Beyond Babylon Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum

A globalizing world, developing trade routes, and communication networks connecting these to the world... Every type of product and merchandise that you can think of can be marketed to the four corners of the globe. Today these things are normal and common... But 4000 years ago, what kind of goods were used in trade between civilizations, and how were they transported?
Some 350 objects including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and figurines that traveled from Syria to Anatolia and from Anatolia to Greece, comprise an exhibit called “Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C.,” which opened to the public with a ceremony on November 15 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The artifacts, which come from various museums in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, and Lebanon, can be viewed until March 15, 2009. Although the Met also wanted to include ancient artifacts from Syria in the exhibit, these plans were abandoned because of the “Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act,” which was passed by the American government in January 2008.

A total of 140 items are from Turkey, of which 98 items, belonging to the Uluburun shipwreck, come from the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum, with the remaining items coming from other museums.

These important works from Turkey were retrieved in 1984 from a merchant ship that sank in the Late Bronze Age. Considered the oldest known seagoing ship, it is estimated to have sunk in 1300 B.C., and contained goods that were used for trade from different cultures from Nubia to the Balkans.

Present at the opening of this exhibit, which sheds light on the history of the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean and on Turkey’s history as a center of trade, were Halis Komili, Semahat Arsel, Suzan Sabancı Dinçer, TAİK Başkanı Haluk Dinçer, Jeff Hakko, Semahat Arsel, Ömer Dinçkök, Halis Komili, Melih Sipahioğlu and other well-known names from the Turkish business community.

The exhibition is made possible by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman and The Hagop Kevorkian Fund. Corporate sponsors are the DEIK Turkish-American Business Council, Doğan Holding, Doğuş Holding, Koç Holding, and Sabancı Holding. Additional support is provided by the Oceanic Heritage Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Place: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, 2nd floor
Price: $20 suggested contribution, $15 seniors, $10 students.
Reservations: No Recommendation
Nearby Subway Stops: 4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
Official Website:
Schedule: Thru 3/15/09 Tue-Thu, Sun, 9:30am-5:30pm; Fri-Sat, 9:30am-9pm
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07