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As agriculture settlements turned into empires, architecture, sculptures and pottery progressed as well. Cities were formed with architectural elements to adorn the buildings, sculptures were created to glorify the gods as well as kings, and pottery transformed from having a functional purpose to being used to tell a story or depict a conquest. Artists began to explore with different types of materials, with colors and with different techniques.

Did you know?
During the Mesopotamian period artists became craftsmen; potters, metalsmiths, jewelers, stonemasons, carpenters and more. All of these types of artisans and craftsmen still exist today, and many still use the same techniques invented/discovered in the Mesopotamian art period. Techniques such as using clay from the earth to make pottery, forming the pottery on a wheel and then heating it in a high temperature oven to harden the clay.

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Below is some basic information on Mesopotamian and its characteristics and influences. If you would like to print off a copy of this page along with samples of art from this period, you can download the Mesopotamian Summary above.

Quick Facts:
  • "Mesopotamia" means "land between the river "

  • Where the idea of civilized society started

Characteristics and/or Types of Art:
  • Warrior art (to put importance on military victories)

  • Storytelling on stone

  • First written language 

  • One god (instead of multiple gods) 

  • Law to create equality

  • Focus on war between competing city-states

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