US museum to display ancient artworks from ancient Middle East

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Mushhushhu dragon, symbol of the god Marduk, displayed at the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is set to display a collection of exquisite artworks from the ancient empires of Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Rome and the Arabian Kingdom.

The pieces will be showcased at a revamped Ancient Middle East gallery of the museum in the US state of Michigan from October 2, 2015.

Some 177 works will be showcased in an installation aiming to shed light on the connections between advancing technologies and sophisticated art forms during the rise of the ancient civilizations-modern day Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.

“It’s particularly relevant to be reinstalling this collection and making it accessible to the public right now given how much this part of the world has been in the news,” said DIA associate curator of Asian Art, Birgitta Augustin.

Among the works are cuneiform clay tablets, painted ceramics, and metal works, including cast pieces from present-day Lorestan province in western Iran.

Other objects include finely crafted silver and gold coins and jewelry, as well as a floor mosaic showing a personification of the Tigris river, a relief depicting an Assyrian royal scene and stone reliefs from the Persepolis palaces in ancient Persia.

The installation highlights the ways these artworks were created using innovative methods developed in stone-carving, metalworking, writing and ceramics technologies in the ancient Middle East.

The DIA’s collection of ancient Middle Eastern art includes more than 500 works dating back to the period of time between 8000 BCE to 650 CE.