Nineveh - Heart of an Ancient Empire

19 October 2017 until 25 March 2018

Two women being abducted by an Assyrian warrior. Relief from Nineveh, 668-626 BC.Two women being abducted by an Assyrian warrior. Relief from Nineveh, 668-626 BC.

Nineveh, once the largest city in the world, will be brought to life at the National Museum of Antiquities in an exhibition that opens on 19 October 2017. Over 250 works of art and objects from the Netherlands and elsewhere will be on show in this exhibition. For the first time since they were first rediscovered, over 180 years ago, the jewellery, clay tablets, and sculptures will be reunited. The highlights include the large reliefs from the city palaces and a reconstruction of a room in the palace of King Sennacherib.

  • The exhibition runs from  19 October 2017 to 25 March 2018

Reliefs, sculptures, and a gold death mask

In the exhibition rooms you will see jewellery, clay tablets from the library of Assurbanipal (the first library in the world), sculptures of gods and winged creatures, glazed pottery, rare ivory marquetry, and a gold death mask. Among the most impressive exhibits are the dozens of reliefs that once graced the walls of palaces and other monumental buildings. 

Nineveh: the 2,700-year-old Neo-Assyrian metropolis

This exhibition takes you back to the heyday of Nineveh, the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in what is now northern Iraq. Wits its population of over 100,000, Nineveh was for some time the largest and most important city in the world. But the exhibition also tells the story of the first settlements on this site. Visitors will also learn about the adventurous exploits in the nineteenth century that led to the rediscovery of the city’s remains, as well as the quest for classical and Biblical Nineveh. The story ends with the recent destruction of the ruins by the so-called Islamic State group.

Computer animation and reconstruction of a room in the palace

Nineveh will devote special attention to the predicament of heritage in crisis zones and to ways of preserving the past for the future. Besides displaying life-sized computer animations of the ancient city, the exhibition will also include a reconstruction of a room in the royal palace of Nineveh. The room has been reconstructed with great precision, using 3D techniques and projections of the original colours. The original in Iraq was recently completely destroyed. An international research team (including staff from Delft University of Technology) based the reconstruction on photos taken before the ruins were destroyed.