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This book examines the sculptures created during the Early Dynastic period (2900–2350 BC) of Sumer, a region corresponding to present-day southern Iraq. Featured almost exclusively in temple complexes, some 550 Early Dynastic stone statues of human figures carved in an abstract style have survived. Chronicling the intellectual history of ancient Near Eastern art history and archaeology at the intersection of sculpture and aesthetics, this book argues that the early modern reception of Sumer still influences ideas about these sculptures. Engaging also with the archaeology of the Early Dynastic temple, the book ultimately considers what a stone statue of a human figure has signified, both in modern times and in antiquity.Read more
- Deals with a little-known aspect of the early intellectual history of ancient Near Eastern art history and archaeology
- The subject is a type of sculpture that is poorly understood yet included in all art history surveys
- Uses unpublished data to argue for new interpretations of Early Dynastic temple statues
Reviews & endorsements
"Well written, with copious footnotes and bibliography, this is an interesting art, historical, and anthropological approach to Sumerian sculpture."
E. H. Cline, ChoiceSee more reviews
"Evans' study of Sumerian statues in the Early Dynastic Period gives new arguments and ideas on a long interpretation of material, with a very interesting new perspective that is based on the importance of the archaeological contexts where statues have been recovered and, possibly, lived."
Davide Nadali, Bibliotheca Orientalis
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- Date Published: October 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107017399
- length: 287 pages
- dimensions: 260 x 182 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.79kg
- contains: 71 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Sumerian origins, 1850–1930: making the body visible
2. Art history, ethnography, and beautiful sculpture
3. Seeing the divine: sanctuary, sculpture, and display
4. The Early Dynastic life of sculpture
5. Becoming temple sculpture: the Asmar hoard
6. Gender and identity in Early Dynastic temple statues
Conclusion: materiality, abstraction, and Early Dynastic sculpture.
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