Come meet other teachers and engage in an exciting workshop series dedicated to understanding ancient cultures. The Cleveland Museum of Art is offering a free two-part series to kick off the Teacher Resource Center’s collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College’s Gilgamesh project , a two-year-long exploration and reinterpretation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a set of heroic stories about the Sumerian king who may have lived around 2700 BC. Gilgamesh was a historical king of Uruk in Babylonia, on the River Euphrates in modern Iraq. A masterpiece of Mesopotamian literature, the epic recounts the pursuit of fame and immortality by the semi-legendary king. Its story line and themes are still resonant today: it encompasses a quest for the meaning of life and mortality, of friendship and loyalty, and of fame and power. The first evening’s lecture and gallery tour by Jay Lemanski, PhD will provide a historical and cultural background of the Gilgamesh story through the history of the Sumerians and beyond. Lemanski is the author of The Art of Writing: The Origin of the Alphabet, a Cleveland Museum of Art publication, and has been teaching about the intersection of ancient art and texts for more than 10 years. On the second evening we will explore the origins of cuneiform , one of the earliest forms of writing, and how it has impacted our own written culture. Over thousands of years, Mesopotamian scribes recorded daily events, trade, astronomy, and literature on clay tablets. Among Dr. Lemanski’s many skills are his ability to play the lute and to read cuneiform.
Participants will have the opportunity to practice cuneiform  writing in soft clay as well as make permanent cuneiform tablets. Register by emailing trc [at] clevelandart [dot] org or calling 216-707-6880. Limited to 25 participants.