Comparison of Ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art

1418 Words Jul 30th, 2008 6 Pages
The artworks of Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are both strikingly different and similar at the same time. Consistent is the theme of serving the different gods the two cultures believed in. In Mesopotamia the various city-states each had their own protective deity, and in Egypt they sometimes differed from one dynasty to the next. Whatever the case, with the beginning of kingdoms and rulership came the need to justify a position of power and establish a hierarchy. And as more time passed came also the human need to leave an impression on their world. Looking at the example of the statues of Gudea from the Neo-Sumerian period and the Temple of Ramses II from the New Kingdom of Egypt in the 19th dynasty, will show how both rulers of …show more content…
Guarding the entrance to the 100 feet tall temple are four enormous statues of the Pharaoh, who ruled for roughly 66 years during the 19th dynasty. Each statue stands 67 feet high and depicts Ramses seated on his throne, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Adorning the sides of the thrones is the symbolic unification of Egypt by the Nile Gods. The whole upper body of one of the figures is destroyed, damaged by an ancient earthquake. You can still see the remains of the torso and head at the base near the feet. Statues of Ramses mother Mut-Tuy, principal wife Nefertari, and son, Prince Amonherkhepshef, stand at his sides, almost as high as his knees, and smaller statues between his legs are thought to represent either his daughters or lesser wives. The frieze topping the temple facade shows 22 baboons worshipping the sun. The recessed statue above the entrance is that of the falcon-headed Ra-Harakhti (associated with Horus) and is flanked by two Bas-reliefs of Ramses, presumably worshipping him. Three connected halls inside the temple dig 185 feet deep into the mountain, where pictures of the King's "grand" accomplishments can be seen covering the walls. The temple was completed near the 24th year