Monday, May 7, 2012

Pergamon Museum 2 -- Ancient Near Eastern Art

When John and I stepped through the door leading from the Greek and Roman antiquities to the Ishtar Gate, one of the 8 fabled gates of ancient Babylon, we were once more awe-struck.
The gorgeous glazed tile decorations of the reconstructed gates date from the reign of Nebachadnezzar II in the 6th century BC.
The gates are followed by a reconstruction of the Processional Way,
lined by splendid lions leading to a throne room, all from the same period.
The following rooms display fabulous Neolithic terracotta figures and ceramic pottery
 from ancient birthplaces of civilization like Samara and the Tigris.
John fell in love with these elegant pots.
 As we move into the Assyrian civilization we discover jewellery in gold and semi-precious stones (three thousand years old)
and amulets with fantastic decorations.
 John loved this altar in terracotta tiles dated around 800 BC from Guzana
and this couple sharing their audio tour.
Soon we were immersed in the splendor of full-blown Assyrian achievement.
This Assyrian god seems to be unimpressed by the modern spectators
and the formidable gods on these wall reliefs
are as impressive as when they were first created.
We both love these cuneform tablets from ancient Ur,
especially this almost abstract, poetic example. They were found in Egypt and apparently are letters from Assyrian princes to a 14th century BC pharaoh.
Let's leave our tour with John's shot of me engrossed in reading the description of the basalt votive statue (dedicated by Prince Puzur-Eshtar of Mari, 1950 BC) to my right, who appears to be wearing a false beard.

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