The Nimrud Ivories

Monday 6 June 2011

Members' Exclusive Lecture
by Nigel Tallis, Curator, Middle East

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Thanks to the generous support of Members, the British Museum was able to acquire the Nimrud Ivories in March 2011. In this lecture, given exclusively for Members, Nigel Tallis, Curator of Middle East, talks about this fascinating collection of over 5000 ivories that was excavated in Iraq between 1949 and 1963 by Sir Max Mallowan, one of the UK’s most renowned archaeologists and his wife, the celebrated novelist Agatha Christie.

The collection tells a unique story about the way materials were used and traded in the Ancient Near East in the early first millennium BC, and highlights the intimate involvement which Britain had with Nimrud. The ivories represent a vital, and currently under-explored, resource for understanding the religion, society, economics and craft traditions of the Assyrian Empire.