Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
Art of the First Cities surveys the evolution of art and culture in the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and their impact on the emerging cities of the ancient world—from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Central Asia and along the Gulf to the Indus Valley—during one of the most seminal and creative periods in history. Some fifty museums from more than a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have participated in this ambitious exhibition, lending national treasures that had rarely, if ever, been sent outside the walls of their art institutions.
The exhibition features about four hundred rare and outstanding works of art—including sculpture, jewelry, vessels, weapons, inlays, cylinder seals, and tablets—selected to demonstrate the quality of the art of Mesopotamia, its distinctive iconography and style, and the breadth of its influence during the thousand years in which the world's earliest cities were transformed into the world's first states and empires.