Art paper project - Essay Example

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Tutor name Subject name Date The ancient city of Petra So far the art class has been interesting and has given insights into the critical analysis of art and how we can use art of all forms to understand societies, their cultural backgrounds, and history…
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The ancient of Petra So far the art has been interesting and has given insights into the critical analysis of art and how we can use art of all forms to understand societies, their cultural backgrounds, and history. So far we have not studied a single artifact that can act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for art. For this case, I read and researched about a unique artifact, actually an architectural city that is a one-stop-shop for artifacts. This historical architectural artifact is called the ancient city of Petra or “the city on stone” (Paradise 40). The ancient city of Petra is a historical and architectural artwork that was literary curved from sandstone (Comer 88). Located in the southern Jordan, the architectural city contained temples, tombs, alters and other religious structures of Nabataeans, a nomadic Arab tribe. It has been proved that at its peak, the city was inhabited by approximately 20,000 Nabataeans who had extreme knowledge and skill of constructing waterways that provided the city with water (Comer 90). The city was a unique civilization that stood at the intersection of the ancient near east and was the main point for trade because all spice routes in its time went through Petra city. The city remains the only city curved on stone, and since its discovery in 1800s a lot is being discovered concerning the city and much details of how the city looked like 2000 years ago. On reading about the architectural city and viewing its features, it is clear that the city is home for uncountable artworks. In fact it is like a complete museum under one roof. Therefore, the analysis of its art form is only possible in a general perspective and each artwork, from different art forms and genre, should be analyzed separately. This makes the architectural artwork interesting than any other since it is home for a whole civilisation artworks of various genres. One of the most conspicuous artistic features of the city is its form. The city was curved on stone and trying to image how long it took and how difficult it was to curve a city on stone reveals much about the skills of the Nabataeans, as well as their display of political, religious and artistic might. At the gates of the city are symmetrical pillars that hold the massive stone and that shows that the artwork was as a result of one of the greatest artistic skills of the time (Bedal 57). The architectural city contains uncountable artworks that can be studies in order to understand the complete Arabian artwork. For example, the excavators have discovered stone sculptures and reliefs, wooden and painted artworks, metal works and ancient inscriptions, all of which can be useful in understanding the ancient Arabian art (Bedal 58). The city has a lot of facts concerning culture and religion of the ancient dwellers and occupants; the Nabataeans. A good examples lie in the numerous tombs that litter the city and the carvings of their gods and goddesses; who in most cases were deified dead leaders of Nabataeans (Conway & Horsfield 370). The religious world of Nabataeans was drawn from various religious traditions that neighbored north Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and Edom (Conway & Horsfield 371). From the analysis and study of the nature of the small temple at Petra the city was built during the Roman era (Reid 26). Most artworks and even the carvings on the architecture reveal figures of zodiac. An example is the figure of an ancient Nabataeans statue whose two pieces were rejoined. The sculpture is the statue of Nike and on its top is a disk with the bust of Tyche, the Greek goddess imported by Nabataeans (Reid 27). This artwork within the architecture can be useful in studying the religion of the city occupants and shows the way art can be used to understand the history of ancient civilisations. The ancient city of Petra is essential to the study of the history of art because of its uniqueness. First, the city is curved on stone and has almost all components of a complete society. There are religious, political, economic, and social aspects which are demonstrated through the artworks found on the site. All the Arabian artwork collected from the city can be great insights into the cultural and living environment of the Arabian civilisations. The location of the city is a good source of insights into the trade control and political might that the resident Arabian tribe had in the Eastern Arabian trade routes. In this case, the architectural city needs to be studies in its entirety as a piece of art that contains numerous pieces of art of the time that can be used to understand one of the most unique Arabian early civilisations. Works Cited Bedal, Leigh-Ann. The Petra Pool-Complex: A Hellenistic Paradeisos in the Nabataean Capital. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2004. Print.  Conway, Ajjpies & George Horsfield. “Historical and Topographical Notes on Edom: with an account of the first excavations at Petra.” The Geographical Journal, 76 .5 (1930): 369-390. Comer, Doug. “Archaeological Heritage at Petra: Drive to Development or Destruction?” ICOMOS-ICAHM Publications through Springer-Verlag, NYC, (2011): 87-119. Paradise, Thomas. “Weathering of sandstone architecture in Petra, Jordan: influences and rates.” In GSA Special Paper 390: Stone Decay in the Architectural Environment, (2005): 39–49. Reid, Karz. The Small Temple. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006.  Print. Read More
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