Resource Section
History & Culture

The Art of the Ancient Near East

Many features of civilization originated in the lands we call the ancient Near East, a vast and varied area from Turkey to the Indus Valley of present-day Pakistan and from the Caucasus to the Arabian Peninsula. This essential guide for K–12 educators introduces the variety and diversity of art produced by the rich and complex cultures that flourished in this region during an equally vast time period, from the eighth millennium B.C. to the middle of the seventh century A.D. Learn about the cultural, archaeological, and historical contexts for a selection of thirty works of art in the form of sculpture, silver and gold ritual vessels and objects, monumental reliefs, cuneiform tablets, and stamp and cylinder seals. Curriculum connections, discussion questions, lesson plans, and activities for a range of grade levels provide useful strategies for teaching in the classroom. The resource also includes a bibliography and glossary. This resource is also available as a downloadable PDF.

This curriculum is one of several available through the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that focus on teaching about art while incorporating a study of pieces from selected collections at the museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Kim Benzel, Sarah B. Graff, Yelena Rakic, and Edith W. Watts