Exhibition Type: Ancient Near Eastern Art

10 objects

Shaping Clay in Ancient Iran

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/shaping-clay-in-ancient-iran/

Gallery 29 Potters in ancient Iran were fascinated by the long-beaked waterfowl and rams with curled horns around them. This exhibition of ceramics produced in northwestern Iran highlights animal-shaped vessels as well as jars and bowls decorated with animal figures. These ceramics, the most common objects to survive from ancient Iran, date from the Chalcolithic …

A Glimpse of Ancient Yemen

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/a-glimpse-of-ancient-yemen/

Gallery 27 Frankincense and myrrh, the fabled aromatics, have long been associated with south Arabia (modern Yemen), which the Romans called Arabia Felix (Arabia, the Prosperous). Caravans transported the luxury commodities to the Mediterranean world and the Indian subcontinent. Timna and other cities along the trade routes prospered and became known for their artistic production, such …

In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/in-the-beginning-bibles-before-the-year-1000/

“In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000” was a landmark exhibition presented in association with the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, which is the principal lending institution for this exhibition and is one of the greatest repositories for early manuscripts in the world. The Bodleian’s curatorial staff has also contributed to the shape of the …

Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/caravan-kingdoms-yemen-and-the-ancient-incense-trade/

For over a thousand years, from around 800 B.C.E. to 600 C.E., the kingdoms of Qataban, Saba (biblical Sheba), and Himyar grew fabulously wealthy from their control over the caravan routes of the southern Arabian peninsula and, in particular, from the international trade in frankincense and myrrh. Excavations at the capitals of these ancient kingdoms …

In the Realm of Princes: The Arts of the Book in Fifteenth Century Iran and Central Asia

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/in-the-realm-of-princes-the-arts-of-the-book-in-fifteenth-century-iran-and-central-asia/

“In the Realm of Princes: The Arts of the Book in Fifteenth-Century Iran and Central Asia” highlighted the remarkable artistic achievements of Timurid princes and their Turkoman rivals. It included 33 of the finest 15th-century paintings, manuscripts, and portable luxury objects from Iran and present-day Afghanistan in the United States. In the 1370s, the charismatic …

Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/divine-felines-cats-of-ancient-egypt/

Galleries 23 & 24 Cats’ personalities have made them Internet stars today. In ancient Egypt, cats were associated with divinities, as revealed in Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Cat coffins and representations of the cat-headed goddess Bastet are among the extraordinary objects that reveal felines’ critical role in ancient Egyptian religious, social, and political …

The Nile and Ancient Egypt

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/the-nile-and-ancient-egypt/

Beautiful and majestic, the mighty Nile River inspired ancient Egyptian artists and craftsmen for more than four millennia. The Nile and Ancient Egypt presents exceptional artifacts in the collection of the Freer Gallery. Made of glass, wood, and stone, these objects illuminate the important role water animals played in ancient Egyptian religion and concepts of the afterlife. …

The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/the-cyrus-cylinder-and-ancient-persia-a-new-beginning/

Modest in scale and appearance, the Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most important and iconic objects in world history. The origins of this baked clay object, which was buried as a foundation deposit, can be traced to the Persian king Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. It bears an …

Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/feast-your-eyes-a-taste-for-luxury-in-ancient-iran/

Gallery 21 The wealth and power of ancient Iran was in part expressed in portable luxury objects fashioned from precious metals and decorated with royal imagery. From the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire in circa 550 BCE to the fall of the Sasanians to Muslim conquerors in 642 CE, Iran played a central role in …

Wine, Worship and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani

https://www.freersackler.si.edu/exhibition/wine-worship-and-sacrifice-the-golden-graves-of-ancient-vani/

The story of Jason and the Golden Fleece is one of the most enduring of ancient Greek myths. According to legend, Jason and his shipmates, the Argonauts, set sail on a perilous journey from Greece to Colchis (modern-day Georgia), then located beyond the known world. His successful quest for the Golden Fleece, which hung in …