Author(s): Dominique Collon
Based on the unrivaled collections of the British Museum, this extensively illustrated book is a superb introduction to the art of the ancient Near East from the eighth millennium B.C. to Alexander the Great. Often described as the cradle of civilization, the ancient Near East was the birthplace of writing, monumental sculpture, and wheel-made pottery. Dominique Collon provides a unique view into this ancient world, from village settlements to grand palaces to burial sites. Collon situates the Museum's most beautiful and interesting artifacts against their historical and cultural background. Among the works featured are painted pottery, figurines, cylinder seals, and stone amulets from the earliest village cultures before 3000 B.C. Also here are magnificent finds from graves at Alaca Huyuk in Turkey and the Royal Cemetery at Ur, including jewelry, musical instruments, and the famous Royal Standard. Sculpted reliefs from Assyrian palaces and Sasanian metalwork round out the collection. In her final chapter, Collon shows how art from the ancient Near East resonates in our own world today. A welcome addition is a Mesopotamian chronology summarizing recent astronomical and textual data, compiled by C.B.F. Walker especially for this book.