Lecture explores the art of the ancient Sumerian temple

by University Communications,

Dr. Jean Evans, Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, will present an illustrated lecture entitled “Gifts for the Gods: Sumerian Art from the Temple.” This free lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Willamette University College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall.

The Sumerian civilization was one of the earliest to emerge in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day southern Iraq) around 3000 B.C. This dynamic culture gave Western civilization such concepts as cities, laws, medicine, literature, poetry and the earliest example of writing in the world. Evans will discuss how votive sculptures, plaques, and other items found in Sumerian temples reflect the mythology and religious beliefs of these ancient people.

Evans has previously worked as an assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. She is the author of “The Lives of Sumerian Sculpture: An Archaeology of the Early Dynastic Temple” (2012). Her archaeological fieldwork has taken her to excavations in Greece, Turkey and Syria.

This lecture is part of an ongoing series that is offered in conjunction with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art exhibition “Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections.” For more information on the complete lecture series and the exhibition, visit www.willamette.edu/go/ancient.

This event is co-sponsored by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Additional support has been provided by grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology and the Verda Karen McCracken Young Art Exhibition Fund of the Department of Art History at Willamette University.