University of Central Oklahoma
HUM 2113 – General Humanities: Ancient to Medieval
Prof. Thomas Kirk
Paper 1 Assignment
Choose one of the following objects currently housed in the British Museum in London:
a. The Standard of Ur
b. The Tomb Paintings of Nebamun
c. The Parthenon Metopes showing the Battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths
In roughly four pages (not including the bibliography), discuss and analyze the object. Your paper should address all of the following questions:
• When and where was it made?
• Why was it made, and for whom?
• What was the historical context? In other words, what was happening at the time that may have affected the decision to create the work, or may have had an influence on the way it was made?
• What did it mean to its intended audience? What message would they have understood from it, and how was that message conveyed (i.e. through symbols, style, medium, etc.)?
• What does it tell us about the society that made it?
For each of these items I suggest reading the material available on the British Museum website as a good place to start. The museum provides suggestions for further reading. When searching for supplemental material, I suggest not searching narrowly for information about these precise objects, but rather for more general texts on Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc.
Your paper should be written as a formal essay, with a clear structure and appropriate tone. Your sources must be cited and you must include a bibliography or works cited page.