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The Worldwide Met

The Museum's Members just received their Summer Bulletin, which details the archaeological excavations in the ancient Near East that have been supported by the Metropolitan from 1931 to 2010. It reminds me that many people don't realize that the Met has been involved in the study of antiquity since the Museum's founding in 1870 (the Met's Egyptian Expedition began in 1906 and continued with extraordinary success for thirty years).

NatM_Ctesiphon Iraq

Above: Taq-i Kisra, the palace of King Khusrau I (r. 531–79), Ctesiphon, Iraq. Joint Expedition of the Staatliche Museen, Berlin, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–32.

This recent Bulletin gives a sense of the profound history that lies behind the Museum's scholarship and collecting in the field, including our direct partnerships with source countries to excavate collaboratively at some of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Today, we participate in active excavations at Dahshur, Lisht, and Malkata in Egypt; Tell Mozan and Umm el Marra in Syria; and at Palaikastro in eastern Crete and Amorium in Turkey. Just recently, we shipped conservation materials to Afghanistan through the American Embassy, and helped train conservators in Erbil, Iraq. These activities are critical to understanding the cultures represented in our collections, and fundamental to our role as an international museum.

In the multifaceted debate about antiquities, we must not lose sight of the Museum's educational mission and our commitment to allow our collection of ancient objects and their histories (both ancient and modern) to be visible (as in this Bulletin) and part of a much larger dialogue. If successful, we will foster an understanding of all art and culture, and in turn encourage a more global perspective on the world in which we now live.

The Museum Bulletin is a beautifully illustrated quarterly publication that is sent to our Members at the Individual level and above. Learn more about the benefits of Membership.

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