Relegious Symbols

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Sumreen Mahmood
Group A
Semester: Fall 2012
SVAD Foundation
Submission Of Assignment

Hippopotamus
From Thebes, Egypt
1991-1783 B.C.E.
Faience and Ceramic
7 7/8 in. long.
Egyption

Ashurbanipal hunting lions

From the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq Ca. 645-640 B.C.E.
Gypsum
Approximately 5 ft. high
Babylonian

Stonehenge

30 feet (9 meters) tall and weigh 25 tons (22.6 metric tons)  Estimated at 3100 BC
Wiltshire, UK 
Prehistoric

Introduction:
Religion being a collection of beliefs is more related to humanity everyone has their own way of defining the meaning of life how to make the best of it what will happen after death. Different people had various set of beliefs in their time many civilizations had been more superstitious people had strong faith in omens witch craft and other miracles. Afterlife was very important for some civilizations. Symbols are representation of something unique and important and are being used since prehistoric times. I chose “symbols in religion” as my topic, unique symbols are used by different civilizations Stonehenge from Neolithic, hippopotamus from Egyptian civilization and most famous Stonehenge from pre historic times are the references I took. “The term Symbolism means the systematic use of symbols or pictorial conventions to express an allegorical meaning”-http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/c19th/symbolism.htm. 1/1/2013 2:47PM symbolism was mostly related to religious and spiritual acts or is a visual language. Symbols were being used from the pre historic times the famous Venuses found around the world did not aimed naturalism as in case with most Paleolithic figures the emphasis on only some features shows it’s a symbol of fertility. The 13’ high Lamassu (winged animal with human head and body of bull) from Babylonian period seemingly protecting the temple is a symbol of power and guardian. Symbolism can be seen in Egyptian art immensely Ra being the sun God in Egyption civilization is represented through symbols of sun in their art. From Neolithic Art I took Stonehenge being a very strong religious symbol. It’s also a mystery of such large stones placed in an organized manner and at such distant place. “ The stone circles at Stonehenge consist of two main types if stone, a bluestone and a sarsen stone. Both types have been transported many miles from their original outcrops, the prescelly hills, 140 miles to the north. To date, the bluestones, because of the distance transported, have received the greater publicity even though the sarsens are larger and several times heavier”- The Sarsens of Stonehenge: The Problem of Their Transportation Patrick Arthur Hill

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This explains the stones weren’t available anywhere near to that place the transportation of such heavy stones was more of a problem and there is apparently no evidence of the movement of stone other than by humans with no availability of wheels one theory suggests it took years to move the stones and strong men labour was done. “In the only study of the transportation problem to date, Atkinson suggested that tha Stonehenge sarsens originated on the Marlborough Downs because the largest out crops occur there today. According to him selected sarsens were dragged to Avebury, “blessed”, then dragged one at a time on sledges over hardwood rollers to Stonehenge” The Sarsens of Stonehenge: The Problem of Their Transportation Patrick Arthur Hill

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Some of it stones high as seventeen feet and weighing as much as fifty tons. “Stonehenge is a complex of rough-cut sarsen ( a fom of sand stone) stones and smaller blue stones (various volcanic rocks)”- Garedener’s art through the ages page 15. The outermost ring of Stonehenge is one hundred feet in diameter next in it is aring of blustones which, in turn, encircle a horse shoe of trilithons five lintel topped pairs of the largest sarsens, each of them weighing forty five- fifty...
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