Its people developed and devised many things that we take for granted today, from the wheel to schools. They invented irrigation systems to water crops, divided time into 60-second minutes and 60-minute hours, and created writing – one of the most important development in human history.
This British Museum touring exhibition celebrates the rich cultural legacy of Iraq through 80 remarkable objects and two fascinating stories, helping to highlight the challenges of protecting Iraq’s diverse cultural heritage following decades of conflict. The first story is a tale of one of Ancient Iraq’s earliest cities, Girsu, home of the world’s oldest surviving bridge and an archaeological site that date dates to over 4,000 years old. The later one is of Qalatga Darband, an ancient fortress built around 2,000 years ago in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan, during a turbulent time of changing empires. Star objects in the exhibition will highlight previous fieldwork, archaeological research and new discoveries made in both of these sites as part of the British Museum’s Iraq Scheme (2015-2020). The British Museum is now looking to the future as it continues to work with Iraqi colleagues to help restore this country’s precious past after years of damage and destruction.