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Contextualization and Semantics of Landscape in the Late Bronze Paintings of Qatna

Mattia Petrini

Pages 117 - 134


Plants and animals, water and mountains have always been one of the focal parts of iconography and liter¬ary texts in the ancient Near East. The landscape and the climate, which have greatly changed since the 2nd millennium BC, have been one of the major sources of inspiration for the generation of iconographic myths and leitmotifs. Starting from the Sumerian and Akkadian disputations, in which the fauna and botanical landscape play a predominant part, it is possible to note how nature, climate and sea¬sons are a rather relevant aspect within the imagination of Syria and Mesopotamia. In particular, the excavations in Syria have brought to light valuable pictorial decorations dated to the Late Bronze Age. The scientific debate, very heated right from the start, regarding the production of the iconog¬raphies, has numerous hypotheses about their style and origin. M.H. Feldman, reflecting on the Late Bronze Age paintings of Qatna, spoke of an ante litteram globalisation, advancing the hypothesis that the mixture of workers from different regions of the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean, had favoured the development of internationalisms. However, in addition to the productions and styles, in this case the part inherent to the semantics coherent with the iconographies will also be addressed, comparing them with the sacred and cosmogonic texts of the time.


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