Near & Middle East

Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: Near and Middle East

The Ancient Near East was a region that was been considered as the foundation of civilization. It was a place of the earliest forms of development, which could be seen in locations such as Mesopotamia and Sumeria. Key elements that made this region drastically different than previous civilizations could be the clear utilization of agriculturally-viable environments and the gradual urbanization of societies. Prior to places such as Uruk in Sumeria, civilizations were far more rural-based; however, as people evolved, so did the way they developed living spaces. Deities and mythological creatures also greatly affected these civilizations, often becoming interwoven in the diverse cultures. Such beings as Anu, Inanna, Enki, Dagon, Tiamat, Lamassu, Genii, and Shamash would all play a major role in the shaping of this region over time, leading to monumental advancements for civilizations such as developing the first known form of writing, the building of great stone structures, and the origin of the ziggurat, a massive architectural achievement that would influence religion and architecture for years.

Introduction composed by all members of the Near and Middle East exhibition group.

Print of women in a cave.


Alex Thomason ARH 351   Dagon was referred to as the Chief Deity of the Philistines that dates back to ...
Rough sculpture of a Ram head.

Inanna: Patron Deity of Uruk

The Ancient Near East was a region that could easily have been considered as the cradle of civilization. This was ...
Seal with relief of human figures, animals, and hieroglyphics.


Enki, or Ea (Akkadian), is the Mesopotamia god of fresh waters known as apsu. He is the god of wisdom, ...
Cuneiform tablet with the Atrahasis Epic

Anu-Father of the Gods

Anu is one of the father gods of Mesopotamia and completes a triad of gods including Enlil and Enki. Anu, ...
A bottle with sculptural figures of humans and animals, as well as floral details.


   As a part of your subconscious, the genii is a specific divine figure with an unspecific content flowing through ...
The Lamassu is an Assyrian protective deity with a human head, body of a bull or lion, and bird wings.


Under the reign of two great Assyrian kings known as Ashurnasirpal II and Sargon II they both established prominent capitals ...
Part of a model chariot, with an impression of the sun god Shamash rising over the mountains

Shamash: The Sun God

Shamash was the ancient Mesopotamian sun god. Known as Utu in the Sumerian tradition, he was the twin brother of ...