Egypt and the Ancient Near East presents almost 125 colourplates of some of the most important and beautiful objects from these cultures, all from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum. Many of these pieces are shown with enlarged details or multiple views so that readers can examine these works as closely as they might in the Museum itself.
The range of objects, which spans some 3000 years, gives a vivid picture of the wealth, power and consummate taste of the rulers and of the skill of their artisans. Monumental panels recovered from Babylon, silver vessels from Anatolia and a bronze head from Mesopotamia, for example, attest to the splendor of the Near Eastern empires and to their vigorous artisitc production. Reliefs and monumental statuary from the earliest periods of Egyptian history to the Roman conquest record the faces of kings and their courtiers, and the gold jewelry recovered from pharaonic tombs reveals the great weatlh and fine artistry at the command of these rulers. Models of a servant and a ship, both buried to ensure that their owner would enjoy a rich afterlife, and fragments of a farmer's letters to his family give us a glimpse of what daily life must have been like in this complex society. 142 illustrations, 124 in full colour plus a fold out map.