a) Compare the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Nanna Ziggurat at Uruk.

TEST 2 Essay Portion             Due Thursday, 2/25, in class


The following are groups of questions which ask you to weave together various pieces of information into a coherent answer that covers all of the question— but is organized into a paragraph or two in whatever way makes sense to you (you dont have to answer the parts of each question in the order they are asked, for instance). Each group of questions will require you to draw terms, concepts and facts from handouts, notes and readings to make the fullest answers possible. On the other hand, writeconcisely, as you only have


two sides of one sheet, typed, single-spaced, any font but sized like this that you are reading (this is Helvetica 9).


                  And be sure to print your answers and bring the hard copy to class; e-mailed or uploaded answers will not be                   accepted. Plan ahead in order to be sure to be able to print properly ON ONE SHEET OF PAPER and in time.


                  Do not screw up these format requirements; essays that dont meet them will not be accepted.


                  So, that means you dont need an introduction or a formal concluding paragraph; just get to answering the questions as directly and clearly as you can. The trick is to be concise (not over-wordy, complex) but complete; and make a larger point.




  1. a) Compare the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Nanna Ziggurat at Uruk. Address how each represents the culture which produced it specific beliefs, philosophy of life, approach to or character of design for each society as they are expressed in morphology and organization (layout), size/scale, setting, and primary function of these structures. Then relate each structure more directly to the natural environment of the region it is set in, in terms of its design characteristics, features and constituent elements which in turn could possibly be linked back to the “personality” of the culture in ways you may not have already mentioned. Be sure to mention how the culture of each society reflected the influence of its natural environment and geography; and also the idea of treating natural forms or features in the landscape as sacred and powerful, and how those forms might be symbolically involved in these two structures.


  1. b) Now talk about the evolution of these two specific forms the faceted pyramid and the ziggurat over time. Are the two structures you have been comparing at the end, the beginning, or somewhere in the middle of the evolution that we discussed in class? In other words, what form or specific version of the building type comes before and/or what comes after each building in this evolution of the form, and what was the impact of this evolution on the effect or character of the building type? Why would each of the two civilizations wish to evolve this form in this way? (This is perhaps more clear for one of the civilizations/forms than for the other, so you may have more to say n one of these.)

You should also find and state a connection between this evolution idea and the two other structures on the outline list — Queen Hatshepsuts Temple Complex and the Citadel of Sargon II.


  1. What aspects of the portrayal of the human form in the Palette of Narmer and the Stela of Naramsin are most similar, and what are most different? What do the similarities tell us about these two civilizations, and about civilizations in general; and then what do the main differences say? Also discuss the overall design of these two works, especially in terms of organization or composition: what is similar, what is different, and what might that indicate? You should feel free to refer to or restate any of the points you made in question #1 above that are relevant to this explanation. Finally, talk about the element of time as it is involved in these two works, and how that fits the religious beliefs and the life philosophies of each of the two civilizations.



  1. What are the writing systems of the ancient Egyptians and of the ancient Mesopotamians of the Near East called, and which one led directly to the writing system you are reading right now? Talk about what we discussed about the evolution of each writing system, very briefly and generally, and how each particular evolution might reflect the concerns and character of each respective civilization. How does the appearance or use of either of these systems relate to these two civilizations “personalities” and tendencies in design how are they “Egyptian” and “Near Eastern”, respectively? What kind of writing system is each, according to the writing system terms we went over?



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