Dr. Clemens Reichel, Associate Curator of Ancient Near East in the ROM’s Department of World Cultures and a specialist in Mesopotamian archaeology, is the curator of Mesopotamia during its ROM engagement. He comments, “Many things that we rely on in our daily lives originated in ancient Mesopotamia. Visitors will be surprised to learn just how much we owe to the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.”
Statue of King Ashurnasirpal II. Statue of King Ashurnasirpal II, from Nimrud, Temple of Ishtar, 875-860 BCE. A rare surviving example of an Assyrian sculpture in the round. © The Trustees of the British Museum.
The Epic of GilgameshThe Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VI, 7th century BCE. One of the great compositions of world literature, it tells a universal story of one man’s heroic quest for immortality. © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Bead head-dress with gold leaf pendants, c. 2500 BCEHeaddress, Royal Cemetery, Ur, c. 2500 BCE. Worn by one of the many female attendants in a tomb known as the "King’s Grave." © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Striding LionStriding Lion relief (c.750-539 BCE) from the ROM's collection, once adorned the façade of the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562 BCE) in Babylon. © Royal Ontario Museum.
The Great Lyre (Gold, lapis, and shell)Lyre, Royal Cemetery of Ur (c. 2650 – 2550 BCE). Early Mesopotamian funerary rituals are represented on the plaque below the bull’s head. Generously loaned to the ROM by © the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
The Dying LionThe Dying Lion, from Nineveh, North Palace, c. 645–640 BCE. Originally part of a larger relief panel on which King Ashurbanipal was shown hunting lions in his chariot. © The Trustees of the British Museum.