Ancient Near East
Considered “ancient” in this central region and beyond, the waxing and waning of cultures and art styles – in an area defined by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers – continued until the Islamic period, around the 6th century AD. With great skill, Near Eastern artisans worked with semi-precious and non-precious stones, copper alloy, gold, and silver to create figures of animals, worshipers, rulers, and deities, as well as vessels and adornments . Some anthropomorphic figures were comprised of multiple materials – chlorite, limestone, lapis lazuli, and so on – showing an early appreciation for polychromy.
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