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Ancient Art of Anterior Asia

Code: 100576 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500239 Art History OB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Annabel Villalonga Gordaliza

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


 In addition to the understanding of Catalan and Spanish, a good reading comprehension is recommended in other modern languages,

Objectives and Contextualisation

The aim of this subject is to provide students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to deep in their knowledge of the different cultures developed in this geographical area in ancient times. 


  • Critically analysing from the acquired knowledge a work of art in its many facets: formal values, iconographic significance, artistic techniques and procedures, elaboration process and reception mechanisms.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Interpreting a work of art in the context in which it was developed and relating it with other forms of cultural expression.
  • Recognising the evolution of the artistic imagery from the antiquity to the contemporary visual culture.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Accurately defining and explaining an artistic object with the specific language of art criticism.
  2. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon in a given cultural context.
  3. Analysing the creators of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  4. Analysing the recipients of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  5. Applying the iconographic knowledge to the reading of artistic imagery.
  6. Connecting an artistic imagery with other cultural phenomena within its period.
  7. Distinguishing the elaboration techniques and processes of an artistic object.
  8. Efficiently presenting knowledge in oral and written form.
  9. Examining an artistic imagery and distinguishing its formal, iconographic and symbolic values.
  10. Explaining the reception mechanisms of a work of art.
  11. Identifying the artistic imagery, placing it into its cultural context.
  12. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  13. Reconstructing the artistic outlook of a particular cultural context.




 1. Lower Mesopotamia: ethnicity, history, society and religion.

        1.1. Protohistory: Cultures of Hassuna, Samarra and Halaf. El-Obeid.

        1.2. Sumer: Uruk and Djemdet Nasr. The birth of cities: urban planning and architecture in the old Warka. Ancient dynastic: votive sculpture of gods and men.

        1.3. The Accadian Age: art at the service of power.

        1.4. Neosumerian period: Guti. The 3rd dynasty of Ur.

        1.5. Babylonian Period: Paleobabilonia, Cassita and Chaldea periods.

        1.6 The woman in ancient Mesopotamia: a look from art and written sources.

  2. The High Mesopotamia (Asiria): ethnicity, history, society and religion.

          2.1. The Paleo-Assirian period (foundation and Babylonian influence).

          2.2. The Middle Assirian period (origins of the empire).

          2.3. The imperial era: the Neo-Assyrian period

  3. The area of Anatolia: ethnicity, history, society and religion.

          3.1. Age of Bronze and Protohistory: origins of the Hatti.

          3.2. The imperial Hitita (Hattusa, Yazilikaya and Alaca Hüyük)

          3.3. The neohitites states.

 4. The Iranian plain: ethnicity, history, society and religion.

           4.1. Origins: the elamites and the reconstruction of Susa.

           4.2. The Medes and the beginning of the Achaemenid dynasty.

           4.3. The great Persian empire.



1. Theory classes directed by the teacher. The teacher explains orally and with the visual support of PowerPoint to the students the essential aspects of the subject, (online class by Teams in case of temporary return from face-to-face teaching to virtual) systematizing the contents and suggesting suitable bibliography to prepare the exam. 

1.1 Attendance to sessions of seminars and practices led by the teacher and / or other specialists.

2. Comprehensive reading of texts. A compulsory reading book * is proposed and it will be evaluated in a test. On the other hand, there will be a compilation of digital texts that will be discussed in the classroom or in the forum of Moodle.

3. Course work. Analytical commentary of an article proposed at the beginning of the course by the teacher (there will be a list to choose the first week of class) of an extension of maximum four sheets.

 * to be determined.




Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theory classes/ seminar. 44 1.76 3, 4, 2, 11, 5, 1, 7, 9, 12, 13, 6
Type: Supervised      
Writing review from a reading 12 0.48 3, 4, 2, 11, 5, 1, 7, 9, 12, 13, 6
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study, reading comprehension and critics 90 3.6 3, 4, 2, 5, 1, 7, 9, 13, 6


The subject will be evaluated by applying the following procedures:

- Written tests: 30% Written tests (each one 30%). In these tests all the subject matter of the course contained in the class explanations and the readings will be evaluated. Each test will be done once each block of the issue has been completed. The first (block 1) will be at the end of October and the second (blocks 2,3 and 4) at the end of December. The average of the two written tests must be a minimum of 5. Otherwise, the student must submit to the re-evaluation of the subject of the block that has failed.

- Analytical comment of the chosen article: 30%

- Compulsory reading test questionnaire: 10%



At the time of each assessment activity, lecturer will inform students (Moodle) of the procedure and date of review of each test. If the situation does not proceed to be in person, a day will be determined to conduct a virtual review for Teams, where the teacher will indicate what answer was expected for each question in the test. Once this general review has been completed, students will be able to remain in the virtual room and express specific doubts about their exams.


The student will receive the grade of "Not assessable" as long as he / she has not completed more than 30% of the assessment activities.

In the last days of the course there will be a recovery exclusively for those students who have failed some or some of the previous partial written tests. Therefore, those who have not taken them in the planned date nor those who have passed them will not be able to present themselves. Recovery is only possible to pass the failed tests with a maximum grade of 6. The delivery of reviews or other evaluable activities that have not been presented on the date set by the teacher are excluded from the recovery process.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject,the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.




Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Compulsory reading test 10% 1 0.04 3, 4, 2, 10, 8
Test 1 30% 1 0.04 2, 1, 7, 9, 10
Test 2 30% 1 0.04 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, 6
Writing report from a reading 30% 1 0.04 3, 4, 2, 11, 5, 1, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 6, 8



AMIET, Pierre ( 1979): Introduction a l’Histoire de l’Art de l’Antiquité Orientale. Paris : Desclée De Brouwer.

ASCALONE, Enrico (2006): Mesopotamia. Barcelona: Electa.

AURENCHE, Olivier (1977): Dictionnaire illustré multilingue de l'architecture du Proche Orient ancien. Lyon: Maison de l'Orient. 

BENOIT, Agnès (2003): Art et archéologie: les civilisations du Proche-Orient ancien. Paris: Reunion des musées nationaux.

BENOIT,Agnès (2011): Les civilisations du Proche – Orient  ancien.  Paris: Petits manuels de l’ École du Louvre.

 BLANCO FREIJEIRO, Antonio (1981).: Arte Antiguo del Asia Anterior. Sevilla.: Universidad de Sevilla.

 FRANKFORT, Henri A. (1998): Reyes y dioses. Madrid: Alianza.

 ROAF,Michael (1992): Mesopotamia y el Antiguo Oriente Medio, Barcelona: Folio.

 PARROT, André (1979): Antico Oriente. Verona : Arnoldo Mondadori.

 SODEN, Wolfram Von (1987): Introducción al Orientalismo antiguo. Sabadell : AUSA.

 WOOLLEY, Leonard (1962).: Mesopotamia y Asia Anterior. Barcelona : Praxis.



ANDRÉ-SALVINI, Béatrice (2008): Babylone. Paris : Musée du Louvre Hazan.

AMIET, Pierre (1995): Historia Ilustrada de las formas artísticas vol I: Oriente Medio. Madrid: Alianza.

AZARA, Pedro (coord) (2012): Antes del diluvio: Mesopotamia 3.500-2.100 a.C. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa.

BAHRANI, Zainab (2001): Women of Babylon : gender and representation in Mesopotamia. London: Routledge.

BITTEL, Kurt (1976): Los Hititas. Madrid: Aguilar.

COLLON, Dominique (1995): Ancient Near Eastern Art. Londres: University of California Press.

FOREST, Jean Daniel (1999): Les premiers temples de Mésopotamie (4º et 3º millénaires). BAR International Series 765, Oxford.

 FRANKFORT, Henri A. (1982): Arte y arquitectura del Oriente Antiguo. Madrid: Cátedra.

 GHIRSHMAN, Roman (1974): Persia. Protoiranios, medos, aqueménidas. Madrid: Aguilar. 

GÓMEZ LÓPEZ, Consuelo (2006): El arte en el Próximo Oriente antiguo. Madrid: Ediciones JC.

KLIMA, Joseph (1980): Sociedad y Cultura en la Antigua Mesopotamia, Madrid: Akal. 

KUHRT, Amélie. (2000) : El Oriente Próximo en la antigüedad, 2 vols. Barcelona: Crítica. 

LARA PEINADO, Federico. (2000):  El arte de Mesopotamia. Madrid: Cambio 16. 

LIVERANI, Mario. (2006): Uruk, la primera ciudad. Barcelona: Bellaterra.

LIVERANI, Mario (2008): El antiguo Oriente. Historia, sociedad y economía. Barcelona: Crítica.

LEICK, Gwendolyn (2002): Mesopotamia. La invención de la ciudad. Barcelona: Paidos.

MACQUEEN, J.C (1996): The Hittites: and their contemporaries in Asia Minor. Londres: Thames & Hudson. 

MARGUERON, Jean Claude. (1996):  Los Mesopotámicos. Madrid: Cátedra.

MONTERO FENOLLÓS, Juan Luis (2010): Torre de Babel: historia y mito. Murcia:Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia

OATES, John (1986): Babylon, Londres: Thames & Hudson.

OPPENHEIM, LEO A. (2003): La antigua Mesopotamia, retrato deunacivilización extinguida. Madrid: Gredos.

PARROT, André (1979) [2006]: Sumer. Paris: Gallimard.

PARROT, André (1970): Assur. Paris: Gallimard.

ROUX, Georges (1987):  Mesopotamia. Historia política, económica y cultural. Madrid: Akal.

SASSON, Jack M. (2000): Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Peabody, MA : Hendrickson Publishers.

SCHMIDT, Erich Friedrich (1953): Persepolis. I: Structures, Reliefs, Inscriptions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

SPYCKET, Agnès (1981): La statuaire du Proche-Orient ancien, Leyde et Cologne: Brill Academic Publishers.

VV.AA. (2006): El Imperio olvidado. El mundo de la Antigua Persia. Catálogo de la Exposición. Barcelona: La Caixa.