Header: Introduction to the statues

Preserving Ancient Statues from Jordan
an exhibition at the
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
 Smithsonian Institution
28 July 1996 -- 6 April 1997

Photograph of statue no. 1
Photograph of statue no. 2 Photograph of statue no. 3 Photograph of statue no. 4/8 Photograph of statue no. 5/6

(full photos are jpeg format, approximately 40k)

In this exhibition are some of the oldest human-form statues of large size ever found in the Near East. The statues were discovered in 1984 at the prehistoric site of 'Ain Ghazal, located near Amman, the capital of Jordan.

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 World map (32k jpg)

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Regional map (40k jpg)

The settlement at 'Ain Ghazal was a village of farmers, hunters, and herders occupied between 7200 and 5000 B.C. during the Neolithic period (ca. 8500&shyp;4500 B.C.). Its inhabitants made objects for daily use, such as stone tools and weapons, and objects that seem to have served symbolic functions, such as small clay figurines of animals and humans.

More sophisticated works of art have also been discovered at `Ain Ghazal: large, human-form statues and busts made of plaster, and faces in plaster, which had been modeled on human skulls. These unique finds have been uncovered, studied, and preserved at the Smithsonian Institution's Conservation Analytical Laboratory in suburban Washington, D.C.

This exhibition seeks to show the important steps in the process of recovery and preservation. In addition to wall texts and object labels, an illustrated brochure and an interactive computer program providing more information are available within the exhibition space.

The objects in this exhibition have been lent by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.
The brochure, interactive computer program, and Website were produced by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in consultation with the Smithsonian Institution's Conservation Analytical Laboratory, and are supported by a grant from the James Smithson Society.

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 Detail of statue no. 5/6, approximately life size (80k jpg)

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All presented material is copyright © 1996 Smithsonian Institution, except where noted.
 Last updated: July 28, 1996


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