Department of Oriental Antiquities and the Islamic Art Section

Map of Ancient Orient

The Department of Oriental Antiquities preserves works which originate from a huge area stretching from the Indus to the Mediterranean, which was home to a great number of civilisations and cultures, from the Neolithic period up to around 9500, the oldest of which date back to 6000 years before Christ.

Cuneiform tablet

It is in this region that we find the very first records of political, military and religious administration, set up to administer these new complex town structures. It was in Mesopotamia, or more precisely in Uruk, around 3100 BC, that writing appeared for the first time in the world, initially pictographic writing, "drawing" the elements of the real world. As these regions developed, so cuneiform writing also began to appear.

The collections are displayed on the basis of three major geographical and cultural ensembles:

Each of these sections is presented in chronological order.

Major Works from the Ancient Oriental Collection
How the Collection was Formed
The Islamic Section

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