Early Writing and Cylinder Seals: Student Work Display, ARTH 300
The students of ARTH 300 “Art Across Time: Prehistory-17th century” spent weeks engaged in the analysis of artifacts containing ancient writing. Ranging from Sumerian Cuneiform to Egyptian hieroglyphics, students not only ascertained how early writing cultivated cultural progress, but investigated unique methodologies employed to disperse ancient text, such as cylinder seals. Each student conducted independent research on an ancient civilization and determined how specific cultures and regions utilized a specific mode of writing. Students then practiced applied learning by molding a cylinder seal out of clay and carving the seal with the ancient text being researched. At the Secrist Gallery in the JFK Library, visitors may view handmade cylinder seals containing samples of writing with such excerpts as The Epic of Gilgamesh, Akkadian poetry by princess/priestess Enheduanna, The Book of the Dead of ancient Egypt, or even a Sumerian recipe for bread; all recreated in the language and script of the original artifact.