Openwork plaque with a striding sphinx

Syrian-style openwork plaque with a striding sphinx, ca. 9th–8th century B.C. Neo-Assyrian period. Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu). Ivory. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1964 (64.37.1)

"A tale of absolutely stunning human invention."—New York Times

Major support is provided by The Hagop Kevorkian Fund,
the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation logo

Additional support is provided by an Anonymous Foundation and the Friends of Inanna.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts
and the Humanities.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
The Hagop Kevorkian Fund, and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age

September 22, 2014–January 4, 2015

Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide


Exhibition Programs (PDF)

At its height in the eighth to seventh century b.c., the Assyrian Empire was the dominant power of the ancient Near East and the largest empire the world had yet seen, reaching from Assyria (present-day northern Iraq) to the Mediterranean. As Assyria expanded, the Phoenician city-states of the Levant—precariously located along the edge of Assyrian territory—were compelled to expand and strengthen their maritime trade networks to the west. The mercantile connections they established along the northern coast of Africa and the southern coast of Europe to the Strait of Gibraltar and beyond, to the Atlantic, became conduits for raw materials, luxury goods, images, and ideas between the Near East and the Mediterranean.

This landmark exhibition will trace—through some 260 works of art on loan from major collections in Western Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States—the deep roots of interaction between the ancient Near East and the lands along the shores of the Mediterranean and their impact on the artistic traditions that developed in the region. Parallels will also be drawn between works in the exhibition and those in the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection of ancient Near Eastern art.

From the Blog

Welcome to Assyria to Iberia
Posted on September 16, 2014 by Joan Aruz

Related Events

Membership Free Lecture:
Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age
Sunday, October 5, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
For Family/Dual Members and above | Free with Museum Membership
Free Lecture:
Welcome and Introduction
Sunday, October 5, 3:00–3:10 p.m.
Free with Museum admission
Free Lecture:
Foreign Exchange: Phoenician Maritime Trade in the Western Mediterranean
Sunday, October 5, 3:10–3:50 p.m.
Free with Museum admission