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 Freer|Sackler galleries. The objects in this collection span several thousand years, from 5,000 B.C.E. to the advent of Islam in 651.