Open Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-5pm
Closed on Mondays
Celebrating the rich cultural legacy of Iraq, this British Museum touring exhibition marks the first time that new Iraq field research will go on tour with key objects from the Museum collection.
Through 80 remarkable objects, the exhibition seeks to highlight the challenges of protecting Iraq's diverse cultural heritage following decades of conflict. It will also present the current work of the British Museum's Iraq Scheme to protect this legacy for future generations.
Star objects will highlight the scheme's two fieldwork projects in the Ancient Iraqi cities of Girsu and Qalatga Darband and the archaeological research into these cities, dating from around 4,000 years ago. One scheme project in southern Iraq focuses on the discovery of a major temple complex. On display in the exhibition for the first time outside of London will be a statue of Gudea(Opens in new window), ruler of the ancient state of Lagash, which would have originally been erected within this temple complex.
The scheme's second project, in the north of modern Iraq, reveals excavations at a previously unexplored site at the very edge of the Roman Empire, a position challenged by the fearsome Parthians, who embraced Greek cultural traditions passed on by Alexander the Great. Greek-inspired statuettes, personal ornaments influenced by Greek mythology, as well as a statue of the hero Heracles, will also be on display.
The final section of the exhibition will address the recent destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage by Daesh (the so-called Islamic State), and the work of the scheme in response to it. Developed in 2014 at the height of this devastation, the scheme delivers hands-on training at excavation sites to Iraqi archaeologists, helping them to assess, document and stabilise cultural heritage sites that have been damaged or destroyed by Daesh. The many new discoveries made at both sites in the scheme show how much there is still to learn about Iraq's unique cultural heritage.
With the support of the Dorset Foundation, in memory of Harry M Weinrebe, A British Museum touring exhibition Ancient Iraq: new discoveries will tour to Newcastle and Nottingham.
Image credit: Face of Demon Humbaba; fired clay; Abu Haba, Iraq; 1800-1600BC © British Museum
Images L-R: Statue of Heracles; limestone; Ninevah, Iraq; 50AD | Head ornament, with a double string of beads and gold leaf-shaped pendants | Statue of King Gudea; dolerite; Tello, Iraq; 2130BC © British Museum
- Safety Information
The safety of our visitors, staff and students is our priority. Here's what we're doing to help keep everyone safe, and what you can do to help. We ask that everyone is respectful of others’ choices, understanding that some people will feel more comfortable with the lifting of restrictions than others and that health vulnerabilities remain.
Although it is no longer mandatory, we continue to ask staff and visitors to a wear a face covering if they can when inside our buildings. Read our list of exemptions. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If no tissue is available, use your elbow.
The number of visitors permitted in our spaces has been reduced. Although it is no longer mandatory, we ask that visitors give people space where it is sensible or requested.
IF YOU'RE FEELING UNWELL
Please do not visit Lakeside if you or anyone you live with is feeling unwell or have a loss of smell, temperature, consistent cough or loss of taste.
HAND SANITISER STATIONS
Hand sanitiser is available at regular intervals throughout our venues. We recommend you make use of these upon arriving and leaving our venue.
The frequency of our cleaning throughout our venues has been increased, including toilets and other facilities.
We are currently only accepting contactless payments. Cash will not be accepted. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.