Age of Luxury: the Assyrians to Alexander
9 MAY - 3 SEP
Hong Kong Museum of History
100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
When one thinks about the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East, one tends to visualise the monumental architectural remains of palaces, gardens and city walls. These places were once alive with the wealthy ruling classes and filled with precious and luxurious objects, such as metalwork, stone wall-reliefs, ivories, gems and jewellery. The period from 900 to 300 BC was an age when such luxurious goods were made and traded from India to the Mediterranean. Mighty empires, the Assyrians, Babylonians and Achaemenids, created elites that demanded exotic, luxurious and opulent objects to display their social status. As a result, cheaper imitations of luxury goods were also created. Ultimately the wealth of the Achaemenid empire proved to be an irresistible prize for Alexander the Great. His spectacular military success meant he eventually ruled territories from Greece to India and as a result Greek art and culture spread throughout the Middle East.
This newly developed exhibition contains objects from the British Museum, and Hong Kong is the first stop where all 210 exhibits will be displayed together. They will allow visitors to learn more about the "Age of Luxury" from 900-300 BC.