Exhibition programme: Exploring the Ancient Near East
Public tours in English of the exhibition take place once a month. A leaflet for families leads you discover the exhibition with children. Leaflet available in English, Arabic, Swedish and Finnish.
From the 1840s all the way to the present day, Finnish explorers, archaeologists and researchers have been travelling to the Middle East to study the area’s ancient kingdoms and cultures. Through the travellers’ own stories and the items they brought back, the Exploring the Ancient Near East exhibition showcases how these ancient civilisations that thrived more than two thousand years ago continue to fascinate Finnish researchers. The exhibition offers an opportunity to see Near East items from the National Museum of Finland’s collections and the Finnish Heritage Agency’s archaeological collections that have rarely been put on display.
Read more about the exhibition
Exhibition tour: Exploring the Ancient Near East
Learn all about the exhibition in one go! An exhibition tour is an interactive basic tour of the exhibition, led by an expert guide. During the tour you will learn more about the key items featured in the exhibition and the stories of explorers.
The tour is included in the price of admission to the museum and lasts approximately 30–45 minutes. The tour starts at the museum’s ticket counter in the Central Hall. Please note that we do not take groups on the exhibition tour. If you would like to book a private tour for your group, please contact our customer service.
Public tours in English
Sun 26 June at 14:00
Sun 24 July at 14:00
Sun 28 August at 14:00
Public tours in Finnish
Sun 24 July at 15:00
Sun 31 July at 15:00
Sun 7 August at 15:00
Sun 14 August at 15:00
Sun 21 August at 15:00
Sun 4 September at 15:00
Book a private tour
+358 (0)295 33 6902 (Tue–Fri 9:00–12:00)
Discovery leaflet of the exhibition for children
Discover the exhibition under the guidance of explorers! Write your name in cuneiform, search the exhibition for the ancient incantation bowl or test your skills with ancient games. Leaflets for the self-guided tour will be available in English, Arabic, Swedish and Finnish.
Baytuna -pop up
Tue 2 August–Sun 7 August
11:00–18:00, National Museum of Finland’s Ateljee, 2nd floor
Baytuna means our home in arabic. Here in the Baytuna -pop up in the Atelier-space on the museum’s second floor you can rest in the middle of the culture. There you can read, play and explore objects from different cultures from different eras. You can also enjoy the art on the walls from contemporary artists.
The art of Meri Helmi Särkkä (former Mariam Haji) involve observations of social practices and interactions between the ways in which European art history has had an effect on postmodern Arab Art.
Yassine Khalid visualizes power relations between individuals caused by, for instance, ever-increasing gaps in wealth, socio-cultural differences, labor conditions, educational opportunities
Haliz Yosef works with memories, cultural-identity and language which mediates through moving image, sound art installations
The multilingual event is produced in cooperation at Making Home Abroad -project. Take a closer look at the Home in Culture project, which builds bridges between people and cultures: www.kotonakulttuurissa.fi/en
Baytuna pop-up visits the National Museum for six days and gives a different perspective on Exploring the Ancient Near East -exhibition.
Culture and Mathematics! event day for people of all ages
Thursday 4 August at 1 -5:30 pm
Culture is full of mathematical dimensions that you do not really think about in everyday life. You can find symmetry in decorative motifs and proportions in architecture – but do you know how mathematics are linked to poetry? This event day for people of all ages offers insights into the connections between mathematics and culture via workshops and presentations. The event is multilingual.
The event will stretch out throughout the museum for the day and is included in the price of admission. Entry is free for those under 18.
The event is organised in collaboration with the Bridges Organization and Aalto University. The goal of the Bridges Organization is to foster research, practice, and new interest in mathematical connections to art, music, architecture, and culture.
Listen to the playlist: Exploring the Ancient Near East
Middle Eastern music is very diverse and incorporates many languages and cultures. It is thousands of years old and yet always sounds fresh. Due to numerous wars and crises, Middle Eastern people have spread all over the world, bringing their music with them.
The playlist was inspired by rhythms, instruments and the music of small communities, and it features languages from many different countries: Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hebrew, Kurdish, Kurdish Kurmanji, Armenian and Greek.
The songs are about joy, sorrow, the fate of a young bride, flirtation, homesickness, exile and the importance of democratic elections. The playlist was compiled by Yonca Kurtoglu Ermutlu.