Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art provides a glimpse into LACMA's collections and covers some of the major historical developments, such as the invention of administration and writing, along with chapters on particular categories of objects such as ancient helmets and ancient Iranian ceramics.
The term "ancient Near East" was coined by historians and archaeologists to study civilizations that flourished in the Biblical lands as well as Asia Minor and western Iran. It encompassed different countries in Southwestern Asia, covering a vast area from the east Mediterranean to the confines of the Indus river, which includes the Levant and Syrian Desert, Asia Minor and Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, and parts of Central Asia. The Near East is a topographically diverse region with high mountains, hilly flanks, fertile valleys, and barren lands. This encouraged the exchange of goods and the movement of people, which made the Near East a dynamic region for cultural developments and the cradle of significant inventions and innovations. More than two hundred years ago the existence of ancient Near Eastern art was unknown in spite of Biblical texts referring to ancient cities. The art of the ancient Near East gradually became known in the West as the result of archaeological exploration between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. Adventurers, travelers, and archaeologists began to discover buried cities of the ancient Near East.
LACMA's collections from the ancient Near East consists of over two thousand objects spanning more than four thousand years and an area extending from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan, with a particular focus on Iran. Holdings including cylinder seals, pottery, bronze horse-trappings, silver vessels, and a group of large Assyrian stone reliefs bear witness to some of the major cultural achievements and historical events associated with the ancient Near East.
Ancient Near Eastern art is not a unified, coherent art. It consists of many arts from a mosaic of human civilizations that flourished in different geographical regions during the course of millennia. This catalogue was written by Ali Mousavi.
- 56 pages, 10 x 7 x 1/4 inches
- 74 illustrations, 70 in color.