Thursday, January 29, 2015


Room VI - Votive bronzes of the first millennium BC
“Magic stele” to heal the bites of scorpions and snakes, with a representation of the child god Harpokrates

“Ibis of God Thoth” late period 712/332 BC in gilded bronze

“The bird ibis was an animal common in the Nile Valley. It is identified with Thoth, the patron god of writing and calculating, the divine scribe and patron of scribes. In Egyptian funerary speculation, Thoth is the one who weighs the heart of the deceased before the divine tribunal of the afterlife. This beautiful ibis in gilt bronze was restored in 2002 thanks to a grant of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Fishes”, “Crocodile god Sobek”, “Bull Apis and the cow his mother”, “Icneumone (called “rat of the pharaohs”), animal sacred to the sun god of Heliopolis Atum, “Scorpion of the goddess Selket”, “Hawk of the god Horus”, “Female cat of the goddess Bastet”, “Some aspects of the snake-goddess”

“Imhotep” the famous vizier of the pharaoh Zoser of the Third Dynasty, the architect who built his pyramid at Saqqara and was deified in the Late Period

Room VII - Bronze and clay figurines of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt


“Aurora Goddess” minor Greek deity becoming more important in Hellenistic Egypt in syncretism with other Egyptian goddesses

Alexandrian Triad, Serapis, Isis and Harpokrates represented in various forms: “God Harpokrates sitting on a lotus flower”. Harpokrates was the Hellenized god Horus

“Priest in the guise of the god Anubis”

Number of molded terracotta figurines called Alexandrian

Christian objects from Coptic Egypt dating from the fifth to the eighth century AD, including oil lamps, incense containers and clay phial for holy water

Egyptian Islamic objects from the eighth to the fourteenth century AD

Room VIII - Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine and Federico Zeri Collection from Palmyra


“Sale of a piece of land” about 2500 BC by Fara in Central Iraq

“Nail” 1865/1833 BC from Uruk, Southern Iraq, with the name and title of the King Sin-Kashid of Uruk

“List of rations of dates” from Central Iraq

“Cylindrical seals of Mesopotamia” used since the third millennium BC to authenticate the cuneiform documents

Extraordinary “Clay cylinder” of the famous Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (605/552 BC) in which he recalls the foundation of the Temple of God Lugal-Marda in the town of Maradda
Nebuchadnezzar II subdued the kingdom of Judah, destroyed the Temple of Solomon and deported the Jews to Babylon

“Mesopotamia is the place which gave birth to cities, to writing, to the idea of state. Of the extraordinary process of formation of the first civilization are eloquent witnesses the tablets written in cuneiform writing and cylindrical seals, which were used to validate the documents produced by the first public administration in history” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Kit of a tomb of the Bronze Age I” 3150/3050 BC from Bab edh-drĂ¡ha in Jordan, one of the largest cemeteries in the Early Bronze Age I

“Vase from burial ornaments of the Early Bronze Age IV” 2300/2200 BC from the Necropolis of Jericho

“The Early Bronze Age IV is the period of Palestinian history in which the region's population abandons the system of urban life to return to the agricultural economy of the village” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Group of thirteen funerary reliefs” first to third century AD, ten of which left by the will of the late art historian Federico Zeri, exhibited since 2000 in a display inspired by the niches of the family tombs of Palmyra
They illustrate some of the most common types of extraordinary sculptural production of the city of Palmyra

“Red Ceramic Pitchers ingubbiata” (covered with a thick layer of liquid clay just before cooking, forming a coating film) and polished (rubbed with a wooden or cloth), a characteristic production of the Syro-Palestinian's Iron Age II (1000/800 BC)

“Six bronze arrowheads” of a type characteristic of the Iron Age II B and C (800/586 BC) found in Jerusalem near the fortifications and probably referable to one of the attacks suffered by the city by the Assyrians (702 BC) or Babylonians (589 and 586 BC)

Room IX - 883/612 BC - Reliefs from Assyria (Northern Iraq)


The exploits of kings who extended the boundaries of the first great empire in history from Persia to the Mediterranean, from Anatolia to Egypt were celebrated in grand palaces decorated with cycles of reliefs


“Winged Genius kneeling adoring the tree of life” and “Winged Genius as eagle's head” in limestone alabaster from Nimrud room I of the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II (883/859 BC)

“The kingdom of Ashurnasirpal II marks the first great flowering of neoassirian figurative, art which is expressed in the decoration of the monumental Royal Palace that the King built on the north-west of the Acropolis of Nimrud, the ancient Khalku. The two reliefs belong to the exposed plates dedicated to the mythical-symbolic theme of the worship of the Sacred Tree, a symbol of royalty bringer of fertility and life” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

SARGON II (721/705 BC)

“Brick with inscription of Sargon II” (721/705 BC) 706 BC in fired clay, glazed and stamped by the Royal Palace of Khorsabad. The inscription extols the unique construction of the Palace


“Assyrian soldiers carrying stools” part of the spoils of a conquered city (perhaps in Syria), in limestone alabaster from Nineveh (Kuiunjik), South-West Palace of Sennacherib (704/681 BC)

“Workers involved in the transport of a colossal human-headed bull” from Nineveh, Southwest Palace


“Tents of the Arabs in the desert burned by Assyrian soldiers” in limestone alabaster from Nineveh, North Palace of the Arab Hall of Ashurbanipal (680/636 BC)

It is a celebration for the victories against the Syro-Arabian desert nomads

Other reliefs from Ashurbanipal's North Palace including: “Dead bodies floating on a river”, “Grooms hold horses” and “Chaldeans prisoners conducted in a palm grove”

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