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# SUMERIAN/ BABYLONIAN MEASURES OF CAPACITY Donald L Lenzen used "weight" clues to estimate the capacities of Sumerian/ Babylonian volumes,

referred to in historical literature. Using an ancient ritual text preserved in the Louvre Museum, he was able to reconstruct the sequence of various volume measures. He estimated the volume of the ancient Qa, based upon a statement related to a "Sutu of 10 Minas". The Babylonian Mina was a unit of weight and a Sutu was made up of 10 Qa, so the volume of a "liquid" Qa was, anciently, considered to be the grain weight of a Mina. This was probably a merchant "close approximation", in much the same way that a "Cubus" volume closely approximated the weight of an Alexandrian Amphora of liquid.
BABYLONIAN CAPACITY. 1 Archane128995.793 cubic inches, equals: 6 Homer @ 21599.298 cubic inches, or 36 Artaba.. @ 3583.216 cubic inches, or 216 Sutu @ 597.202 cubic inches, or 2160 Qa. @ 59.720 cubic inches. CORRECTED BABYLONIAN CAPACITY. 1 Archane 129600 cubic inches, equals: 6 Homer @ 21600 cubic inches, or 36 Artaba.. @ 3600 cubic inches, or 216 Sutu @ 600 cubic inches, or 2160 Qa. @ 60 cubic inches.

Obviously the civilisations that (according to historical accounts) gave us the sexagesimal system for navigation and 360-degrees in a circle were working to that number rather than 358.3216 for their Artaba volume. Lenzen's estimate for the cubic capacity of a Qa is 59.72 cubic inches, which is a marginal shortfall on 60 cubic inches. His estimate for the weight of a Babylonian Mina is based upon a count of 15102.72 grains. Whereas this number is without meaning within the ancient parcel of useful numbers, a count of 15120 grains would have tremendous significance and relate to the dimensions of the Great Pyramid, complete with its many codes.

The 12960 number is one of the most used in antiquity and is the value of 25920, the number used to describe the duration of precession in years. If 129600 cubic inches, as represented by the Archane volume, were considered as feet, then this would be a 1/1008th segment of the world under the Great Pyramid assignment of 24741.81818 feet. Alternatively, 1008 feet would be 10 seconds of Earth circumference arc, or 1000 Greek Samos feet. An Archane @ 12960 cubic inches = 7.5 cubic feet and provides a mathematical progression related to the 360-degree compass system and navigation by the Greek or Hebrew "7" system (reeds, Greek miles of 5250 feet). If the 129600 number were read as feet and considered as a circumference value for navigation, then the value would reduce to 2.5 leagues (41250 feet) when divided by 3.141818182. This is 24000 Egyptian Royal Cubits of 20.625 inches. The 129600 feet value would reduce to 24000 Egyptian Royal Cubits of 20.61818182 inches if divided by PI @ 3.142857143 (22/7). This is 1/3168th of the 24741.81818, Great Pyramid standard circumference. The 129600 feet value would reduce to 41472 feet if divided by 3.125, which is 24000 Egyptian Royal Cubits of 20.736 inches and 1/3168th of the 24883.2 mile "true" equatorial circumference.

The Homer @ 21600 cubic inches codes the 2160 mile diameter of the moon and the 2160years the sun spends living in each house of the zodiac during the precession of the equinoxes. It, of course, functions perfectly as a circumference for navigation and when divided by 3.141818182 converts to 6875. There were 68.75 miles for every degree of equatorial arc under the 24750 mile, "11" series reading. When the 21600 value is divided by 3,142857143 (22/7) the value derived is 6872.727272 and there were 68.727272 miles for each degree of arc under the Great Pyramid (24741.81818-mile) assignment. When the 21600 value is divided by 3.125, then the derived value is 6912 and there were 69.12 miles per degree of arc under the 24883.2-mile, "true" equatorial assignment. The Artaba at 3600 cubic inches is reasonably self-explanatory, providing a wide range of navigational options, as do the Sutu @ 600 cubic inches and Qa @ 60 cubic inches.

EACH NATION CREATED PERFECT VOLUME VESSELS BY USING THE PHI FORMULA. Although the cousin nations made their measures either the same or in easily calculable ratios to their trading neighbors, they also required precise formulas for fashioning very individual circular jar or tub vessels for their own coded volumes of preference. The standard formula used universally appears strongly to be: 10 inches PHI (1.6180339) = 6.18034 inches. The mathematical relationships shared in common by many civilisations intimates, very strongly, that the 6.18034 inch increment was used universally to calculate the bases for all "official standard" measuring tubs or vessels used by the cousin nations of the ancient Mediterranean Basin. For example:

1 Egyptian Theban tub @ 11664 cubic inches could have a circular base of 18.541 inches (3 X 6.18034") and sides 43.2 inches high. There would be 270 X 43.2 cubic inches in 11664 cubic inches The length of the Great Pyramid is 432 Hebrew/ Celtic Royal Cubits of 21inches). 1 Greek Metretes vessel @ 2332.8 cubic inches (actually a liquid volume) could have a circular base diameter of 12.36068 inches (2 X 6.18034") and sides 19.44 inches high. The 19.44 number was used for lunar calculations and the Roman Pace @ 58.32 inches was 3 X 19.44 inches. There would be 120 X 19.44 cubic inches in 2332.8 cubic inches. The Hebrew Homer @ 28512 cubic inches could have a circular base diameter of 30.9017 (5 X 6.18034") and sides that were 38.016 inches high. The number 38.016 is a navigational use number and the Roman Amphora @ 1900.8 cubic inches was 50 X 38.016. Alternatively the Hebrew Homer @ 28512 cubic inches was 750 X 38.016 cubic inches. The Roman Amphora @ 1900.8 cubic inches could have a circular base diameter of 12.36068 inches (2 X 6.18034") and sides 15.84 inches high. The 15.84 number was used in navigation and there would be 120 X 15.84 cubic inches in 1900.8.

The Babylonian Archane @ 129600 cubic inches could have a circular base diameter of 49.44272 inches (8 X 6.18034") and sides that extended above the base 67.5 inches. The number 129600 was used in navigation. The sum of 12960 years is half the cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes. There would be 1920 X 67.5 cubic inches in 129600 cubic inches.

Any precise volume standard used by the cousin nations could be fashioned with tremendous precision as a circular vessel when the base diameter was in allotments of 6.18034 inches. The vessels could be more squat than tall or vice-versa... it didn't matter, as long as the base retained the 6.18034 inch progression in it's diameter. The same formula, in lesser ratio, could be used to fabricate tumblers, jars or everything down to small cups for use by wine, beer or mead vendors within commercial premises. The 6.18034 number could also be pressed into service if it was necessary to lay out circular land plots of precise square footage area. For example, an Egyptian Pyramid Acre of 28800 square feet would be a circle with a diameter of 31 X 6.18034 feet. An acre of 43560 square feet (1 furlong X 1 chain) would be a circle of 38.1 X 6.18034 feet. It seems evident that the old Scottish Ell (37 inches) was, quite simply, 6 X 6.18034 inches originally. The Scottish Ell would work very fluidly in laying out circles of desired square footage area with reasonable calculation ease. This is, undoubtedly, one of the surviving measurements carried from Egypt to France and Britain by about 5000 BC. Half a Scottish ell could be used effectively to make old English bushel barrels or tubs of 2160 cubic inches (1/10th of a Babylonian Homer). SUMMARY TABLES, supplied by Prof. Bruce Moon. Corrected Ancient Volume Measures in Cubic Inches for the Major Unit of Each System. Note: a small 2, 3, 4 or 5 means "to the power of".
REF. A B C D E F G H I J K L SYSTEM Sepphoris liquid. Jerusalem liquid Desert liquid Sepphoris Dry Greek liquid Greek dry Roman liquid Syrian liquid Roman dry Alexandrian Egyptian Babylonian UNIT NAME Cor Cor Cor Homer Metretes Medimnus Amphora Metretes Amphora Amphora Theban Archane VOLUME (cu.in) 22394.88 18662.4 15552 28512 2332.8 3110.4 1492.992 3732.48 1900.8 1584 11664 129600 FACTORS 125 9/100 124 9/10 124 3/4 122 1811 12234/5 1239/5 125 6/1000 12418/100 12311/10 12211 12234 123523

(Note the predominance of twelve as a factor) Owing to the large number of common factors in these measures, there are often simple relationships between them, which we obtain by looking at their ratios and cancelling common factors. Examples are the following. A:B 6:5; B:C 6:5; C:D 6:11; D:E 110:9; E:F 3:4; F:G 25:12; G:H 2:5; I:J 6:5; J:K 11:18; K:L 9:100 A:G 15:1; A:H 6:1; B:E 8:1; B:F 6:1; C:F 5:1; D:I 15:1; D:J 18:1; E:F 3:4; E:K 1:5; F:H 5:6; [It is interesting to note that though the Greeks were very familiar with ratios and competent in their use, particularly in geometry, they failed to recognize that they are simply numbers the set of "rational numbers" may all be expressed as ratios of whole numbers. There are some ratios which cannot be so expressed. The ratio of the diagonal to the side of a square (2) is irrational (a fact which apparently horrified Pythagoras) and so is the golden ratio (1 + 5)/2....Bruce Moon]. Having assessed the volume standards of a selection of Mediterranean civilisations and seeing vivid examples of profound codes lurking in the national capacities, let's now address official "weights" standards of the cousin nations.

Sumerian Culture Before the Sumerians appeared on the land, it had been occupied by a non-Semitic people, referred to as Ubaidians. Their name comes from the village of Al Ubaid, in which their remains were first found by archaeologists. The Ubaidians settled the region between 4500 and 4000 BC. They drained the marshes and introduced agriculture. They also developed trade based on small handicraft industries such as metalwork, leather goods, and pottery. The World's First Cities In ancient Mesopotamia, a land of blazing sun and very little rainfall, irrigation was vital for farming. Centuries before the beginning of known history, the Sumerians undertook the stupendous task of building embankments to control the floodwaters of the Euphrates River. Gradually they drained the marshes and dug irrigation canals and ditches. Large-scale cooperation was needed to build the irrigation works, keep them in repair, and apportion the water. This need gave rise to government and laws. The rich soil produced abundant crops of barley, emmer (a kind of wheat), beans, olives, grapes, and flax. For the first time there was a surplus to feed city workers such as artists, craftsmen, and merchants. This great change in living habits brought about civiliza- tion--defined as a city-based society held together by economic enterprises. There were no nations then, only small city-states The Sumerians built their villages on artificial mounds to protect them from floods. Very early they learned to make bricks in molds and dry them in the sun or bake them in kilns. Their sturdy houses were small and crowded close together on narrow lanes. Some were two or more stories high. The whole city was surrounded by a wall for protection. Outside the wall were the poor peoples' huts, built of reeds that were plastered with clay. Each Sumerian city rose up around the shrine of a local god. As a reflection of a city's wealth, its temple became an elaborate structure. The temple buildings stood on a spacious raised platform reached by staircases and ramps. From the platform rose the temple tower, called a ziggurat (holy mountain), with a circular staircase or ramp around the outside. On the temple grounds were quarters for priests, officials, accountants, musicians, and singers; treasure chambers; storehouses for grain, tools, and weapons; and workshops for bakers, pottery makers, brewers, leatherworkers, spinners and weavers, and jewelers. There were also pens for keeping the sheep and goats that were destined for sacrifice to the temple god. Horses and camels were still unknown, but sheep, goats, oxen, donkeys, and dogs had been domesticated. The plow had been invented, and the wheel, made from a solid piece of wood, was used for carts and for shaping pottery. Oxen pulled the carts and plows; donkeys served as pack animals. Bulky goods were moved by boat on the rivers and canals. The boats were usually hauled from the banks, but sails also were in use. Before 3000 BC the Sumerians had learned to make tools and weapons by smelting copper with tin to make bronze, a much harder metal than copper alone. Mud, clay, and reeds were the only materials the Sumerians had in abundance. Trade was therefore necessary to supply the city workers with materials. Merchants went out in overland caravans or in ships to exchange the products of Sumerian industry for wood, stone, and metals. There are indications that Sumerian sailing vessels even reached the valley of the Indus River in India. The chief route, however, was around the Fertile Crescent, between the Arabian Desert and the northern mountains. This route led up the valley of the two rivers, westward to Syria, and down the Mediterranean coast. The Sumerian Writing System Whether the Sumerians were the first to develop writing is uncertain, but theirs is the oldest known writing system. The clay tablets on which they wrote were very durable when baked. Archaeologists have dug up many thousands of them--some dated earlier than 3000 BC. The earliest writing of the Sumerians was picture writing similar in some ways to Egyptian hieroglyphs. They began to develop their special style when they found that on soft, wet clay it was easier to impress a line than to scratch it. To draw the pictures they used a stylus--probably a straight piece of reed with a three-cornered end.

http://history-world.org/sumerian_culture.htm

Art of Mesopotamia

One of 18 Statues of Gudea, a ruler around 2090 BCE The art of Mesopotamia has survived in the archaeological record from early hunter-gatherer societies (10th millennium BC) on to the Bronze Agecultures of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. These empires were later replaced in the Iron Age by the Neo-Assyrian andNeo-Babylonian empires. Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia brought significant cultural developments, including the oldest examples of writing. The art of Mesopotamia rivalled that of Ancient Egypt as the most grand, sophisticated and elaborate in western Eurasia from the 4th millennium BC until the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered the region in the 6th century BC. The main emphasis was on various, very durable, forms of sculpture in stone and clay; little painting has survived, but what has suggests that painting was mainly used for geometrical and plant-based decorative schemes, though most sculptures were also painted.

Contents
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1 Before the Assyrians 2 Assyrian period 3 Neo-Babylonian period 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References

## Before the Assyrians[edit source | editbeta]

The Protoliterate period in Mesopotamia, dominated by Uruk, saw the production of sophisticated works like the Warka Vase and cylinder seals. The Guennol Lioness is an outstanding small limestone figure from Elam of about 30002800 BC, part man and part lion.[1] A little later there are a number of figures of large-eyed priests and worshippers, mostly in alabaster and up to a foot high, who attended temple cult images of the deity, but very few of these have survived.[2] Sculptures from the Sumerian and Akkadian period generally had large, staring eyes, and long beards on the men. Many masterpieces have also been found at the Royal Cemetery at Ur (c. 2650 BC), including the two figures of a Ram in a Thicket, the Copper Bull and a bull's head on one of the Lyres of Ur.[3]The so-called Standard of Ur actually a box of uncertain function, is finely inlaid with partly figurative designs (British Museum). From the many subsequent periods before the ascendency of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 10th century BCE Mesopotamian art survives in a number of forms: cylinder seals, relatively small figures in the round, and reliefs of various sizes, including cheap plaques of moulded pottery for the home, some religious and some apparently not. [4] The Burney Relief is an unusual elaborate and relatively large (20 x 15 inches) terracotta plaque of a naked winged goddess with the feet of a bird of prey, and attendant owls and lions. It comes from the 18th or 19th centuries BCE, and may also be moulded.[5] Stone stelae, votive offerings, or ones probably commemmorating victories and showing feasts, are also found from temples, which unlike more official ones lack inscriptions that would explain them;[6] the fragmentary Stele of the Vultures is an early example of the inscribed type,[7] and the Assyrian Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III a large and solid late one.[8]

## Assyrian period[edit source | editbeta]

An Assyrian artistic style distinct from that of Babylonian art, which was the dominant contemporary art in Mesopotamia, began to emerge c. 1500 BC and lasted until the fall of Nineveh in 612 BC.

Assyrian relief from Nimrud, from c 728 BCE The conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia and much surrounding territory by the Assyrians created a larger and wealthier state than the region had known before, and very grandiose art in palaces and public places, no doubt partly intended to match the splendour of the art of the neighbouring Egyptian empire. The Assyrians developed a style of extremely large schemes of very finely detailed narrative low reliefs in stone or alabster, and originally painted, for palaces. The precisely delineated reliefs concern royal affairs, chiefly hunting and war making. Predominance is given to animal forms, particularly horses and lions, which are magnificently represented in great detail. Human figures are comparatively rigid and static but are also minutely detailed, as in triumphal scenes of sieges, battles, and individual combat. Among the best known Assyrian reliefs are the lion-

hunt alabaster carvings showing Assurnasirpal II (9th century BC) and Assurbanipal (7th century BC), both of which are in the British Museum.[9] Reliefs were also carved into rock faces, as at Shikaft-e Gulgul, a style which the Persians continued. The Assyrians produced very little sculpture in the round, except for colossal guardian figures, usually lions and winged beasts with bearded human heads, often the human-headed lamassu, which are sculpted in high relief on two sides of a rectangular block, with the heads effectively in the round (and also five legs, so that both views seem complete). These marked fortified royal gateways, an architectural form common throughout Asia Minor. Even before dominating the region they had continued the cylinder seal tradition with designs which are often exceptionally energetic and refined. [10] AtNimrud the carved Nimrud ivories and bronze bowls were found that are decorated in the Assyrian style but were produced in several parts of the Near East including many by Phoenician and Aramaean artisans.

The reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin The Assyrian form of the winged genie influenced Ancient Greek art, which in its "orientalizing period" added various winged mythological beasts including the Chimera, the Griffin or Pegasus and, in the case of the "winged man", Talos.[11]

## Neo-Babylonian period[edit source | editbeta]

The famous Ishtar Gate, part of which is now reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, was one of the many gateways into Babylon, built in about 575 BC by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire who exiled the Jews. The walls surrounding the entrance way are decorated with rows of large relief animals in glazed brick, which has therefore retained its colours. Lions, dragons and bulls are represented. The gate was part of a much larger scheme for a processional way into the city, from which there are sections in many other museums.[12] Large wooden gates throughout the period were strengthened with large metal bands, often decorated with reliefs, several of which have survived. Other traditional types of art continued to be produced - the Neo-Babylonians were very keen to stress their ancient heritage and after Mesopotamia fell to the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which had much simpler artistic traditions, Mesopotamian art was, with Ancient Greek art, the main influence on the cosmopolitan Achaemenid style that emerged,[13] and many ancient elements were retained in the area even in the Hellenistic art that succeeded the conquest of the region by Alexander the Great.

## Gallery[edit source | editbeta]

Ancient art history series

Middle East

## India China Japan Scythia

European prehistory

Rome

## Prehistoric art Ancient art history

Western art history Eastern art history Islamic art history Western painting History of painting Art history (study) History of art

Stylized seated female figure with arms folded under her breasts, from Samarra, ca. 6000 BC

## The Guennol Lioness, 3rd Millenium BCE, 3.5 inches high

Fragment of the Stele of the Vultures, Early Dynastic III period, 26002350 BC

"War"-panel of the Standard of Ur, ca. 2600 BC, showing parading men, animals and chariots

## The Burney Relief, Old Babylonian, around 1800 BCE

Plaque showing a lion biting the neck of a man lying on his back, one of the Nimrud ivories, Neo-Assyrian period, 9th7th centuries BC