The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia (Australian Review) - www.impulsegamer.com -
Title: The Wonders of
Ancient Mesopotamia Where: Melbourne Museum When: May 4 - October 7 2012 Reviewer: Andrew Bistak Review Date: May 2012
The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia
The Melbourne Museum is hosting a five
month exhibition that highlights one of the worlds oldest
civilizations with over 170 detailed artefacts from Ancient Mesopotamia.
In collaboration with the British Museum, this exhibition plays host to
some amazing artefacts and gives the visitor an in-depth look into
Mesopotamia, both in the ancient and modern times.
Like the acclaimed exhibitions Titanic: The Artefact
Exhibition (2010) and Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
(2011), The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia is of a similar vein
thanks to its interactive displays and backgrounds that makes it feel
like you are stepping back in time. With that said, Mesopotamia was an amalgam of
civilizations that included the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian
empires. As a result, the exhibition is split into three sections,
highlighting each empire from religion to law and even a swipe at one of
their rulers who attempted to bring a relatively unknown deity to the
forefront of society.
Mesopotamia is also known as the "Land between
the Rivers" and its ancient borders spread through modern Iraq, North East
Syria and South East Turkey. Located between the Tigris and the
Euphrates river, Mesopotamia has been considered the cradle of
civilization as not only did this culture birth writing but many of its
facets are still incorporated into modern societies such as the Zodiac.
Even today, their written language
is part of modern Jewish writing and more importantly, their 60-second minute
system is used by everyone in the modern world who owns and uses a
and art play a key role to this
exhibition and highlights the progression of written language over thousands of
years that began as pictograms which eventually formed symbols that also
recorded verbal speech.
Opposed to the Ancient Egyptian,
Mesopotamian art, especially their wall reliefs had an interesting style
used by their artists. Unlike the rather static movement of Egyptian
art, movement was accurately recorded by the Mesopotamians such as the
defined ribcages of a lion or the fascinating dying lion
piece that captures a lion just before its death.
However what makes this exhibition so
engaging are the amazing artefacts from gold cups of Queens, amazing wall reliefs
that portray kings hunting lions, detailed cylinder seals that when
rolled onto clay, tell a story or record other key events and artefacts
portraying gods, demons and every day life in the cities and people of Mesopotamia.
What made this exhibition stand out for me
were the interactive wall reliefs using state of the art computer
graphics. These graphics helped these wall reliefs come to life and
really enhanced your appreciation of these ancient artists. Whether it
was a King hunting lions to nobles escaping an oncoming army by diving
into the river, it was quite fascinating to see these stories unfold. There are also facts for children and other interactive
displays to help inspire our knowledge.
The exhibition also showcases the
archaeologists who helped bring this culture back to life and ironically
Mesopotamia was lost for over 2,000 years until the 19th century. There
is even an Agatha Christie link to Mesopotamia and other interesting
facts such as the fall of the city of Babylon (including modern
interpretations) and the unfortunate
looting of the Iraq Museum.
All in all, The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia
is a fascinating museum exhibition that we could happily recommend not just to
history buffs but for the entire family. Recommended!