I researched this piece from The Louvre for my final art history session where we all created posters based on our findings and discussed them with the class. The Victory Stele of Naram-Sin is a famous artifact that I learned about way back in Survey of Western Art I, a product of the Akkadian Empire around 2230 BC. It’s important because it was the first work of art where the figures were organized into a natural landscape rather than by rigid horizontal dividers… but the landscape actually serves a much bigger purpose than just a setting for the scene. The tree carved into the stone is a very specific type of oak tree that is native to the exact region where that scene took place, so it was most likely recorded as evidence of their domination over the land; and moreover, that same region is home to the type of limestone in which the stele is made of – this means it was probably taken as a trophy from the mountains and brought back home as proof. Naram-Sin was extremely focused on marking his territory as a ruler so it makes sense that he would be the first to include geographical features in his artwork, since he cared about them so much in real life too.