Making Matters Worse? The Debate Over “Repatriating” Antiquities to Failed States in the Middle East

With Islamic State on the rampage, and other groups swearing allegiance to them in Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the threat to ancient heritage is greater than ever, and the debate over whether or not to return antiquities, looted or legally exported, to the modern nation states where they were discovered is fiercer than ever.… Read More Making Matters Worse? The Debate Over “Repatriating” Antiquities to Failed States in the Middle East

Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: A Photo Essay

Visitors with a special interest in antiquities will be stunned when visiting the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, not only because of the great quality of ancient art and artifacts on view but also because of the key role that many of these objects have played in the development of fields such as archaeology and… Read More Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: A Photo Essay

Every Coin Tells a Story…Some More than Others

The silver coin pictured here, a “Tram” of the Cilician Armenian ruler Levon I, is a survivor from a rather remarkable episode in the Medieval history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Our story begins far to the east, with the conquest of much of the Middle East by the Seljuk Turks. Fleeing their original homelands in… Read More Every Coin Tells a Story…Some More than Others

Iranian Antiquities in the Current Political Context

International political affairs often interfere with normal processes of cultural exchange. There can hardly be a better example than the current situation in relation to Iran. Severe trade restrictions or total embargoes on trade with that country have had the unfortunate impact of also restricting trade between other nations on goods of Iranian origin, including… Read More Iranian Antiquities in the Current Political Context

A Sampler of Ancient Assyrian Art at the British Museum

Glazed terracotta tile. Nimrud. 875-850 BCE Protective spirit. Northwest Palace at Nimrud. 865 BCE Human headed winged lion, formerly flanking a doorway in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud. Time of Ashurnasirpal I, 865 BCE The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, showing scenes of tribute bearers from many lands. 858-824 BCE Gates from Shalmaneser III’s palace… Read More A Sampler of Ancient Assyrian Art at the British Museum