Examines civilizations of the Iran-Iraq region from the rise of urbanism in Mesopotamia through the era of the first 'world empire,' Achaemenid Persia. Emphasizes the material record of religious and state institutions of the ancient Near East, especially monuments that illustrate concepts of kingship. Explores notions of style, symbolism, visual rhetoric, text-image synthesis, patronage, creativity and roles of artists. Recommended prerequisite: CLAS 1509 or ARTH 1509. Same as CLAS 5269 and ARTH 4269 and ARTH 5269.