This volume catalogues for the first time more than six hundred bronze and iron objects in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each is illustrated and described and then discussed in terms of its formal and stylistic aspects, cultural background, function, and chronology. Bibliographic citations present comparative material relevant to each object. A distinctive feature of this catalogue is its organization. Within the geographical sections the excavated objects appear first, separated from the unexcavated material that is stylistically attributed to the same area. Extensive cross-referencing within the catalogue entries relates objects that arc formally similar, as well as those that are geographically or culturally associated. The objects presented here have been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum over the last century through the Museum's participation in archaeological excavations, by exchange with other institutions, and by purchase or gift.
The geographical areas they represent include much of the ancient Near Eastern world: Iran, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, and Arabia. By studying the objects and the commentary offered in this catalogue, the reader may explore ancient cultures and the problems confronting modern archaeology and scholarship.