Comparing Ancient and Classical Art

Topics: Stonehenge, Ashoka the Great, Stupa Pages: 5 (1327 words) Published: September 23, 2014


Comparing Ancient and Classical Art
ARTS/230
Comparing Ancient and Classical Art

Ancient and classical art comes in all different shapes and sizes of visual experience. In this paper we explore into the making and design of two unique architectural buildings, Stonehenge and The Great Stupa at Sanchi. These two fascinating buildings were built in different eras from BCE to CE and yet have many similarities, and as well carry distinct differences between the cultural values and the purpose they were intended. This paper will also focus on the area’s region and the functions these two artifacts carry in our culture in the present day.

The Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, England. The Stonehenge is made up of many different size stones. The heal stone alone is 16ft tall, weighing 35 tons. When the sun sets, this stone casts a shadow towards the main circle of stones. There are two smaller stones known as the “Avenue”, which are lined up and these also cast a shadow in the direction of the circle. There are 2 stones that follow the “Avenue”, that stand next to each other, almost like an entrance to the outer circle of stones. The two stones are known as the “slaughter stone”. The slaughter stones were believed to be a place of human sacrifice. The main circle of stones are known as “The Sarsen Circle”. These stones are set in a circle and supported by tenon joints. The circles of stones are also circled by the outer bank, which is a 330ft in diameter and is the oldest construction in the area. In the middle of the circle consists of five trilithons. These stand 22ft above ground and are 8ft below ground level. The weight of these stones is 50 tons. In the inner circle is also the “Altar Stone”, this is made of smooth, green sand stone, which is known as one of the most recognizable stones at Stonehenge. The main circle of stones, have smaller stones inside, which also form an inner circle and these are known as “Bluestone Circle”. The Stonehenge was believe to be built in 2750-1500 BCE.

The stupa sits on a hilltop in central India. The stupa consists of four gateways and each gateway has decorations that tell a story in regards to the life of Buddha. The shape of the stupa is dome shaped and is surrounded by a fence to limit distractions during the meditation period. The dome has an upper and lower pathway. The lower path represents the path of life and the upper representing enlightenment. The top of the dome has an umbrella, which is a tower of three discs, smaller at the top and bigger at the bottom. All three discs represent something different, from top to bottom, Buddha, his teachings and the community of Buddhist. The Stupa was built over 400 years, but most of its completion was in 15CE. The Stonehenge World Heritage spans ten miles around the famous site of Stonehenge. The region is also known as the Salisbury Plains as the location is grassy and flat. This Neolithic artwork in the United Kingdom is a famous destination for many individuals around the world.

Unlike the region in which Stonehenge is located, the Great Stupa at Sanchi rests upon a hilltop in central India. Sanchi, which stands for small village is located in the Raisen district of the Madhya Pradesh ("Sanchi City Travel Guide", n.d.). The surroundings of the Stupa is calm and restful and it is surrounded by hills, trees, and other types of vegetation. Many individuals still visit this religious site along with other temples and stupas located in this region.

Scientists believe that it took over 600 individuals to create the famous Stonehenge monuments. This was because some of the rocks weighted some 50 tons. Great teamwork by the Neolithic people of Britain is attributed to the creation of Stonehenge.

The great emperor Ashoka of Maurya is the creator of the Great Stupa at Sanchi although this site was rediscovered in 1818 by a British officer. It was then that the site was reconstructed to the condition that is in...

References: Closer look. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://closerlook.pearsoncmg.com/view.php?type=closerlook&id=653#
Sanchi City Travel Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hoparoundindia.com/madhya-
pradesh/city-guides/sanchi.aspx
Stupa. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu/stupa/
University of Phoenix.(2010). A World of Art, Ch.17. Retrieved from University of Phoenix,
ARTS230 website.
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