Splendours of Mesapotamia is an exhibition showcasing some of the British Museum's most prized antiquities
Under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, ‘Splendours Of Mesopotamia’ is part of a series of exhibitions in advance of the opening of Zayed National Museum in 2014.
Organised by the Tourist Development and Investment Company (TDIC), this expansive show displays iconic works from The British Museum’s collection, combined with objects from Abu Dhabi’s national collection which will tell the story of ‘the cradle of civilisation’. The ancient people of Mesopotamia and this region (modern day Iraq and parts of Syria) were crucial in the development of the region in the development of human life as we know it. The exhibition will introduce visitors to aspects of the Zayed National Museum and has been specially devised to be shown at the Manarat Al Saadiyat - the Cultural District’s purpose-built cultural centre, based on Saadiyat Island.
The story of this exhibition will be told through the three great centres of Mesopotamian civilisation: Sumer, Assyria and Babylon. The first section on Sumer looks at the growth of society and its contact with the wider world in the third millennium BCE. Assyria in the first millennium BC was the greatest of the Mesopotamian empires and the life and times of this section feature archaeological discoveries from the great cities of Nimrud and Nineveh. The final element of the exhibition, the ascendency and fall of Babylon - seen as the leading cultural centre of Mesopotamia - is also documented through a wealth of objects that tells the story of its rulers and people. The exploration of this transmission of knowledge from the ancient to the modern world is a narrative that the Zayed National Museum’s galleries will showcase, and invites comparison with contemporary UAE.