Friday, 5 April 2013

Mesopotamia Image Dump 2

Game shopping today. New Cthulhu by Gaslight has no Sherlock Holmes - phew. Looks better than my other 2 versions. But box set cover was nifty. Might have to get the adventures for new york too. I god dungeon crawl classics, Helas, a shirow art book too. Have been watching Ultimate Warriors and is great. Really making me rethink some stuff like shooting into groups, more varieties in some weapons and possible new feats. Meanwhile more Mesopotamian image dump stuff.

Returning to the civilization that left more written documents than any other, Above is  a Ur type city. Probably roof tops would be used more with a bit more green in reality like the ziggurat.
The world floats on water. There are subterranean oceans of darkness, the former domain of Tiamat and now Enki.  Tiamat was the salt water dragon, Apsu her husband the freshwater dragon who Enki killed with a sleep spell and a knife. The upper air is the celestial skydome of the stars where Anu of the old gods still rules the stars and fixes destinies. The middle air is Enlil's dominion as lord of storms and ruler of the old gods from the city of Nippur (he is also an earth underworld god). The lower air is the domain of Adad a storm and lightning god and lesser son of Anu. He manages the weather and floods and probably manages storm and wind demons.
This Babylonian air view is pretty impressive. The city may have had from 500 000 to a million population. Other great cities had 10 000 people. Little wonder its a desert now. Irrigation systems helped support all this. Cities went to war over water resources. When Egypt upper and lower kingdoms unified and the aquaculture systems went from competing to working as one it resulted in the biggest surplus work force and labour cost in history. Thus pyramid building took off. Alexander had a calculation made to repair the ziggurat of Babylon and was told it would be the empires GNP for 30 years to restore. Hard work, cheap manpower built these things not aliens. Multi story buildings are pyramid shaped for engineering reasons not aliens. Without concrete and reinforced structures a few stories are all you can manage. Sumerians had arches too.
 Babylon means gateway of the gods. Gates were meeting places for deals, lovers, everyday persons. Different gates might attract different persons. For some reason a king has set up shop here. While it looks like fun being a kind priests and astrologers would advise king daily with taboos. Don't touch a horse, dont wear red, don't get drunk. More than once a king got told something bad was happening to him so a substitute would be arranged. Sargon the great was found in a basket like moses and raised in the palace as a gardener. He got tho job as decoy king and the rest is history (or at least legendary). He was the chosen of Ishtar.
A fanciful hanging gardens but quite nice. I make realism vary from city to city. I even had a run down flooded city for Deep Ones.
 An Impressive procession. When your city was captured they would carry away your gods cheif statue and lock it in their gods dungeon. Worshipers now delivered tithes and ransoms to the winning god. God statues would visit other gods and even marry them. Dolls houses for adults.
A nice hunting scene from Look and Learn based on relief wall carvings
 Angus McBride Assyrian siege.

Babylon aerial view
A ceremonial bridge being built and inspected by nobles. Impressive row of monster demon statues. A very moody piece.
Many art depictions based on biblical descriptions do this. Many slap Brugel's tower in an ancient city again and again and are kind of pointless as illustrations of anything. 
 A Sumerian scene with a king and some kind of festival. He holds a mask which looks like Greek theatrical mask. Possibly of Bes the dwarf was a god of childbirth and ancestors common with common folk throughout the east from Egypt to Iraq. He was a bit of a jester musician too.
  As marker stones were placed on borders, kings might place bricks inscribed with spells and their name on foundations of important buildings. A spike like this would be used to signify the broken ground on a new building. Ancients used many familiar survey techniques and had ancient texts explaining rules and rituals. Priests might spend months checking a locations and determining a buildings  facing.

This is a bit fanciful mash up but it could be a oddity found in mountains or of magical origin.

Finally here are some kings killing lions. In the extreme past kings were temporary and for emergencies like a Grumpy Auroch or man eating lion or human enemies. It isnt hard to imagin how this temporary change happened. Kish is a city reputed to be source of kingship after the flood. Every emperor wanted Kish as a status symbol and to make their king list. Cities when independent used time scale system based on reign of local kings so historians have to match these up to build a coherent timeline. Emperors made this easier.

1 comment:

  1. Now these take me back to University Classics classes. Great photos.


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