An exhibition showcasing 170 treasures from Ancient Mesopotamia will open at the Museum of History tomorrow.
Running until May 13, it is presented by the Leisure & Cultural Services Department and the Trustees of the British Museum.
It is the first exhibition on Mesopotamian artefacts ever held in Hong Kong and the only venue in Asia to host the world tour of this exhibition.
Officiating at the exhibition’s opening ceremony today, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said: "For 2,000 years, the history of Mesopotamia had been lost, forgotten and remained a mystery. Thanks to the archaeological excavations in the mid-19th century and the conservation efforts made by the British Museum, we are privileged to be able to see, for the first time in Hong Kong, such an impressive showcase of the precious artefacts of ancient Mesopotamia."
The exhibition will focus on the heartland of Mesopotamia, now Iraq, and explore significant episodes of ancient Mesopotamian history from 3,500 BC to 539 BC.
The artefacts include clay tablets bearing the earliest human writing in cuneiform scripts (3,300 to 3,000 BC); cylinder seals used in commercial and legal transactions; jewellery made of gold, silver and precious gems; political and religious statues; palace furnishings made of bronze and ivory; a host of military and ceremonial gear; and massive stone reliefs featuring hunting and battle scenes.
Visitors will also witness the glamour of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires through the relics of the Palaces of Nimrud and the Royal Library of Nineveh. Legends of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Creation of the World and the Tower of Babel are also covered in the exhibition.