Museum of the Ancient Near East in Berlin

Monday, 10 September 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Berlin, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Ishtar Gate © Hnapel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ishtar Gate © Hnapel/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Vorderasiatisches Museum (Near East Museum) is an archaeological museum in Berlin. It is in the basement of the south wing of the Pergamon Museum and has one of the world’s largest collections of Southwest Asian art. 14 halls distributed across 2,000 square meters of exhibition surface display southwest Asian culture spanning six millennia. The exhibits cover a period from the 6th millennium BCE into the time of the Muslim conquests. They originate particularly from today’s states of Iraq, Syria and Turkey, with singular finds also from other areas. Starting with the Neolithic finds, the emphasis of the collection is of finds from Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, as well as northern Syria and eastern Anatolia.

Excavations in historically important cities like Uruk, Shuruppak, Assur, Hattusha, Tell el Amarna, Tell Halaf (Guzana), Sam’al, Toprakkale and Babylon built the foundation of the museum’s collection. Further acquisitions came from Nimrud, Nineveh, Susa and Persepolis. The museum shows finds from the cultures of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria, the Hittites and the Aramaeans. These finds often found their way to Berlin via the German Oriental Society. In 1899, the Middle East Department at the royal museums was created. In 1929, they were provisionally accommodated in the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum, where they have been accessible to the public since 1930.

Ashurnasirpal II relief © Mike Peel - www.mikepeel.net/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ishtar Gate © Hnapel/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ishtar Gate © Rosapicci/cc-by-sa-4.0 Persian warriors © Jakub Hałun/cc-by-sa-4.0 Sphinx from Sam'al © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro/cc-by-sa-4.0 Wall panels from the temple-palace at Tell Halaf © Miguel Hermoso Cuesta/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Wall panels from the temple-palace at Tell Halaf © Miguel Hermoso Cuesta/cc-by-sa-4.0
During the Second World War, there were hardly any war-related losses. The mobile exhibits, which were taken as art spoliage to the Soviet Union, were returned to East Germany in 1958. The collection had already opened again as the Vorderasiatisches Museum in 1953.

Notable pieces of the collection are the Ishtar Gate and Procession Way of Babylon, remainders of the ancient city of Babylon, parts of the Eanna temple and Karaindash‘s temple to Inanna in Uruk. The museum also has an important number of Southwest Asian stamp and cylinder seals, as well as cuneiform texts. It has more than 200 of the Amarna letters and the larger (“Meissner”) fragment of the Sippar tablet from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which includes Siduri‘s advice, unlike later editions of the epic.

Read more on smb.museum – Museum of the Ancient Near East, museumsinsel-berlin.de – Museum of the Ancient Near East, museumsportal-berlin.de – Museum of the Ancient Near East and Wikipedia Museum of the Ancient Near East (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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