Exploring the Ancient Near East
Since the 1840s, Finnish explorers, archaeologists and scientists have travelled to the Middle East to study the region’s ancient empires and cultures. Through the travellers’ own stories and the items brought back by them, 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 includes items seldom been on display from the Collections of the National Museum of Finland and the Archaeological Collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency.
The Middle East in antiquity, known as the Ancient Near East, was the birthplace of many social trends and well-known innovations. Agriculture and non-nomadic lifestyle developed in this region, as well as cities and the earliest large empires. The earliest known writing systems, monetary systems and coins, and the science of astronomy also originated in this region, and the archaeological remains and historical documents have taught us about their birth and early stages. The exhibition, Exploring the Ancient Near East, also highlights the fragility of the region’s cultural heritage, in which unauthorised archaeological digs and illegal trade of the items discovered, construction and land use, and wars have all left their mark.
During the last 50 years, the Finnish research of the ancient Near East has also garnered a great deal of international scientific respect. Today, in addition to the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Institute in the Middle East carries out this research work.
The National Museum of Finland has created the exhibition in cooperation with the University of Helsinki’s Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires and the Museum of Central Finland.
See all the highlights of the exhibition on the public guided tour and hear the interesting stories behind the objects and the explorers who brought them to the museums. The tour is included in entry fee and lasts 30 mins. Tour starts by the info at the entrance hall.
Public tours in this exhibition are held once a month:
- Sunday 22.5. at 1 pm
- Sunday 26.6. at 2 pm
- Sunday 24.7. at 2 pm
- Sunday 28.8. at 2 pm