Art History

Both films discuss the aspects that were common to an early man’s life, such as the need to survive and satisfy the basic needs. People worried about having enough food and shelter. It made them start farming and raising livestock to ensure food supply. Those activities led to the growth of communities and the expansion of social bonds. Besides that, people used to worship supernatural beings and organize cults. All of these customs later got their reflections in art works and manuscripts.

Even though both the cultures of Mesopotamia and the Stone Age had much in common, they were also distinguished by significant differences. Both cultures worried about survival and food. However, Paleolithic men relied more on hunting and gathering, while in Mesopotamia, farming and livestock raising where the main sources of food. With time, both cultures felt the necessity to keep record of their lives. Mesopotamians did it in the form of written scrolls and narration, while Paleolithic men documented their life by means of cave paintings and artwork. Both cultures had an amazing ability to build; however, Mesopotamian structures were more sophisticated and longstanding. Both cultures had their own forms of religion and beliefs, but their views of the world and their place in it differed greatly. Mesopotamians believed that people needed to suffer and beg to be forgiven, while Paleolithic men believed in spirits and their union with people, which made them a part of the world’s structure and mystery.

Their mode of life and the manner in which they interacted with the environment shaped their crafts and influenced art production. The Stone Age culture, with its high dependence on nature and its gifts, got its representation in paintings of everyday life and interactions with the world. As Paleolithic art was not yet well developed, their craftworks were limited to cave paintings. The Stone Age people drew nature and animals that were sacred to them as they provided for their survival. Women also had a special place in their art, as they represented fertility and procreation. Early paintings were quite simple, but later artworks became more colorful and sophisticated, which showed the advancements in cultures and life conditions. The records of Paleolithic life help to understand the mode of life of ancient people and see that it was highly based on cooperation for survival and provision.

Mesopotamian culture also reflected daily experiences and interactions with the world, but it was far more diverse, complex, and refined. They believed that the life on Earth was just the representation of heavenly life, and that the king was equal to God. Their faith influenced their arts, and that is why many of the artworks are dedicated to the kings and queens of those times and their worship. Mesopotamian life was rather violent and unsafe, which also got its representation in the depiction of wars, strong warriors, and battle scenes. Such paintings were a tribute to the God-king and his ruling that was intended to make the life of the people prosperous through the enslavement of other nations and the conquering of new lands. Stone figures represented leadership and deity, and they were designed to symbolize hierarchy and superiority. Even pottery was more than just crockery as it was also covered in the images of battles, kings, and deities, thus keeping the record of the history of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamians documented information about their life, great battles, and religion on leather scrolls. These records of Mesopotamian life show that, in contrast to Paleolithic men, their life was based on conquest, enslavement, and violence. Just like in the Stone Age, people were also concerned with survival, but they realized it not through the collaboration with the tribe but through wars.



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