These areas are covered:
* A photo, including in-text citation (please put the weblink or other citation in the Notes area as shown in the PPT example in my Instructor's Files).
* Description of the item, in your own words (bullet point format next to image, or posted in the Notes box).
* Placement and purpose of the item (bullet point or in the Notes box).
* Discussion of the culture that created these objects (bullet point or in the Notes box).
* Discussion of the intended audience. Was this intended for the general public, the elite or the afterlife? (bullet point or in the Notes box).
As you select your four specific examples of art from Mesopotamia and/or ancient Egypt, please allow some of my notes to help. Thanks for your interesting inquiries!
First of all, you might select a cool piece called "Statuette of a Hippopotamus" from 1981-1885 B.C.E. It is Egyptian in origin since it derives from Dynasty 12 of the Middle Kingdom in Middle Egypt. Its photo is located at http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/viewOne.asp?dep=10&viewmode=0&item=17.9.1#a.
As you offer a description of the item, in your own words, please note that its stunning blue color accentuates the sculpture's body, making it appealing visually but also comforting as well. It also contains interesting patterns that look a bit like lotus flower on its head and body, making it appear a bit feminine or maternal.
As you overview the placement and purpose of the item, you might add that it was placed in burial chambers. Research suggests that "This example was one of a pair found in a shaft associated with the tomb chapel of the steward Senbi II at Meir, an Upper Egyptian site about thirty miles south of modern Asyut" (http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/egyptian_art/Statuette_of_a_Hippopotamus/viewObject.aspx?&OID=100000277&PgSz=1). It seems like it served as a religious, protective device; it was also highly symbolic culturally since it was used with the deceased and as part of the burial equipment.
As you overview its materials, research says that it "was molded in faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz. Beneath the blue-green glaze, the body was painted with the outlines of river plants, symbolizing the marshes in which the animal lived" (http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/viewOne.asp?dep=10&viewmode=0&item=17.9.1#a.).
In your discussion of the culture that created this object, you can note that it offered strong cultural and historical meanings for the Egyptians. This animal and its power seemed to denote strength in physical, mental, and spiritual terms because of its stature, size, and strength. The dual nature of this beast as maternal and fierce reflected the nature of this civilization and its people.
Because the Nile was the lifeline for the people and because this creature is a water animal, it is also highly indicative of the culture.
As you discuss the intended audience, it was likely for the elite and the afterlife. As noted, it was found in a tomb chapel, so it was very spiritual in symbolism and usage.
Similarly, I love Egyptian pieces, so I offer another from this genre. You might use "Bowl with Human Feet, ca. 3750-3550 B.C.E.;" as your second piece. It came from possibly late Naqada I-early Naqada II Predynastic period in Egypt.
Its photo is at http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/egyptian_art/Bowl_with_Human_Feet/ViewObject.aspx?depNm=egyptian_art&pID=1&vW=0&Pg=1&St=5&StOd=1&vT=2&OID=100000258
An additional image is at ...
Egyptian and Mesopotamian art forms are offered as well as research to support them.