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Michael Seymour

Michael Seymour is an assistant curator in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art.

Assyria to Iberia Exhibition Blog

Assyria to Iberia: Reflections

Joan Aruz, Curator in Charge, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; Michael Seymour, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; Sarah Graff, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; Yelena Rakic, Associate Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; and Tim Healing, Senior Administrator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The visitor to the Assyria to Iberia exhibition takes many journeys: one across the centuries that bridge the collapse of Bronze Age palatial societies and the rise of the decentralized world of the Iron Age; one that emerges from the Assyrian heartland—the palaces of Nimrud and Nineveh—with the campaigns of the Assyrian army that brought much of western Asia under its yoke, spreading artistic styles in the wake of war and initiating a flow of treasures into the capital; and, finally, the extraordinary journey of Phoenician sailors, extending across the Mediterranean, through the Greek islands, Etruria, Sardinia, Carthage, and Iberia, initiating an era of unprecedented cultural encounters.

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Assyria to Iberia Exhibition Blog

Vanished Images

Michael Seymour, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, October 6, 2014

Art in the ancient Near East was never a matter of simple representation, as most images are for us today. Instead, the creation of images was a magically meaningful act, and, once created, images partook of the divine or royal individuals they represented. The best example is that of the cult statue, which was not so much an image as an embodiment of the deity represented. Cult statues were common to religious practice across the ancient Near East. Some divine statuettes have also been found far to the west, and in this sense it was more than simply the images of the gods that traveled across the Mediterranean with Phoenician sailors and merchants.

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Now at the Met

The Later Legacy of Cyrus the Great

Michael Seymour, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder, currently on display in the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire (June 20–August 4, 2013), is a document of unique historical significance. It records the Persian king Cyrus' conquest of the city of Babylon in 539 b.c., and his proclamation that cults and temples should be restored, their personnel allowed to return from Babylon to their home cities.

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