Treasures from Ancient Near East

The ancient Near East, a region extending from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea to present-day Afghanistan, was home to several of the world's oldest civilizations. Favored with an abundance of natural resources, the people of this region developed metalworking and pottery-making to a level of sophistication unknown elsewhere at the time. Few museums of Asian art boast a collection of Near Eastern Art as rich as that of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. The objects in this collection span several thousand years, from 5000 B.C.E. to the advent of Islam in 651.