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Title: Royal Statuary of Early Dynastic Mesopotamia
Author: Marchesi, Gianni
Additional Authors or Contributors: Nicolo Marchetti
Publisher: Eisenbrauns; Publication Date: 2011
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781575061733
Volumes: 1; Pages: 400 + 65 plates
List Price in Hardcover: $99.50 Our price: $83.99
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The corpus of Early Dynastic (Sumerian) figurative statues is substantial. For many years, establishing the sequence and development of these objects has been a complicated task. In this volume--first published in Italian in 2006 and here translated and completely revised and updated--Nicol� Marchetti and Gianni Marchesi provide a complete relative chronology for these remarkable objects. Having established the sequence through an examination of the excavated contexts in which the statues were found, the authors then consider the significance of the changes, over time, in the subjects of the statuary, noting that in the earlier phases the statuary celebrates the entire administration of the kingdom but that, over time, the king alone becomes the focal point of the visual and epigraphic evidence. Near the end of the Early Dynastic period, which was a time of continual political upheaval, the iconography develops further in specific, detailed ways, with the result that the royal figure is featured even more prominently.
The survey of published and unpublished Early Dynastic inscriptions on statues has resulted in the identification of hitherto undetected statues of rulers. At the same time, a number of statues that previously have been considered to be royal have turned out to be, on closer examination of the inscriptions on them, to belong to lesser officials. These new data and the interpretations presented here provide a new point of departure for further investigation of the royal statues from the Early Dynastic period and also provide new opportunities for the study of royal ideology in this early phase of Mesopotamian history--a time when the figure of the kind as political leader of the human community first emerges and becomes visible in both the iconography and the written documentation.
First published in 2006 as La statuaria regale nella Mesopotamica Protodinastica (Rome: Bardi Editore).