Early Civilizations And The Human Figure Essay

1072 Words Sep 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Early Civilizations and the Human Figure The art and architecture of earth’s earliest civilizations give modern historians detailed insight into the rituals and practices of their everyday lives. In particular, painted and sculptural depictions of the human figure can provide in-depth explanations to the religious beliefs, political structures, and cultural values of these early peoples. The civilizations located in the Middle East, Egypt, and Greece each created distinct representations of the human form, with similar themes and styles connecting the cultures. Throughout these early societies, representations of the human form all include idealistic depictions of powerful figures. However, while the Greeks grew to focus on the ideal human form – paying special attention to anatomical details and the perfect male specimen – both Mesopotamian and Egyptian societies used human figurines for more religious purposes, and focused more heavily on the deities or “god-kings” they represented. Early representations of the human figure in societies in the Middle East, Egypt, and Greece all include very idealistic depictions of people in positions of power. In the Middle East, Mesopotamian reliefs, such as the Ceremonial Lion Hunt, from the Place of Assurnasipal II show how humans’ – particularly leaders – were depicted as the most powerful beings in the physical world. In this relief, an Assyrian ruler is shown conquering a horde of lions, asserting that he is truly a “King over…

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