Tell-Asmar Figurines.

The Tell Asmar sculpture hoard is a collection of 12 human effigy statues, discovered at the Mesopotamian site of Tell Asmar. The hoard was discovered during Henri Frankfort’s Oriental Institute excavations in the 1930s. They were stacked in several layers within an 85x50 cm hole 1.25 meters (about 4 feet) below the floor of the structure known as the Square Temple.

The statues average about 42 centimeters in height. They are of men and women with large staring eyes, upturned faces, and clasped hands, dressed in the skirts of the Early Dynastic period of Mesopotamia. They are believed to represent gods and goddesses and their worshipers. The largest male figure is thought to represent the god Abu, based on symbols carved into the base.

Sidenote: I’m taking a class on this all semester… you’re going to see a lot the art i really like now.


Hurrian hymn no. 6

The oldest known melody, 1400 BC

yeah i’m doing my archaeology presentation, let’s rave it out

rave rave rave

The Witchcraft Series Maqlu by Tzvi Abusch (Link to Amazon)

There were witches and witchcraft in the ancient Near East before medieval and early modern Europe?  Of course.

Written by Tzvi Abusch, one of the leading experts on the ancient Near East and ancient witchcraft, this book details the folklore and myths about witches and witchcraft in Mesopotamia and the first witch “burnings” the ancient world ever saw.  The book also provides a translation of various incantations and rituals against witches.


Often, practitioners of Ancient Near Eastern studies assume that to study women in the historical or archeaological record is the same as studying any other given object: one amasses the information, catalogues every extant mention of this object, records data from archaeological contexts, and the record is then complete, tidy, and accurate. The very different and complex nature of amassing such information when the object of study is ‘Woman’ is not usually confronted, or indeed even recognised. Contemporary feminist history, on the other hand, is concerned with this problematic of accessing 'Woman’ in any historical account. Rather than simply finding 'Woman’ in history, it attempts to find what 'Woman’ means in that historical record.
—  Zainab Bahrani, “Women of Babylon”, p. 10
Therefore, the cultural ascription of femininity works through, and in, representation. Gender and representation are thus tied together, and feminist art history or criticism is not a matter of accessing a social reality through the image, but rather a matter of investigating the image itself as a site of production of normative gender. The image as a site of the processes of the construction of gender is therefore a complex cultural sign/representation that does not simply reflect a reality but serves in the creation of gendered norms; it takes part in establishing what in fact gender is. Put simply, it participates in establishing the ideology of gender rather than simply reflecting or representing that ideology. This semiotic view of the constructed nature of signs, like certain aspects of the social history of art, views representation as an active and formative element in society. How then can we read such an image directly as a record of lived experience?
—  Zainab Bahrani, “Women of Babylon”, p. 32

Along with the remains of some massacre victims, the statue of this fertility goddess was found at the Bronze Age site Haft Tepe, an Elamite settlement quite close to the complex of Chogha Zanbil in Western Iran.

Who this goddess might be is not exactly known as the details of the Elamite religion are limited. She maybe the mother goddess Kiririsha, also called Kirrisi, Pinikir, Parti (called this name in Izeh/Malemir, a close settlement) and Partikira (at Susa). She seems to have been called Great Goddess and Proprietor of Heaven which are titles held by similar goddess throughout the ancient Near East.



Sera was a woman out of options. The police had no idea where her father had gone. They had no leads. Not even a shot in the dark. But Professor Gabriel Hawthorne had been gone now for two weeks and had not once contacted his only daughter. Something was wrong…something was horribly wrong. Sera had tried everything - even phoning some of her father’s ex girlfriends (which had been an adventure in awkward). And nothing. Dr. Hawthorne was just gone.

And what he’d left behind were symbols. Six pointed stars within circles drawn on paper that Sera didn’t have the first clue about until she’d done some weird research in the wee hours of the morning and had come to the conclusion that though her father was a Professor of Ancient Near East History at the University of Chicago, these circles were more than just mythology. There was something…magical about them.

And that had been an adventure in skepticism. Magic? REALLY? Everything Sera had ever been taught reared to life to tell her that magic did not exist. People who claimed it did were usually wackos no better than the guys on T.V. that claimed ancient aliens built the pyramids! It was shit for conspiracy theorists and fantasy minded dopes - not for Sera Hawthorne.

…That is until she was sitting in a coffee shop on the edge of the University of Chicago’s campus, pressing a coffee cup between her anxiosly twitching pale fingers, and hoping the man would show up. This person - thanks to the whispers of a friend of a friend (something called a Para-net?) - could ger her in touch with a man who supposedly solved crimes for a living using magic. And if he could do that, hopefully he could find her father. And that, she groaned at herself, meant that Sera was now a fantasy minded dope. Oh joy.


Puduhepa is one of the most influential women of the Ancient Near East, she was the Queen of the Hittites and Married to King Hattusili III.  She was born the early 13th Century in Lawazantiya (in Kizzuwatna) the daughter of the Head Priest of the Goddess Ishtar and Pudukhepa grew up to be a priestess of the same Goddess.  Upon his return from the Battle of Kadesh against the Egyptians, the then General Hattusili came upon Puduhepa and he claimed that Ishtar commanded he take her as a wife.  Hattusili soon overcame his nephew and became King, making Puduhepa the Queen of the Hittite Empire.
Puduhepa was a key player in the Ancient Near East political and diplomatic scene, particularly with the Ancient Egyptian Court of Ramesses II.  Puduhepa not only wrote corresspondance to the Queen of Ancient Egypt Nefertari (there are letters between the two and even gifts), but Ramesses himself.  She was a key player in the peace treaty negotiations with Egypt, which were sealed with the marriages of her daughter(s).
After the death of Hattusili III, Puduhepa didn’t fade into obsurity.  She remained a strong pressence under the rule of her son Tudhaliya IV and was seen as and refered to as a Goddess-Queen making judicial and religious decisions and reforms).

anonymous asked:

Dude your opinion just doesn't have that much weight when your whole foundation comes from a book that was written by some bored Middle Eastern dudes with nothing better to do

If that’s your understanding of the authorship and canonization of the Bible then your opinion doesn’t hold much weight because you know nothing about the position you’re trying to attack. 

You also don’t seem to know anything about the cultural and historical context of the ancient near east. If you think life was boring when you have the Assyrian and Babylonian empires breathing down your neck or when you watch your entire family get murdered before your king gets his eyes gouged out and you get sent into exile… well then I don’t know what to tell you. I will say this though… your life is much more boring than theirs was.

(Grabbed from @blairtrabbit, because the original was too long for me to feel comfortable commenting on, but too close to anthropology for me to resist). 

The apocalypse has come and gone and somehow your room/apartment is the only thing to have survived. Aliens will discover it 1000 years from now perfectly preserved and with everything in immaculate condition.

With this in mind please answer the following.

1. What valuable information can aliens glean from the books you own (we assume the aliens can read earth languages.)

Ha, wow, okay, so this civilization is gonna learn a LOT about mythology, fairy tales, and epic poetry. Also historical fashion. The two books of translated primary documents from the ancient near east will be useful. As for my fiction …… well, they’re probably going to be under the impression that dragons exist, magic is real, and we live in a world still primarily governed by feudalism. 

2.Without any frame of reference what assumptions will aliens make based on the decorations/toys you have in your space.

They’re gonna think stuffed animals were a really big deal. My posters are varied enough that they won’t be able to make a conclusive conclusion about them as a whole, but the map of Tartarus and the Rooster Teeth periodic table is probably going to throw off their assumptions a lot. 

3. Which objects do you think aliens would be the most confused by?

Probably either the ceramic hedgehog lamp my aunt got me for Christmas two years ago or the plushie TARDIS my parents bought me for Christmas thre years ago plays the doctor who theme. Or my laptop, depends on whether or not that’s in my room when the apocalypse goes down.

4. Looking around do you think an alien who has no concept of what a human being looks like would be able to figure us out?

Hm…. Tough to say. I do have books and posters with photographs of people, so I’m going to say yes. I don’t have enough images of consistent animal species to throw them off.

5. Based only on your possessions will they learn anything about human history? If so would the information be based on truth?

WELL, THEY’RE GOOD FOR HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST. They should also be good for the last ~20,000 years of European costume history. I think I also have a short book on Tlingit history my uncle sent me? Or maybe that was a legend… There’s my book on the Celts, but I never actually read that one (again, another Uncle gift). The History of Valdemar is probably going to throw them off a lot.

6. What is the worst possible thing they could put in their alien museum for tiny alien children to stare at?

….fuck, my sketchbook has smut in it

Fishing & Duck Hunt (Ancient Egypt Middle Kingdom)

External image
External image

Another little vignette of daily life in Middle Kingdom ancient Egypt. Again, to get a good sense of the liveliness of this scene, you need to zoom into the action on this smart model sporting boat. Unlike so much ancient Egyptian art, these kind of models are concrete and earthy. The figures animation is figured in their interaction with tools (objects) and with each others.

Among the pleasures of an Egyptian noble’s life were hunting excursions in the Nile marshes to fish and hunt birds. Papyrus rafts or light boats such as this were used for such excursions. Here, Meketre and his son or companion are watching the hunters from a light shelter made of woven reeds and decorated with two large shields. In the prow, two men aim harpoons at some fish, while amidships a kneeling fisherman removes the harpoon from a bolti fish. An earlier catch, a large Mormyrus, is being presented to Meketre. A bunchof coots, caught previously in a clapnet, are presented by a man and a woman, who wears a bead net over her shoulders, brings a duck. The poles of the clapnet are now lashed to the grilles of the shelter; the net pegs lie on the deck. The presence of females from a noble’s family in such marsh scenes is a recurring theme in Egyptian art (from the Met online)

External image

Sporting Boat, ca. 1981–1975 B.C. Egyptian, Middle Kingdom Plastered and painted wood, linen, linen twine, copper; Boat with rudder and paddles: L. 121.7 cm (47 15/16 in.); H. 34.3 cm (13 ½ in.); W. 30.6 cm (12 1/16 in.) Hull: L. 112.5 cm (44 5/16 in.); W. 23.7 cm (9 5/16 in.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1920 (20.3.6)

External image
External image