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