Nineveh 612 BC

A Public Exhibition of Assyrian Art and Artefacts

In connection with its anniversary symposium the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project arranged a public exhibition on the State Archives of Assyria and Assyrian art entitled “Nineveh 612 BC.” The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Finnish Science Center, Heureka, and was on display at the Science Center in the northern part of the Helsinki metropolitan area from September 8 through December 31, 1995.

As indicated by its title, the exhibition tried to convey to the spectator something of the essence of the Project: restoring the former glory of Assyria from the pitiful remains left to us at the destruction of Nineveh.

The objects on display included 60 cuneiform tablets on loan from the British Museum. The tablets had all been published in the State Archives of Assyria series, and portrayed various aspects of the royal archives of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire ranging from royal hymns to slave sales.

The cuneiform tablets were supplemented by about 60 objects illustrating the cultural context of the texts, including jewelry, ivory carvings, seals, statuettes, glazed bricks and weapons, on loan from the British Museum, the Vorderasiatisches Museum, the Israel Museum and the Hermitage.

The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue in English and Finnish, NINEVEH, 612 BC - The Glory and Fall of the Assyrian Empire: Catalogue of the 10th Anniversary Exhibition of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project / NINIVE 612 eKr. - Assyrian imperiumin loisto ja tuho: Assyrian valtionarkistot -projektin 10-vuotisnäyttelyn luettelo (ISBN 951-570-257-7), edited by Raija Mattila. In addition to the catalogue of the objects and tablets (including full translations of all texts exhibited), it contains articles on “Assyrian Art” by Margot Stout Whiting, “Format and Content in Neo-Assyrian Texts” by Karen Radner, and “Cuneiform Calligraphy” by Peter Daniels. Copies are still available from the Helsinki University Press.

The official opening of the exhibit took place as part of the program of the Project's 10th Anniversary Symposium and included a superb illustrated lecture by Evelyn Klengel, Director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, on the history of the Vorderasiatichhes Museum and its collections.

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