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.