Discover the world of ancient Assyria through the life and legacy of its last great ruler, King Ashurbanipal.
The next British Museum exhibition I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria will transport you back to ancient Iraq in the 7th century BC, when Ashurbanipal became the most powerful person on earth. From his capital at Nineveh, he ruled a vast and diverse empire, shaping the lives of peoples from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the mountains of western Iran.
This major show will bring to life the tumultuous story of Ashurbanipal’s reign; his conquest of Egypt, crushing defeat of his rebellious older brother, and ruthless campaigns against those who defied his rule.
The exhibition tells the story of Ashurbanipal through the British Museum’s unparalleled collection of Assyrian treasures and rare loans. Amongst the artefacts, it will include examples of Assyrian treasures not normally on public display, such as stunning reliefs from Ashurbanipal’s palace that have been kept in a basement gallery decommissioned 20 years ago.
There will be loans of exhibits – some travelling to the UK for the first time – from museums including the Louvre in Paris, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin and the Vatican.
The exhibition will immerse visitors in the life at the great Assyrian court. In total, about 200 objects will be in the show, including painted glazed bricks, enormous stone sculptures, rare wall paintings, gold and ivory furniture fittings and extravagant metalwork.
Many of the objects featured in the exhibition come from archaeological sites in Iraq such as Nineveh and Nimrud that have been systematically targeted and destroyed by Daesh (IS). The final section of the exhibition will highlight the challenges faced in protecting Iraqi cultural heritage under threat and will showcase the work of the ‘Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme’.
I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria
8 Nov 2018 - 24 Feb 2019