changes our perspectives and makes a difference how we see, how we react, and how we  categorize

o We will be tested over how objects fit into governmental, environmental, and spiritual contexts ∙ Sound is often indicative of a ritualistic purpose

∙ Begin to see the idea of 3 planes:

o A world above us (a heaven)

o A world below us (an underworld)

o An earthly plane

∙ Fertility Figures: Identifiable by breasts and pelvic triangles

∙ Already seeing the difference (and difference in power dynamic) between men and women (fertility figures vs lion  talisman)

A giant rock that laid out one of the first legal codes.

∙ Cave paintings at lascaux-most famous of all the ancient cave paintings done throughout a network of  interconnected caves

o Depict various animals--few humans depicted Don't forget about the age old question of Electron pairs around an atom spread out away from each other as fas as possible.

o Taking into account the size, shape, and location helps us identify purpose

o Indicative that some kind of sound was utilized (ritualistic spaces)

∙ As time goes on, more humans begin to appear in cave paintings

∙ Monoliths-standing stones

o Could be used for time telling, navigation, ritual, etc.

o Their purpose differs when there are many of them together We also discuss several other topics like The endocrine system is a series of hormones secreted by endocrine cells and received by target cells.

∙ Stonehenge-a series of monoliths arranged in a circle and connected by post-and-lintel construction (come on you  know what Stonehenge is)

A ritualistic makeup palate depicting scenes of the pharaohs great acts.

o Stones aren't local (how were they moved)

o Stones carefully cut and arranged (ritualistic)

o Surrounded by a circle or cut earth that shines under the sun or moon (ritualistic)

o On certain times of the year, the sun lines up with the stonehenge architecture (time, ritualistic) ∙ Begin to see the idea of circles as spiritually symbolic:

o Eternal

o Life, death, rebirth

∙ Introduction of two different building methods:

o Post-and-lintel (like stonehenge)

o Corbelling-bracing of stones against each other into an arch like formation

∙ As time moves forwards we begin to see deliberate reshaping of spaces If you want to learn more check out What is the fear of trade and globalization?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is natural capitalism?

∙ We begin to get a distinctive idea of how people lived based on how space is configured

Mesopotamia and the middle east 

∙ Because it's a desert area, water is important

∙ Catal huyuk: one of the first human settlements

o Super fortified

o Entirely interconnected and extremely fortified

∙ Most entrances through the roof

o Bulls and human skulls popular decorative motifs

∙ Possible that the bull represents some form of diety

∙ Ziggurats - ziggurats are like stepped pyramids

o The higher up the pyramid you were allowed to advance, the higher your status

∙ The shrine on top (closest to the heavens) is reserved for the most elite

o Unique ways of decorating to make mosaics last over time

∙ Votive statues--small statues offered to the gods as a prayer in return for something else o Very popular in mesopotamia

o Often holding cups (water/circles are ritualistic) If you want to learn more check out What is the theory of reasoned action?

o Gudea is a statue of a priest that appears as a very advanced votive statue

∙ Meant to lead the commoners in ritual

∙ What he symbolized was a cultural convention (known by everyone)

∙ Boat depictions popular because whoever controlled the water (or transport over it) held a considerable amount  of power If you want to learn more check out What is a cross-cultural method?

∙ Bulls head lyre: again symbolizes the importance of bulls spiritually

o Again, music=ritual

o Depicts the story of Gilgamesh (goes into the underworld, becomes friends with the ferocious animals) ∙ Symbolic that undertaking a spiritual journey will help you find your place in life

∙ Property markers and cylinder seals tell us a lot about their owners and everyday life

∙ Stele of hammurabi-a giant rock that laid out one of the first legal codes (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth) o Depict the king giving a staff and a ring (earthly power and heavenly power) to the priest o Able to identify the king (hammurabi) because of his size and his ziggurat-shaped costume o Able to identify the priest because of his hat

∙ Stele of Naramsim-tells the story of a king's ascension to god-dom

o Idea that rulers have one foot in the earthly world and one foot in the heavens

Cycladic culture 

∙ Water is very important to the culture as they are a series of small islands

∙ Lots of small female figures found buried with the dead

o They are always displayed standing up, but their feet are indicative that they should be lying down ∙ Male figures are actually seen doing activities

o Indicative that men are in charge of ritual

Ancient Egypt 

∙ The Nile is key to egyptian life and farming revolves around its flooding and receding

∙ In egyptian mythology, every night the sun passes below the nile, through the underworld, and then rises in the  east

∙ Believe that everything they need in life they will need in death, so they have to take it with the (hence the  elaborate tombs)

o All these artifacts give us a great sense of how egyptains lived

o Sarcophaguses indicative of the wealth of the pharaoh (all the money is going to their tombs and not to their  people) and also of the need to protect the body

∙ King tut's is one of the best preserved that we have  

∙ Burial rituals: mummified in a temple located on the east bank of the nile, buried in tombs on the west bank of the  nile

o The wife in charge of these proceedings

o The procession from the temple to the tomb very ritualistic, usually included wailers (women dressed in  yellow charged with expressing grief)

∙ Pharaohs in art identified by their size and stance

o Pharaoh stance is "idealized" showing legs and head profile view, and torso straight on

o Statues of pharaohs normally carved of diorite (a semi translucent black stone)

∙ This allowed light to shine through, giving the statue metaphysical properties and equating them with  the gods

o Wives often depicted as slightly more naturalized, shown supporting their husbands

∙ Working class normally depicted as darker (they've been in the sun) and more naturalistic o Idealized vs naturalistic 

∙ Lotus flowers important (and depicted in a lot of art) because they mirrored Egyptian mythology (followed the sun  across the sky and "die" every night, before being "reborn" in the morning

∙ Narmar palate-a ritualistic makeup palate depicting scenes of the pharaohs great acts

o Propaganda, meant to remind the pharaoh of his accomplishments

o Each side divided into registers, each register tells a different story

∙ Each of the three registers symbolizes either heaven, the earth, or the underworld

∙ Normally art is narrative in nature

∙ Temples-all doors must face the nile

o Hierarchical structure of rooms, with only the most elite allowed to advance to the innermost sanctums (the  shrine where the axis mundi would be located

∙ Everyone else could circumnavigate these innermost rooms

o Heavily decorated everywhere, including having to pass through two pylons (giant, billboard like walls) to enter the temple

o Make great use of hypostyle halls

∙ Post-and-lintel construction repeated on multiple axis to form a grid of columns

∙ Make the room seem smaller and impede the sense of community

o Southern temples sometimes built directly into the banks of the nile due to lack of space ∙ Tombs-built over mastabas

o Pyramids/ziggurates reserved for the most elite

o Pyramids could be sealed from the outside, making them ideal from people of status who didn't want their  tombs being robbed after their death

∙ Ha! Like that worked

o Never single rooms, but rather ritualistic networks of space

∙ Rosetta stone: has greek, egyptian, and demotic written on it

o Allowed us to translate hieroglyphics  


∙ Peaceful, matriarchal society based on the island of crete

∙ Not fortified (they were on an island and didn't expect attack

∙ Palace of knossos built with post and lintel construction

o Columns made out of solid tree trunks

∙ Murals are hugely reconstructed based off of only a few pieces

o Women pictured more than me

o Costumes show bare-breasted women and lots of jewelry (extremely high level artisans involved) o In the bull jumping mural, the man is depicted doing the dangerous activity while women watch, again  showing the matriarchy  

∙ Snake goddess is a women power figure (these figures were quite common)

∙ Throne room very communal and ritualistic

∙ Karamus ware depicts organic drawings unbound by registers

∙ The harvester vase is a very high status carved stone object depicting a farming scene

∙ Ryton: ritualistic, bull shaped drinking vessel

∙ Eventually taken over by the mycenaeans


∙ Based on mainland Greece in highly fortified cities

o People funneled in through the walls

∙ Made use of corbelling in architecture (bracing stones against each other) often with ashlar (carefully cut) bricks ∙ Lions gate-made using both corbelling and post-and-lintle construction

o Relieving triangle was a decorative piece depicting lions that symbolized the epic of Gilgamesh ∙ Megaron-most important room in the city--a communal fire pit (or water bowl) surrounded by four columns  symbolizing the cardinal directions

∙ Dead normally buried in a circular pit (again, circles spiritually symbolic)

o Treasury of Atreus, on the other hand, is a very high level burial with ashlar bricks arranged into a very  precise beehive shape

∙ Filled with all kinds of treasures--fully gold rhytons, elaborately made daggers with precious metals  inlaid into iron, gold cups, etc

∙ Warrior vase shows that their pottery art was much more structured than that of the minoans

Early India 

∙ Emphasizes the mystical properties of water

∙ Like in egypt, the difference in statues depicting high level vs low level people were in whether or not the statue is  idealized

∙ Cardinal directions are important

∙ Yakshi-sexualized female figure who is supposedly the intermediary between the gods and the people ∙ Circles symbolic of power/spiritual knowledge

Early China 

∙ Jade is the high level stone of the east

∙ Circles represent the heavens

∙ Squares represent the earth

∙ A hole normally means the connection of heaven and earth

∙ Taotai-the chinese equivalent to the Indian yakshi

o Depicted as a creature that is a morphing of many animals

∙ First examples of bronze casting

∙ Sets of bells important in ritual

Early mesoamerica 

∙ Sacrificial alters like the cave alter sometimes depict scenes from Mesoamerican mythology ∙ Jaguar man wears a jaguar skin as armor (with its head as the helmet) thought to be the offspring of a jaguar and a  woman in the underworld

o Equivalent to the indian yakshi and the chinese taotai

∙ Large head statues depict wide, flat features

∙ Smaller statues show oblong heads, perhaps indicative of head-binding

o These features are normally arranged in graves communally

∙ Primitive pyramids apparent in this culture

Early Japan 

∙ We probs won't be tested over this

∙ Most important structures are keyhole-shaped graves

o The keyhole bit is a large raised mound of earth under which the grave is located

o This is all fenced off in a kind of huge, private park

∙ Vases found in these graves are often fired, but not painted or glazed

o Meant to hold water or ashes

o Very organic and very common

∙ Dogos (kind of like china's taotai) are little statues meant as guardians

o As time went on, they took on a more human form and were often made of terra cotta) ∙ Cast bells are common like in china, however, here they are much larger and meant as an individual object, not as  a group

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